Guide to Lighting by Room
For many of us, lighting is not a regular purchase and it may well be something that, to begin with, feels quite overwhelming. Where do we start? Whether you’re updating your lighting in a single room or your entire house, we think the best starting point is to consider each area individually and think about how you intend to use the space. Ideally, you want to develop a flexible lighting scheme that will consider all of these needs. The other point to remember is that (aside from bathrooms, wet rooms and outdoor areas, which have some separate safety regulations to consider) any light can be used anywhere. So something that’s defined as a ‘bedroom wall light’ is also actually a ‘living room wall light’, which is a key point to remember when you view any of our example fittings. When looking for lights keep an open mind, as it’s really a matter of personal choice and preference. The following guide is intended to help you think about the key areas of a home and what to consider when looking for lights for each of those areas.
Generally lighting in a bathroom needs to be clear and bright, though it's good to have a flexible scheme that allows for lower levels of light for those times when you want to sink back and relax in the bath. If you're using a mirror in the bathroom for shaving or applying makeup it's good to position lights either side as opposed to above to prevent glare and shadow. Safety regulations apply to lights in a bathroom. Bathroom lights are given an IP rating (ingress protection), which refers to the level of protection the fitting has against water and steam entering the fitting. A bathroom is also divided into zones and these dictate the IP rating required. Although it depends in part on the size of your bathroom, generally a bathroom light will require an IP44 rating or above.
A bedroom can have multiple needs in terms of lighting. Not just for sleeping, a bedroom is often also a space for dressing, applying make up and, in a busy household, a sanctuary to escape to for time out. If you have a partner waking or coming to bed at different times, low-level lighting can be useful to prevent disturbing the one asleep; a combination of table and floor lights can provide useful pools of illumination. A ceiling light can provide a good level of general light and there are lots of options available in terms of style. For a dressing table, consider a small table light either side of a mirror to prevent glare. And for those who like to read in bed a good bedside light is essential. In a double room, it's handy to have a reading light either side of the bed that's separately controllable. Overall, it's convenient to be able to control all lights from the bed, so that you can get safely tucked up before switching the lights off!
Often a light over the dining table is the main focus of lighting in a dining room. You don't want anything that hangs too low and prevents you from seeing who's sat across the table from you. A great way to avoid this is to choose a rise and fall pendant, which means you can easily adjust the height according to your needs. A dining table is often used for other tasks, such as homework or craft projects, which is another reason to have the flexibility of a height adjustable fitting. A central pendant can be complemented with wall lights to provide additional ambient light or a well-positioned floor light. Adding a dimmer switch also gives further flexibility to your lighting scheme.
You don't want to turn your outdoor space into Blackpool illuminations and upset your neighbours, but some well-positioned exterior lights can help you to extend your enjoyment of the garden once the sun sets. There's also a safety element to outdoor lighting as it can help you to illuminate paths and walkways and also your front door so that you can easily get your key in the lock when you return home after dark. From a security perspective, a number of outdoor lights are fitted with a PIR sensor, which will come on dusk or be triggered by movement.
Hallway lighting needs to provide you with a safe passage as you move around the home. Wofi have a selection of lights designed to influence depth perception, which can help to make hallways seem wider, such as their Estera, Delmar, and Space lights. A combination of ceiling and wall lights is a good option in this area of the home. Some Wofi ceiling lights, such as the Jaden or Sila, include the option to adjust the colour temperature via a remote control plus a night-light setting, which is useful for those who may get up in the night to visit the bathroom.
It's essential to have good task lighting in the kitchen so that you have clear illumination for preparing and cooking foods. A combination of spotlight fittings and under cupboard lighting is useful. A larger kitchen can also be a social space, so it can be a good idea to introduce wall and pendant lights too. Generally it's best to install lights on separate circuits so they can be individually controlled and used at different times and in different combinations. A series of pendant lights positioned over a breakfast bar or island can have a stylish impact. And those with a table in the kitchen may wish to consider a rise and fall pendant positioned above, which gives good flexibility and allows you to easily adjust the height of the light for mealtimes or homework projects.
With the multiple uses of a living room, and often as the focal point of the home, it's a good idea to have a combination of light sources in the living room for different times and activities. An overhead ceiling light on a dimmer switch provides flexibility and can be complemented with wall lights. It's a good idea to position wall lights around permanent features, such as an alcove or fireplace, rather than furniture which may get moved over time. A soft ambient light is recommended when watching television. You can illuminate works of art, pictures and interesting features with a picture light or spotlight. A reading light positioned near a favourite armchair or sofa is a great asset; many reading lights are adjustable so that you can change the position of the light to suit your needs. Create soft pools of light with well-positioned table and floor lights, plus a floor standing uplighter can be used to give a good wash of ambient light on the ceiling.
Within our Statement Lighting Category we've pulled together a unique selection of lights that provide real impact. Wow lights! You'll find a selection of ceiling and pendant lights, many with an extra long drop (some up to 5 metres) making them perfect for high ceilings and stairwells.