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Short Lighting Guide - Planning the siting of your light fittings; direct and indirect lighting

  2010-08-19         admin         Advice » Lighting Design Advice
This is a very useful guide we found via Eglo(one of our light fittings suppliers) entitled Light and Space, and we thought it may help each one in understanding how light works, where to place the light fittings in a home/office, what is the difference between the direct and the indirect lighting, and how does the light influence everything!

Light influences everything

The main purpose of light is to brighten up a room. An important factor to consider however is how the eye is affected. But of course there is another function we may not forget: the room should be illuminated appropriately depending on which mood we’re trying to achieve. Lighting is partly responsible as to whether a room is inviting, cool or unpleasant. The recent advances in the lighting design offer uncountable possibilities and ideas to achieve a balance, which invite comfortable living, however, a good planning is essential.

How does lighting work?

Different living areas allow multiple illumination choices – spot lights, wall lighting, uplighters, halogen tracks, table and floor lamps and the list goes on. An important requisite are the sufficient power points, so that whether you’re building or refurbishing, you would make sure your lights can be powered in the right places.

Good basic illumination, through a switch right at the door, is the first step towards achieving the right balance. Then you move on to mood building, through illuminating different objects such as paintings, sculptures or reading areas, work and communication spaces, which all require optimized lighting. Various levels of brightness underline the atmosphere in a room and provide the ultimate step to the ideal lighting balance.

Direct lighting vs indirect lighting

Eyes are able to take in direct and indirect lighting. Direct lighting, such as the warmth of a lit candle, usually releases a comforting sensation. However because direct light is mostly unshielded - an indirect approach to lighting is preferential and more beneficial to the eyes. This type of light is reflected through walls and ceilings. Again there are various methods of indirect illumination. The light source could be concealed within a ceiling fresco or integrated behind a curtain blind or wall recess. However, in order to guarantee a wide lighting angle, the illumination source should be located at an adequate distance to the area to be illuminated. It is important to have the source above eye-level. Ceiling uplighters should not be mounted below 1,70 metres.

Please note: Small rooms with low ceilings require good planning before opting for uplighters, since their effect could be vastly diminished. To purchase any light fittings offering direct or indirect lighting, visit the Lights section on our website.