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Lighting Tips:


Please find tips and advice on various lighting techniques and fittings for all the rooms in your house below:



Living Room




Dining Room




Kids Bedrooms




Hobby Room


Home Office


Transitional Spaces

Modern Lighting in South Africa



Energy Saving Tips






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Lighting Tips: Living Room

How you light your living room depends to a large extent on the mood that you want to create. Dramatic, spacious, intimate and many more moods can be created in your living room by using lighting effectively.

Layered light is fairly popular for the living room. Layered light is achieved by having multiple light sources that overlap. A combination of accent lights, wall lamps, downlights and floor lamps works very well.

The key to this technique is to have at least the accent lights and downlights on dimmers. That way you can create multiple effects / moods by shifting the emphasis.

Downlights placed near a wall can create a very dramatic and beautiful effect. The success of this technique depends to a certain extent on the wall itself. Textured walls and wall with interesting paint effects work well.

Hidden lights also work well in the dining room. Place a light behind or inside a cabinet - or even under a plant - to create soft, intimate lighting.

Lighting Tips: Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the rooms in the house where task lighting comes into it's own right. Task lighting can effectively reduce shadows, and with more light on the subject, working in the kitchen becomes less of a chore. Try installing undercabinet lights near working surfaces.

Recessed halogen lighting works very well for the sink area.

But the kitchen is more than a working area. Most families spend a lot of time around the kitchen table - and with the correct lighting, any kitchen can be a cozy get-together spot. Consider using hidden lights to create a soft, warm atmosphere. Install lights behind cabinets or plants.

Then decorate! Use a colorful hanging Tiffany lamp over the kitchen table. Round it off with matching wall lamps. Or use mini-pendant lamps decoratively.

Lighting Tips: Dining Room

The dining room is probably the one room where you cannot overdo it. There are so many different moods easily created with clever lighting.

Chandeliers! Some of the modern chandeliers available these days are truly wonderful. Just be careful not to buy your chandelier too big. As a general guideline, your dining room chandelier should be about 1 foot smaller in diameter than the shotest side of your ding room table.

Decorate with a combination of wall lamps and floor lamps.

Create soft, intimate moods with hidden lights.

For something different, try washing one wall with light while keeping the others relatively shaded. This works especially well if you break the light with a painting or interesting wall decoration.

Speaking about paintings, consider using track lighting to highlight artworks around the dining room table. The gallery-like atmosphere adds a wonderful 'classy' feel.

And of course you must be able to dim each light or group of lights seperately. This allows you to set the mood quickly - for anything from a lively party to a quiet, candle-lit dinner.

Try our Designer Plus Crystal™ Decor bulbs in chandeliers to add sparkle to glasses and dinnerware.

Lighting Tips: Bedroom

Most master bedrooms are multi-purpose areas. It's a place for sleeping, reading, being intimate, watching TV or, in my house, sometimes even eating. So it makes sense to have a lighting arrangement that is flexible.

Installing dimmers is the first step. Dimmers allow you to adjust your lighting to the mood you want to create.

Another good general guideline is to have multiple lights in your bedroom. Dual swing-arm wall lamps above your headboard allow you to read while your partner sleeps - or you to sleep when he/she types away on the laptop. It's a must-have.

Also consider using task lights. Vanity lights for the dresser, hidden lights in the closet and sturdy ceiling lights for pillow fights. Nothing affect us quite the way light does - and having the lighting arrangement to suite the mood can do wonders.

Lighting Tips: Kids Bedrooms

With the variety of fun lighting options available these days, decorating a kid's room is an adventure.

But there are safety issues to consider first. Generally avoid floor lamps. They always get knocked over. Always!

Also avoid low pendant lights. They can be a hazard during pillow fights or when jumping on the bed.

Any light that their little hands can reach should preferably be fitted with compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs are cool to the touch.

If a night light is required, try mini-fluorescent lights. They'll save you money.

And lastly, consider installing timers. That way the kids can go to sleep with the lights turned on if they want - and you won't have to worry about them forgetting to turn the lights off.


Lighting Tips: Bathroom

In the bathroom, practicality comes into play more than in the rest of the house. After all, shaving in the dark is not recommended! Simple things can make the difference, like placing mirror strip lights on either side of the mirror - as oppesed to above the mirror - to minimize shadows.

To further minimize shadows, consider using frosted bulbs rather than clear bulbs.

Recessed lighting also works very well in the bathroom, especially where the color scheme is off-white. Consider installing dimmers though, because without dimmers the light could be too sharp - especially in the mornings.

If your self esteem allows, use mirrors generously. Not only will they make your bathroom appear more spacious, they will also multiply the amount of light. If used decoratively, mirrors can be used to create beautiful patterns of layered light.

Lighting Tips: Hobby Room

In hobby rooms a combination of ceiling fixtures and task lights is recommended. Ceiling mounted fluorescent lights work well, but be sure to ask your electrician about installing electronic ballasts to prevent flickering and noise.

Use task lighting as necessary. Undercabinet lighting works well, but any clamping task light will do to light the work area. As a general rule you should avoid using normal table and desk lamps in the work area in order to minimize clutter. Clamping lights and wall mounted lights do the same job, but they don't get in your way.

Speaking of wall mounted lights, the swing-arm type works best because it allows you to quickly adjust the lighting to your needs.



Lighting Tips: Home Office

The most important consideration in the home office is that of comfort. It is after all the space you spend most of your time in. The lighting should be sufficient without being uncomfortably bright.

Consider using task lighting. The main benefit of task lighting is of course that you can direct light where it is needed, allowing you to create a calm, focussed atmosphere while saving energy.

If a bright, spacious appearance is desired, your best bet is to use halogen bulbs.

Position light sources so that computer monitors do not reflect the light. A mixture of task lighting and ceiling fixtures will usually work well.

If you get flickering or noise with fluorescent lights, consider installing electronic ballasts.


Lighting Tips: Transitional Spaces

Have you considered a skylight? Skylights have a way of creating an open, spacious feel that is hard to duplicate with artificial lighting. You could try adding wall lamps high up on your hallway walls and direct the light downwards, which adds to the sense of space.

A practical tip: Use night lights in the hallway to light a path from the kids room to yours - or to the bathroom.

You could also give your hallways a classy look by using track lighting to light artworks.

Dimmer swithces are not all that important in transitional spaces, but you might consider using more than one light switch in hallways and staircases. Place a light switch each end.

Lighting Tips: Outdoors

There are a couple of things you must keep in mind when planning your outdoor lighting:

1. Buy the correct lamps. If the fixture is not weather-proof, it will not work outdoors!

2. A practical consideration: Install lights near or above all doors to make sure that the steps and lock are easy to see in the dark.

3. But, don't shine the light directly on the door. If you do, you'll be looking into the glare when you open the door for visitors.

4. Pick a theme and stick with it. Don't use old-fashioned lanterns to light your walkway and a modern wall lamp at your front door.

5. Create a feeling of space indoors by lighting parts of the garden that can be seen from inside the house.

6. For safety, install motion-activated lamps that can detect movement in your driveway and around the front door.


Energy Saving Tips

1. The simplest energy saving tip is also the most effective: Turn the lights off in any room that you are not using.

2. Turning the lights off works great, but only if you remember to do it - and that can become a bit of a hassle. The alternative is to install timers or photo cells. That way the lights are automatically turned off when not in use.

3. Why light up the entire room when you're working in only one corner? There is no need. Use task lighting. Besides, the glow of a good reading lamp is so much more cozy than the glare of a ceiling fixture.

4. Consider getting 3-way lamps. With 3-way lamps you can control the level of lighting according to your need.

5. Ever heard of mini-fluorescent lights? If you need a night light, these little guys will save you money.

6. Ever heard of compact fluorescent bulbs? They are reported to be up to 4 times as energy efficient as incandescent bulbs, but still give off the same amount of light.

7. Another simple energy saving tip that works well is to make the most of daylight. If your decor scheme allows, use light colored curtains, preferably with a loose weave. That way you allow more light to enter while still preserving privacy.



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