Give Yourself the Gift of Good Lighting This Christmas

Everyone deserves a well lit home, why not you as well? You can get the lighting of your house in order this year with the affordable and stylish lighting collections available at Christopher Wray Lighting.

The real challenge in lighting any room is to allow for easily variable lighting, so you can always set the available light levels according to your mood and needs.

Multiple light sources provide the best results

In most houses, lighting is generally provided from just a single source, with a lone bulb in the middle of the ceiling. This is, however, the worst way to light a room, as it means your lights are always running at full power, when that's not the most comfortable for all situations.

Layering your lighting with a complementary contingent of chandeliers, wall lights, floor lamps and table lamps will convert your room from cold and sterile to warm and cosy at the flick of a switch.

Harsh lighting is unpleasant, that's a fact nobody could deny. There will be times, however, when you need a lot of light in order to see what you're doing. Getting the balance right is a skill worth learning.

The layers of lighting

The task of sorting light into layers is a task of categorisation. The technical term for the main lighting source is "ambient lighting". The usual choices for ambient lighting include chandeliers and pendant lighting. Some types of wall lights are also sufficiently bright to be considered ambient.

Softer, less bright wall lights, along with general purpose table and floor lamps provide what is called "mood lighting". Through the use of shades and lower intensity bulbs, the light given off can be softer and warmer. A cosy glow instead of a harsh splash.

The number and placement of these lights within the room is what gives you the most control over their effect. More lights means more options. You don't necessarily want to have them all on at the same time, but you want on those that will provide the atmosphere you desire to create.

Your next layer, which is optional, is feature lighting, which is lighting used to draw attention to a particular thing you want to draw attention to, such as a work of art, for example. This is usually achieved with spotlights, lamps, or specially designed picture lights.

The final layer is called "task lighting" and as the name suggests it's stronger, more focused light used for special tasks such as reading or sewing. The best items to use for task lighting are adjustable lamps, or when the work area is a bench you could consider hanging pendants.

Placing lights for best effect

Placement is always crucial. The ambient lighting is best placed in the centre of the largest ceiling spans, while other light sources should be scattered throughout the room to provide light where it's needed.

In the living room, you'll want just a touch of ambient light (use low intensity bulbs or a dimmer switch), using lamps and/or wall lights to provide a soft and comforting light throughout the room. Try to place light sources so they don't reflect in unwanted ways (for example from the screens of computers and televisions).

In the dining room, a chandelier or hanging pendant directly above the dining table is always best, keeping in mind that you don't want oppressive brightness, yet enough light that you can show off your food in a flattering way.

The kitchen, on the other hand, is a place for bright light. You need to be able to see well in order to ensure your culinary creations are going out with all the things that should be in them (and only those things, of course). Plenty of ambient light reinforced with task lighting is the way to go in the kitchen.

The bathroom also will benefit from bright light, and consider task lighting around your mirror, as well as softer wall lights when you want a relaxing time in the tub.

In the bedroom, you can have a chandelier for those times when more light is needed, and table lamps or wall lights (or both) for when you'd like a softer glow. Dimmer switches are highly recommended if wall lights are used so you can get exactly the right level of illumination to suit the mood.

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