Luxury Lighting – Principles of Design
We all know that Luxury Lighting can make all the difference to the feel and ambience of a room. But what are the rules when it comes to designing a good lighting scheme in your home? How can we, as interior designers, help you make the most of luxury lighting to enhance your overall décor and create the right mood? Follow a few simple rules and your luxury lighting will bring every space to life. And the best thing is, most people won’t even realise what you’ve done to bring about such a dramatic transformation (although a giant chandelier such as the one above might be a bit of a giveaway).
Avoid a Single Luxury Light Source
No matter how big or beautiful your lighting is, whether it’s a grand, luxury chandelier, an exclusive table lamp or a designer floor lamp, you should never rely on just one source of light in any room. Trying to light even the smallest room with one single light will make everything look flat and dull. And, unless you have the most minimalist of furnishings, you will inevitably have dark, gloomy and uninspiring nooks and corners.
Layering Luxury Lighting
Layering is essential in creating just the right atmosphere, whether you want something bright and functional or cosy and inviting. In fact, most rooms in your home probably serve more than one purpose so think about everything you do in a particular room. Relaxing, creating, reading. Cooking, eating, homework. Sleeping, dressing, working. In the majority of modern homes, your lighting needs to be flexible – bright enough to cope with the crossword or a spot of cooking, subtle enough when you want to relax at the end of the day. We don’t just mean having a dimmer switch. Layering your lighting means using a well-planned combination of ceiling pendants, chandeliers or recessed lights, floor lamps, table lamps and wall lights.
Planning is Key
Ideally, luxury lighting should never be an afterthought. It needs to be planned into your interior design from the beginning, along with the rest of your luxury furniture. Floor lamps and table lamps can always be moved around afterwards, as long as you have a suitable power socket. But think very carefully about the position of any fixed lighting such as ceiling pendants, chandeliers or wall lights. Of course, if you are happy with your existing furniture and décor but feel it’s a little lacklustre, a new lighting scheme could give it a whole new lease of life. Speak to our Interior Design team about incorporating luxury lighting in your home.
Luxury Lighting and Mood
Warmth vs Brightness
The warmth of light is measured in Kelvin. The higher the Kelvin, the cooler the light. Daylight, for instance, is around 6500K. Anything above 4000K is considered cool, anything below 3000K is said to be warm light. This is not the same as brightness, which is measured in lumens. You may be used to thinking of brightness in watts –100W is equivalent to around 1600 lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light. The vast majority of light bulb packaging – certainly in the UK – will tell you both the lumens and the warmth of the light (either in Kelvin or with a simple graphic showing where on the scale of warm to cool the light bulb sits).
Warm vs Cool
We all know that sunshine and daylight make us feel happy, uplifted and optimistic, whereas low light is associated with rest, relaxation and sleep. The same goes for electric lighting. A bright, cool light increases alertness, concentration and productivity. It can also intensify emotions and reactions. This is great in a study, kitchen or bathroom. If you work in a bedroom, it is useful to have a cool light source – a table lamp or directional light. However, use cool light with caution as excessive exposure to this type of blue light (including light from mobile phones, tablets and computers) lowers production of the sleep hormone melatonin. It can disrupt sleep and has been linked with depression, diabetes and even heart problems. Avoid blue light for at least an hour before you intend to sleep.
A warm light creates an atmosphere of relaxation, comfort and intimacy. This may not be ideal in a working environment but is perfect for cosy living spaces and bedrooms. A few well-chosen, luxury table lamps will give subtle pools of light. Or choose a couple of designer floor lamps to give a wider, more diffused circle of light. Your dining room will also benefit from a welcoming, warm light – and it will make your food look tantalisingly delicious. Warm lighting also makes all of us look healthier. The warmer the light, the more glowing we appear. So, we’re back to planning. Think carefully how you will use each room, or different spaces within a room, and plan your lighting scheme to fit these activities.
Dramatic Luxury Lighting
As well as the practical side of any lighting scheme, there is also its ability to create a fabulous atmosphere. A great many dramatic effects can be achieved with hidden lighting, coloured or colour-changing lights, and even lights concealed within wallpaper. Use lights under shelves or inside glass cabinets, hide them in nooks and niches or use spotlights to highlight your favourite accessories.
With most other types of luxury lighting, size and position are usually matters of personal taste or common sense. Chandeliers, however, are a different matter altogether. Nobody wants to invest in a chandelier, only to find it looks tiny in its chosen place. There are guidelines you need to know about the positioning, size and height of a luxury chandelier. If your chandelier is to hang above a table, these guidelines change. For full information on where to hang your chandelier, and what size it should be, make sure you check out our Chandelier FAQs. Don’t just hope for the best – you could end up making a very costly mistake.
See a small selection of our luxury lighting below. This is just a fraction of our extensive lighting collection so make sure you check out the full luxury lighting range before making any decisions. Remember, we offer a range of interior design services. Whether you are starting from scratch or need help to incorporate new luxury lighting into an existing design, our interior design team is only a phone call away.