Lighting design is a speciality service that helps to enhance the overall impact of your home renovation/build project. Designing the position of lights, how they are controlled and what fittings and colour temperatures to go for requires specialist training and experience. At Circle Automation we can offer you all of the above, working closely with contractors and interior designers to ensure the success of every project.
We’ve created the below guide to help you think about the lighting for your project.
The importance of early planning:
The earlier in the build process you think about lighting the better. Once your architectural plans and room layouts are agreed it’s the perfect time to design your lighting. Our designers work from these drawings; incorporating the use of each room, natural light sources, positioning of furniture and task areas and your personal tastes. Designing lighting at this stage ensures that the required infrastructure is installed as part of first fix and avoids costly and disruptive retro-fitting. Early planning of lighting can help you to think about how you wish to use your home. It may well develop other ideas that you want to include in the project.
Lights aren’t just for the middle of the ceiling:
Traditional lighting methods place a pendant in the middle of a room or, over more recent years, downlights spread over the ceiling space. Well thought out lighting design has moved on, with the premise being, if you light everything, you highlight nothing. Lighting should be specifically designed for how you use each space and therefore creating something different in each room. The use of lighting is a fantastic tool to create zones in open plan areas, create shadow-free task lighting in work areas, ambient lighting in hallways, and accent lighting to pick out focal points such as artwork and photography.
Variety is key to lighting design:
A great way to create variety in your lighting design is to consider layering. The use of miniature LED fittings can be used to create low-level accent lighting in niches, on ledges and washed onto the floor. Washing lights onto walls as well as overhead task lighting all help to add to this layering effect. This creates a far richer scheme than traditional methods. Offering the option of different lighting scenes also adds variety. For example, including ‘warm’ dinner party lighting helps to create a relaxed atmosphere.
Consider natural light:
Natural daylight is a fantastic light source and should be incorporated as part of your lighting design; this requires a consideration of how the natural light alters throughout the year and at different times of the day.
The amount of daylight that enters a room should be considered in the lighting scheme. The introduction of automated window treatments is a great way to manage this. Control commands can be created to automatically lower blinds at certain times of day to create a cosier atmosphere, reduce glare when watching the television, or even prevent the room over heating from excessive sunlight (even if you’re not in to notice that this is happening). Control systems can put lighting and window treatment controls together on the same keypad, or you can control everything from your tablet/smartphone.
The use of LED:
LED lights are now the norm and need a different approach in design than halogen lighting. Things to consider are colour temperature, output (the amount of light a fitting delivers), beam width and colour rendering (how accurately a fitting renders specific colours). You also need to consider how you’re going to dim the lighting. LED behaves very differently when being dimmed than halogen.
All of the above might sound quite complicated to you, but that’s exactly what we are here for. We understand every aspect of lighting circuits, fittings and bulbs and can advise on what is most suitable for your home.
Planning all the practicalities:
There’s a lot more to lighting design than simply choosing the fittings you like. For instance, driver locations, cable lengths and waterproof connections for external lighting all need to be thought through.
One of the key aims of lighting design is to provide detailed drawings and wiring schedules. This ensures the electrician has all the necessary information to turn the plan into a seamless installation. This is the technical part of the design that you’ll probably be happy to hand over to us and not have to personally consider.
Find out more about lighting control in one of our recent projects.