Creative lighting

can make a dramatic difference in the appearance and atmosphere of any room. With a bewildering amount of light types and fittings to choose from, achieving the right look for a room can be a tricky process.

When you are looking for the right type of light, you not only have to consider the atmosphere and function of the room you’re lighting, but also the money and energy you can save in the long term. A home office, for example, requires a functional approach, but a more relaxed atmosphere is desirable for bedrooms and living rooms.

There are three main principles behind effective home lighting:

1. Background or general lighting.
This should illuminate rooms to a level that allows for safe movement, ie. wall lights, ceiling pendants and recessed down-lights. The best tool for background lighting is a dimmer.

2. Task lighting.
This provides additional light for working or reading.

3. Decorative lighting.
This covers two types of light; those that are decorations in themselves (i.e. candles, a chandelier or a table lamp) and those that bring attention to a decorative feature (i.e. a spotlight highlighting a painting).

Examples of Different Types Of Lighting

Incandescent lamps
Incandescent lamps are the most familiar light type source with countless applications in homes, shops and other commercial settings. Light is produced by passing electric current through a thin wire filament. In this category are several globes which all achieve a slightly different effect.

Reflectors are partly covered in a silver coating, so that the light only escapes out of the clear glass. Examples in this category are spot line, flood line and bowl reflectors.

Halogen lamps
Unlike standard incandescent lamps, halogen lamps use a gas that allows the lamp to burn more brightly without sacrificing its life. This increases their efficiency at converting electricity into light, and allows halogen lamps to typically give out more light using less energy and from a smaller physical size. Compared to equivalent incandescent lamps, halogen lamps have a longer life (up to six times), provide a crisper, whiter light, and provide a better beam control, allowing light to be directed with a greater accuracy.

Fluorescent Lamps
These save on electricity bills by using 20 percent less energy than normal incandescent lights and can last eight to 10 times as long. They are also beneficial for the environment as they reduce the demand on fossil fuels. They are best used in areas where lights are left on for long periods such as kitchens and living rooms.

These save on electricity bills by using about the same energy as Fluorescent lamps but more importantly are virtually maintenance free and would normally last for the life of the fitting. They can be colour changing types which when connected to a controller will allow for the room to change its look and function dependent on the colour of light. These lamps give off relatively little heat and can be mounted in heat sensitive locations.