Lighting is a vital element of any home design, affecting both mood and functionality. We’re sharing information on different types of lighting, as well as tips on what works best where, for the interior look and feel you want.
On any build or renovation, lighting placement must be considered early, says interior designer James Treble. For starters, electrical fit-outs are much easier if the walls and ceilings haven’t been finished. There’s also a design element, too. “Creating a successful and practical lighting plan requires consideration of issues such as how each room will be used,” says James. “Most importantly, ensure you include a well-balanced mix of the different lighting types: ambient, task and feature (or accent).”
Downlights (or recessed lights) are an unobtrusive way to illuminate large living areas. Too many in one space can make it feel bare and uninviting, so mix it up with other forms of lighting and add dimmers for ambience.
Task lighting is brighter and more targeted. This type of lighting is ideal for tasks like cooking or reading, or for safety and security – for example, lighting above the cooktop, under-cabinet strip lighting and downlights to help prepare food, or step lighting for stairs. Task lamps (floor or table) are ideal for a home office, or for a living room reading corner.
Accent lighting is used to emphasise specific features, making them the focal point of the room. “Accent or feature light pieces are the perfect addition in an entry foyer, above a stair void and above a dining table. They draw attention to the space and elevate their importance, literally ‘highlighting’ them,” says James.
“Sconce lighting [wall lighting] is huge right now, and they’re not just for hallways,” says Sharon Breeze of Brilliant Lighting. “Consider using them as bedside lights, a statement for either side of the fireplace or vanity, or on side walls for ambient mood lighting.”
Pendants bring character into a home, says Sharon. “They can form a wonderful canopy, as well as provide task lighting, for your kitchen bench. Fit them with warm colour temperature globes for casual bench dinners or chats over a cup of tea,” she suggests.
A statement pendant over a dining table creates an intimate atmosphere. And as long as they’re not positioned close to water outlets, they can work well in bathrooms, too. “One pendant light to the side of the basin adds personality – it’s perfect for a powder room,” says James. “One on either side of a vanity mirror provides balanced lighting that’s perfect for pampering.”
Pro tip: “Avoid including pendant lights in traffic areas or above moveable furniture, as they tend to hang quite low and can become a safety issue,” says James.
Warm light creates a cosy glow, enhances a room’s atmosphere and is great for bedrooms and dining areas. White or cool light has a cleaner look and is said to help energise an area, so is ideal for a workspace. Light temperature is measured in kelvin (K), typically ranging from 2700K (soft and warm) to 6500K (cool daylight).
It’s time to shop the range to narrow down your style. Browse our interior lighting options in-store or online.
Some photographs feature products from suppliers other than Bunnings.
Photo credit: GAP Interiors/Marcin Grabowiecki, Anna Robinson, Cath Muscat and John Downs.