As the darkest time of the year is approaching, we gathered some tips for choosing the right light for the bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. At the end of the article, you will also find lighting terms that will be helpful when shopping for new lighting fixtures.
YOUR HOME NEEDS a good general light – a ceiling lamp that gives even light and illuminates every corner. In practice, you use it when you are cleaning up, and the other light sources are used at other times. These are made up of the spotlights, ambiance lamps and work lamps. Ample natural light reduces the need for artificial lighting, but remember that the luminosity must be sufficient even during the winter.
IN THE KITCHEN the counters can be lit, for example, with led bands fixed onto the front lower edge of the upper cupboard, or with wall lamps, which are inclined towards the wall. Led bands can also be added above the upper cupboard or in front of the lower cupboard footing in order to add to the ambiance. A word of warning: if you have a shiny and especially a black floor, then a light at the footing of the cupboard gives away all dirt and dust.
IN THE DINING SPACE the table should be completely lit. In fact, it is worthwhile to choose just one big lamp, or install several lamps alongside each other. Here it is very important that the light can be adjusted. A lot of light is needed when the children are doing their homework, but during dinner time a shadier and pleasant ambiance light is more suitable. An excellent way to place lights alongside each other is a ceiling rail onto which a variable number of lamps can be installed.
Use spotlights to emphasize the beautiful elements in your home, such as plants and art.
IN THE BATHROOM the basic idea from theater dressing rooms is the best when you are looking into the mirror: when you have glare-free light sources placed on three or even four sides of the mirror, then the light comes straight at your face and in front without making any shadows. Nowadays many mirrors have an integrated led lighting around them.
In case you sink lamps into the ceiling, they must be directed so that the light shines at an angle and without a blinding effect. Even just a trifle of indirect light, dimming and light groups brings a spa-like atmosphere into the room.
IN THE LIVING ROOM it is pleasant to sit in the evening surrounded by dimmed ambiance lights, but reading and handiwork call for spotlights. As a matter of fact, it is easy to complement the living room’s general lighting with directed floor and table lamps. The background of the TV can be lit indirectly from the wall. This reduces the stress to the eyes.
IN THE BEDROOM the best reading light is easy to direct and does not glare. With a dimmer, the same light turns into an ambiance and night light. Light your wardrobe either with an external spotlight or from inside the closet. A luminaire with diffuser in opal glass or rice paper provides soft light and makes a great general light for the bedroom.
Get to know the important lighting terms
• THE WATT (W) tells how much a bulb uses electricity. Earlier, the lamp’s power was indicated only as watts. Nowadays, it is more important to look at the lumens and kelvins.
• THE LUMEN (lm) tells the amount of light a lamp produces. The bigger the figure the brighter the lamp.
• THE KELVIN (K) tells the hue of the light. The smaller the kelvin figure is, the warmer the light is. The bigger the figure is, the colder and bluer the light is. Learn this, because if the kelvins are wrong then even a perfect interior could be lit in the wrong way. The kelvins have a direct effect on what the colors look like within the space. In a yellowish light blue turns into purple and red turns into orange.
• THE LUX (lx) is a measurement of the light hitting a surface. The appropriate lux figure is defined according to the lamp’s function.
• THE RA-INDEX, or color repetition index (CRI) indicates the lamp’s ability to repeat colors. The figure must be at least 80, preferably 90–100.
• THE IP CODE rates how well mechanical casings and electric enclosures protect against dust and moisture. Usually, indoor lighting fixtures have an IP rating of 20, whereas IP44 is common for bathroom lights.
Text: Miia Kauhanen (Avotakka) Photos: Manufacturers