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Lighting Design Guide to a Beautiful Home Part One Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms

Lighting Design Guide to a Beautiful Home

Part One

Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms

Home Part One Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms Authored by: Phil Gardner [December 2009 –
Home Part One Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms Authored by: Phil Gardner [December 2009 –
Home Part One Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms Authored by: Phil Gardner [December 2009 –
Home Part One Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms Authored by: Phil Gardner [December 2009 –

Authored by: Phil Gardner

[December 2009 – Version 003]

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

Lighting Design Guide to a Beautiful Home

Part One

Architectural Lighting Techniques (an overview) for Entrance Halls, Kitchens and Living Rooms

Introduction

We wrote this guide to share our experience and give you easy to use trade tips that other free guides and pages on the web about lighting design for our homes don’t seem to offer.

about lighting design for our homes don’t seem to offer. Lighting design is important to a

Lighting design is important to a beautiful home not just because of the changing moods and atmospheres you can create, not even because it adds real value to interior design, but as technology is changing so very fast, to maintain high design and deliver lower energy homes we have to work harder at understanding what we can do with light in the fabric of our buildings, this blend of new possibilities and good design is why we start with Architectural lighting design as a founding principle.

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009

This guide concentrates on light quality and accurate positioning, important components in a lighting design, and at the end of this document you may have some new ideas and approaches to your lighting design, but equally you will (we hope) be a more informed purchaser of your lighting and instructor to your electrician.

This free lighting design guide offers insights for planning 3 of the key spaces in a home, helping you plan and envisage what the effects of your concept will look like when it is built and installed………

The Entrance,

of your concept will look like when it is built and installed……… The Entrance, The Living

The Living Room

of your concept will look like when it is built and installed……… The Entrance, The Living

The Kitchen

of your concept will look like when it is built and installed……… The Entrance, The Living
of your concept will look like when it is built and installed……… The Entrance, The Living
of your concept will look like when it is built and installed……… The Entrance, The Living
of your concept will look like when it is built and installed……… The Entrance, The Living

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

The Entrance / Hallway

The entrance and hallway can be lit in any number of ways, depending on its size, features, character and most importantly its occupants! The first impression is all important and these spaces are little gems to light when you can have access to lift floorboards above, cut into and through walls etc. (i.e. part of a new build or refurbishment).

All too often in homes in Britain, (large or small) the hallway is provided with a pendant light and

a power socket that is only provided by the builder/ architect thinking of a vacuum cleaner, no other purpose.

The pendant can be a bit of a “blunt instrument” in a hallway, it also has more access to passing outdoor air as we open doors and this in turn can then make them attract more dust when heat rises, (thus consider cleaning when choosing a pendant for a hallway).

Example entrance, 1, Pendant often left at planning stage in drawing

entrance, 1, Pendant often left at planning stage in drawing The Downlight It may be then

The Downlight

It may be then a step forward to replace this soletry pendant with more atmospheric recessed

downlights for a clean and modern look, but this is where an increased sence of design and

proportion must be introduced,

increased sence of design and proportion must be introduced, Example entrance, 2, straight line of central
increased sence of design and proportion must be introduced, Example entrance, 2, straight line of central

Example entrance, 2, straight line of central downlights, actually does not enhance the space… but it can be useful according to the space or it’s décor as we will explain…

Many people want that first impression of the entrance or hallways to increase the feeling of space. For this “wall washing” techniques can be effective, if you choose recessed downlights, consider a close offset from the wall rather than one central row, which may lead you to place two rows in a space.

Using downlights with “spot” type lamps normal 24 degree to 38 degree lamps in any offset less than 300mm from the wall will give you strong scallops (triangular shadow and light effects), these can be desirable but you should plan for the effect.

Even consider lighting only one side, for proportion according ceiling height find the space that is 1/3 rd of the ceiling width, this often works best for any architectural space. Check to find the dominant vertical surface in the space and use the light to increase its relative hierarchy.

space and use the light to increase its relative hierarchy. Example entrance, 3, downlights are introduced
space and use the light to increase its relative hierarchy. Example entrance, 3, downlights are introduced
Example entrance, 3, downlights are introduced to one wall….note the way the door opens dictates
Example entrance, 3, downlights are introduced to one wall….note the way the door opens dictates which is the visually most
important wall in the space…
The same technique of enhancing the space can be achieved with wall lights as opposed to
downlights
Example projects combining recessed wall lights and close offset downlights making the most of small or low ceiling spaces
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Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

If the walls are a backdrop to the interior design, i.e. they are adorned with decoration, pictures etc then by using fixed recessed downlights with moveable gimbles (directional) you can provide

a uniform pattern of luminaires but adjustable illumination. (It is a personal preference to use tiltable gimbles 15 or 20mm recessed inside the luminaires,) in this way the moveable component is not visible to the person in the space.

Indeed it is better to avoid glare in this way from directional luminaires. Always check ceiling depths, and pay attention any additional distances for fire hoods and space for the heat dissipation of a lamp, your qualified electrician will advise.

of a lamp, your quali fied electrician will advise. Note : Here it makes sense for
of a lamp, your quali fied electrician will advise. Note : Here it makes sense for

Note: Here it makes sense for the recessed, directional lighting to be central to the narrow space as they then direct to adorned walls.

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The majority of clients describing a brief for this space will say they want “warm & welcoming” and to answer such a design brief will require, subtle lights, indirect illumination and a dominant lamp colour (for Northern European homes) of around 3,000 degrees Kelvin.

Yes we are talking technical already, but stay with us on this, it will save you hours of frustration for the future if you ever buy energy saving fluorescent lamps, and increasingly LEDs* 1

Kelvin refers to the degree of absolute temperature, but if you simply think of a piece of hot iron in a fire it starts with a warm glow orange, then cooler white hot and eventually blue tinted white hot, so too we refer to lamp temperature. Warmer the feel the lower the number, the colder the higher the number.

the lower the number, the colder the higher the number. All tungsten lamps we use in

All tungsten lamps we use in the home be that a normal GLS or a low voltage spotlight are in the warm range 2,700 to 3,200 Kelvin.

Fluorescent lamps all tubes and energy saving compacts come in a range of colour temperatures from 2,700 up much higher well in excess of 4,000Kelvin, making then appear much colder in a room. So choose carefully.

When reading the data on a fluorescent lamp or it’s box you may see the degree Kelvin, but more likely the code 830, or 842 or 940 etc as three numbers in the lamp code. These last 2 digits tell you the degree Kelvin, i.e. 842 would be 4,200 K.

For the “warm and inviting” look you should consider finding colours like 827 or 830 etc.

*1 (LED Light Emitting Diode)

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

If the hallway has large spaces, high ceilings and features then consider maintenance and quantity of lights you are about to install, break down the lighting into multiple circuits, that allow a general/ ambient perhaps low energy circuit for the space and then a more welcoming “wow” factor for when it is needed.

a more welcoming “wow” factor for when it is needed. Example entrance 4. The same principles
a more welcoming “wow” factor for when it is needed. Example entrance 4. The same principles

Example entrance 4. The same principles of offset from the wall with a directional luminaire have been applied to these larger spaces, emphasis of the space and boundary walls are emphasized…

Of course many more combinations of design become available with larger spaces, note in the example (5) below the spacing of the luminaires allow two lights to fall over the door making a combined welcome mat of light within the feature.

making a combined welcome mat of light within the feature. Of course these are simplified examples
making a combined welcome mat of light within the feature. Of course these are simplified examples

Of course these are simplified examples to make a point, most halls have many more features and intricacies.

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009

In a recent project we designed a barn conversion with an entrance sloping upwards to over 4 metres, we chose to amplify the lower slopes with downlighting and the upper area with up lighting exaggerating the two heights rather than a traditional approach.

Don’t be too prescriptive in translating a lighting design from ours in concept or any others guides and notes, after-all it is part technique and part creative design!

Note the deliberate use of two type of light, not only makes the simple but classic design, but meet the criteria for multiple circuits. In the example above the uplights are low energy and will be the most used circuit by the family.

low energy and will be the most used circuit by the family. Additionally at night your
low energy and will be the most used circuit by the family. Additionally at night your

Additionally at night your eye may be adapted to night vision and a lower level of light may be more acceptable to you on first entering this space, all of which is catered for in multiple circuits.

If the architecture rises to a double or triple height space often with exposed beam and block sub structures the careful balance of the space and vertical surfaces becomes both visually important framing the rising space, and a platform for light

important framing the rising space, and a platform for light Example embedded low energy lighting rising

Example embedded low energy lighting rising with the framed double/ triple height entrance

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

The Living Room

In the living or lounge areas of a home, the functionality of the lighting should provide scenes which equate to the different activities that you will perform in this space.

For example, rest and relaxation – the space will want to be tranquil and calming.

This will best be provided by low ambient levels of light which could be from softly dimmed wall lights or table lamps.

In the living area (above all other areas), a good idea is the provision of a 5amp circuit with plugs and sockets to accommodate table or floor standing luminaires all switched or dimmed from a switch plate with the other light sources.

(Note of warning, if using low energy lamps in table lamps, they may not dim on a standard dimmer!)

in table lamps, they may not dim on a standard dimmer!) The principle for soft and

The principle for soft and comfortable space is the same whether it is modern contemporary style (as above) or more traditional (as below)

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009

lighting desi gn guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009 Or combined styles with blended

Or combined styles with blended twin lights embedded in the ceiling on separate circuits as designed below, where each lamp in the twin luminaire dims independently for changing scenes

the twin luminaire dims independently for changing scenes Most activities planned for this space will involve
the twin luminaire dims independently for changing scenes Most activities planned for this space will involve

Most activities planned for this space will involve the occupants in a seated position. As such, the careful consideration of any visible lamps/light sources that could cause a visual nuisance/glare all must be taken into consideration from this seated position. For example, somebody watching television would not appreciate a bright competing light source in their field of vision. Plan for the seated view in your design, sit in your space when planning, as opposed to standing up when you are planning your hallway lighting!

Other activities in the living area could be to provide for an intimate evening and even lower levels of light should be able to be achieved not forgetting the living flame from an open fire or burning candles.

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Sometimes lighting design is knowing when to leave things out follow the principle of “ less is more”….

Pt 1 Sometimes lighting design is knowing when to leave things out follow the principle of

The Kitchen,

First and foremost the lighting design should follow the kitchen layout and types of units chosen, built-in under cabinet lighting is almost always invaluable.

The selection of these small lights however should be guided by your lighting design not the kitchen installer, this is only to ensure the correct balance of lamp types and colour appearances. Kitchen suppliers will be able to offer you LEDs for the local task lighting, but these are often cold in colour, Warm White LEDs will be available to you, but the key tip is to try one next to your other kitchen lighting first to ensure the colour matches your other lighting.

Kitchen lighting may be done by spot lighting or diffuse light i.e. Fluorescent, providing an even high ambient layer of light……

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009
Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

But always plan sufficient distribution of light to avoid shadow from behind you when you stand by a work surface. This can be done by the position of the light or having such quantity and reflective surfaces that light bounces around diffusing any shadow effects.

Note in the design proposal below, twin lights are positioned that one lights directly on the worktop and one washes the vertical surface of the wall in front, (which may have wall units in another space). High levels of quality light are achieved without strong shadow as direct and ambient light is mixed. Of course in scene planning these lights switch and dim separately for multiple effects.

Layers of light can be very exciting in a kitchen which may become an unexpectedly intimate place to be late at night. Dim down the brighter working lights and “forget the dirty pots!”

unexpectedly intimate place to be late at night. Dim down the brighter working lights and “forget

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Here a kitchen project with simple directional lighting positioned for effect on the high amount of horizontal work surface….contrasting with an image of a high end kitchen but this time all floor to ceiling units, meaning the lighting design ultimately needs to provide vertical light. It is useful to consider the balance of this horizontal and vertical light in the kitchen design.

of this horizontal and vertical light in the kitchen design. Finally, consider maintenance also for any
of this horizontal and vertical light in the kitchen design. Finally, consider maintenance also for any

Finally, consider maintenance also for any feature/ decorative luminaires chosen in this space, the heat causes hot air, water and cooking contaminants i.e. fat to float around a space. (even with great extractors) Luminaires tend to also be warm an integral part of the flow of warm air around your space leaving small amounts of residue on lights, so choose finishes appropriately like metal and glass rather than fabrics.

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A Word on Lamps!

Buy lamps that are a good quality and a brand you recognize, and if you use low voltage (12V) systems spend your money on a good transformer for the lights. I hear people say “my bulbs keep blowing etc” and yet in some of my own installations I know of lamps lasting over 5 years, but used daily.

I know of lamps lasting over 5 years, but used daily. If buying low energy (compact

If buying low energy (compact fluorescent) lamps, buy the better electronic ballasted brands otherwise you will experience longer warming up stages and generally light levels are not as good as they promise on some cheaper products, (i.e. they offer an equivalent to 60 or 100 watt etc,) which in our experience they are at least 20% less bright, (and remember to check the colour temperature on these compact fluorescent lamps).

LED’s are taking a prominent and useful role in lighting, however some claims on lifespan and light output are possibly misleading (note, some…not all). LEDs are definatley the future for lighting but at the time of writing (2009) a huge difference in both price and quality exists in the market. Please take care at all times with these products and feel free to call one of the team at greyblue for upto date advice.

As mentioned in the first pages great lighting design is about attention to detail, good lamps are what ultimately make your design work, so don’t let your great new designs down with inferior lamps.

We hope you found value in your free lighting guide? Please let us know your feedback or of course if you simply decide to use a professional lighting service….

Greyblue

Lighting Design would be pleased to do all the design and documentation for you!

We provide unique concept designs and detailed documentation of all your spaces and schedule of luminaires, circuits, loadings and installation instructions….

(local rate UK) 0845 900 5790 or visit www.greyblue.co.uk for more details of services.

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009
Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1 | 8/1/2009

Greyblue lighting design guide to beautiful homes Pt 1

Author:

Phil Gardner MSc MSLL Greyblue Lighting Design

Civrieux House

PO Box 8790

Leicester

LE3 7BG

Tel: +44 (0) 845 900 5790

phil@greyblue.co.uk

www.greyblue.co.uk

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