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Buying lighting fixtures? Consider this – Business Daily

In a modern home, lighting is everything. But how do you ensure the chandeliers match your taste and complement the interior décor?
Eve Sude, a design director at In-house Interiors in Nairobi says light fixtures can transform the mood of your house.
“Light fixtures create ambience and mood in the room and highlight special elements such as wall features, niches, furniture, colour, fabrics, and all the interior items used,” says Ms Sude, who pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design at Maseno University.
So what factors do you consider when buying lighting fixtures for your home?
“When building your own home, lighting goals and options should ideally be discussed and conceptualised before construction begins,” she says noting that this is to ensure that provisions for the design are catered for to avoid extra expenses and hacking later in the construction period.
“This also allows the homeowner enough time to shop and procure the desired fittings in line with the construction’s timeline.”
For an existing home, the homeowner can work with existing provisions and false ceilings to create the desired lighting concept. This though, she adds, may be limiting in terms of options.
To curate a great lighting experience, there are important factors to consider: the function of the room – is it for reading, entertaining, or for sleeping; the size and proportion of the rooms in the home – are they big or intimate, do they have high ceilings or bright or coloured walls and personal preference because eventually, it is the home you’ll live in and come back to.
The level of lighting needs to be well-balanced to avoid having spaces that are either too bright or too dim. The lighting design should also complement the architectural and interior design theme of the house. Availability of fittings, their power rating, and consumption are also major aspects to consider.
The use of natural lighting as much as possible during the day is highly advocated for. This will determine the design of the windows and sizes at the house’s design stage.
A common approach in executing a professional lighting scheme is the use of layers which entails using various types of lighting to achieve a well-lit interior space.
For interior spaces, the main layers would be ambient, accent, and task lighting layers.
The ambient layer is the general lighting of the space mostly achieved by the use of centrally placed fittings. It should aim to illuminate the entire space and be comfortable to the eye and as close to natural lighting as possible.
The accent layer is used to highlight decorative elements and features in the interior space and may include spotlights, decorative floor lamps, and wall brackets, among others.
The task lighting layer is specific lighting used for achieving certain tasks in the home. Examples include reading lamps, undercabinet lighting for kitchens, and wardrobe interior lighting.
When lighting different parts of the home, Ms Sude says; “It’s important to balance the different layers of lighting to achieve total functionality and ambience in the home.”
For instance, in the living room, think of lighting as art since it’s the room in the house that receives a lot of attention from guests.
Begin by having a centralised light to illuminate the area generally such as ceiling lighting. Layer this with table lamps and perhaps accent lighting to bring into focus pieces of furniture or art you may want to be highlighted.
In the dining area, the lighting needs to be both general in achieving sufficient lighting and also focused on the main function of the room, which is dining. Hence having a specific piece lighting the table/food is recommended.
A welcoming effect can be achieved by dropping a centrepiece that highlights the décor and the shape of the table draws people in and makes diners feel truly at home. Corridors should be well lit avoiding shadows and dark corners.
She continues: “It would be preferable if you had general lighting that brings the whole corridor to life and accent lighting to highlight special features like artwork and special effect finishes.” The bedroom lighting should be warm and cozy in general.
This can be achieved by using general lighting fixtures like pendants and chandeliers for high ceilings, surface mounted dish lighting for low ceilings lights. This can be also accentuated by use of downlighters and cove lighting to enhance the ambience.
Avoid harsh lighting which causes temporary blindness upon turning on the light. What about lighting that warms the home?
“Warm lighting is more recommended for a home because it is more relaxing to the eye and gives the home a comfortable cozy feel as opposed to cool lighting. Warm lighting is not necessarily more expensive because we have energy-saving fittings available for warm white lighting as well.”

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