‘Without light, colour does not exist…’

This is a statement I have never forgotten since my studies at Design School. It reminds us just how important lighting is not only in design but in life in general.

Some lucky BuildHers were fortunate enough to visit One Mani House earlier in the year which was a great source of design inspiration and also an opportunity to see how well lighting can be used and featured in each space.

One Mani House | North facing windows for the win! | Image Anthony Richardson

A little lesson in lighting for you…

If you’re looking to buy or renovate a home, often the orientation will play a large part in the design process. The term ‘north facing’ is bandied around a lot of the time like I even have just mentioned and there is good reason for this.

In Australia, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. In summer, the sun sits higher than it does in winter so…. if it’s possible, you’ll want to always try to orient your main living area to the north so you can capture the lower winter sun that will help to light and warm the home during those colder months while in summer, the home will be protected from the scorching higher sitting sun.

And so then also positioning your kitchen in the east is ideal to capture the morning light in one of the busiest parts of the house at that time of the day.

Naroon House | An excellent example of natural light flooding a space | Image Dylan James

Natural Light

Wouldn’t you agree that these days, we can’t get enough of natural light! It features so strongly as a major consideration in most design phases and more and more people are paying more attention to ensuring there is an abundance of natural light within their homes, especially in the spaces they spend the most time in, like living, dining and kitchen spaces.

Bayview House | Task Lighting allows that extra light to help us with a particular task | Image Dylan James

Task Lighting

Task Lighting comes in many forms and proves sooo useful in so many situations.

Direct overhead lighting is great in the kitchen when we are preparing meals or in the bathroom when you are getting ready.

Lamps are handy when you want to read something.

Led strips are practical in a study nook, under kitchen cabinetry as well as in the bathroom.

Pendants are also effective over kitchen benches or dining tables and wall mounted lights are becoming more and more visible in home replacing the floor lamp.

Bayview House | Accent Lighting on point here – just the right amount of drama | Image Dylan James

Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting is, as its name suggests lighting that focuses on a particular object or area.

The lighting in the master bedroom at Bayview House could be considered as task or even mood lighting but I have chosen to include it in this category for the drama it brings to the space.

Another example of accent lighting could be lighting that is placed above an artwork or wall sconces down a hallway.

Naroon House | Perfect placement for some ambient lighting | Image Dylan James

Mood Lighting

Or ambient lighting can come in the form of a table lamp, pendant lighting, wall sconce and even candlelight.

There’s no real direct purpose for this type of lighting other than to have a light source in a space however it can create a sense of calm especially using a candle or dim table or floor lamp.

Bayview House | A perfect blend of natural light combined with task lighting | Image Dylan James

When the time comes to consider a lighting plan for your new build or renovation, it’s important to consider the following things:

  • The purpose: what’s happening in this space? Is it a bedroom? Will it need a mixture of natural, task and accent lighting?
  • The size: larger rooms will generally need more lighting than smaller rooms but also the amount of natural light can also be a factor in terms of how many fittings will be required
  • The type: lighting choices will require various light globe options as not all globes are created equally! And also we are in the midst of an exciting time with smart and automated lights becoming more and more popular
  • The efficiency: electricity bills are only on the up and up so an efficient lighting plan can save sooo much money in the long run. Replacing halogen and incandescent light globes with LED is a great first step to increasing efficiency.

My advice is to do some research and planning for your home and then get some advice either from a lighting retailer or a trusty Style Guru…!

Words: Melissa Bailey

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