How to plan the lighting for a specific room in your property.
When taking on major redevelopment work or adding new rooms to a property through an extension then you need to create a lighting plan. It is best to complete the lighting plan at the same time as you do a plumbing or electrical brainstorm. In the ideal world a plan is put in place where you don’t have to consider any current electrical points or cabling – this gives you the freedom to place the sockets and cables where you need them.
The best approach is to walk round the room and make notes and give yourself the answers to the important questions:
- What are you planning on using the room for? If it is a home office it needs to be well lit or a bedroom then you need to reduce the light so it is easy to sleep. If it is a kitchen then you may also eat tea in there so the breakfast bar or table needs to be well lit as well as the cooker.
- Are there certain items in the room you want to be displayed? Should there be any pictures going up that are of particular importance then you will want to show them off and if there is any furniture then the right lighting can make this a feature of the room.
- What time of day will the room be used? If you are planning on using the room only at night then you need plenty of light as it will be darkness when you are in there and if you’re only there in the day then natural light and one lighting fixture will probably be enough.
If you have any fireplaces, windows or doors which are classed as removable objects then these need to be marked clearly as you will have to place cabling and lights around these. The same with plug sockets these need to be clearly marked (if an existing room) as you do not want to be adding too many to a room or having to buy a long cable just to reach a plug.
If you are planning on having high ceilings you need to make sure the practicalities are covered i.e. can you reach the fittings to change a bulb?
One thing to consider throughout the plan is the room it is leading into as you do not want to be walking from one well lit room to a small dark room.
Frances Trueman writes on behalf of Lichtkultur GmbH