Congratulations on your new house! You must be very excited, as there are so many things to plan. From buying furniture to appliances, we all want the best for our home and family.
Among all the exciting plans you’re having for the house, I hope designing a lighting system is on the priority list as this is the perfect time to do it. Designing your lighting system now will help you know where all the fittings will be, how many of them do you need, and how much money you need to prepare, which will reduce a lot of hassles with fixing and adding new fittings in, or having lights that do not match the design of your house.
Designing a lighting system might sound easy. Isn’t it just buying enough light bulbs for the house? But having the right lighting that matches your house, supports your family wellbeing, and doesn’t blow up the electricity bill is harder than it sounds. There are so many things to consider, from which light bulbs, which types of lights to how many of them and where to put them.
So here’s the guideline: everything you need to know, every step to follow while on your way to that perfect lighting system.
Let’s make a plan
Have you set up your goal?
If we don’t know what we’re looking for, we won’t know if we will achieve it or not. Therefore, before we go any further, let’s think of what we want to achieve first.
In this stage, try to think of your purpose of having lights, what is necessary and what would be nice to have. Some questions to ask yourself include do I just need a series of bulbs that will light up my house? Or would it be nice to have all the lighting match the style, colour scheme, and mood of the house? Is there any special space that I want to highlight in the house, like a painting or the fish tank? Answering all these questions will give you a better idea of what you expect from the lighting system, thereby making it easier later on when we start choosing.
What’s your budget?
Now that we know what we want to achieve, it’s time to make a budget for it. It’s always good to know how much you should prepare and plan ahead to avoid financial issues. Especially when you are planning for your new house, there are a lot of things to buy, so having a budget is definitely necessary.
To set up a budget, we need to know how many lights we want to buy. With lighting, we don’t want to under-light or overlight our house, so we would just buy as many as we need. But how many do we need?
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, as obviously, each house has different sizes, numbers of rooms, and features. You will need to figure out the number of your own house by looking into the ceiling fittings. Each fitting means a light bulb to install.
However, if your house has not had the fittings set up yet, you can still imagine how you want things to be and work out the number. Thinking of how many rooms will the house have and how big is each room is a good start.
In this step, it is also a good idea to consider between practical vs effect lighting. Practical lighting means you just need a lighting system that lights up your house and makes everything clear, while effect lighting is used if you want to focus on highlighting a piece of furniture or some areas to create a specific effect or vibe for your house. Practical lighting is more economical, but effect lighting will definitely make your house more special and stylish.
Now we go into further detail
With all the general ideas we have decided, let’s go into detail and see what the lighting system will look like.
At this stage, we will want to think of the positioning of lights, how would you organise and set up these light bulbs. The rule of thumb here is that every light needs to have a purpose.
The key thing here is to make sure that you have enough lights around the room, but none of them is directly above your bed. Besides, think of everything you want to do in the room. Would you need a light to read a book before going to bed? Are you gonna do your make up in the bedroom? Would any of the activities require additional light?
In the kitchen, the lighting needs to be clear and bright for your cooking tasks. Some areas might need extra support with task lighting or accent lighting. Sometimes, people like to put LED strip lights under the kitchen shelves or the bench to make the kitchen look unique and modern.
Depending on the style of the house, the lighting design of the living room can differ. A pendant light would fit a classic-style design, while if you’re going for a modern vibe, you probably want a combination of downlights and floodlights.
Ingress Protection (IP) rating is the key feature when looking for light bulbs in the bathroom. IP rating refers to the bulb’s resistance to moisture and water, which is necessary for a damp environment like bathrooms. Another note is that even when the bathroom is small, you should still have more than just one light to avoid unflattering shadows.
Which types of light to choose
We have talked about the setting and function of lighting, but choosing lights for your home should not be solely based on the function or design of the light bulb. A good lighting system should also support your family’s well-being, making you productive during the day and helping you relax and have a good sleep at night.
Ideally, your house’s lighting system should imitate the sunlight, as your body releases hormones and adjust the blood pressure and body temperature based on sunlight. That’s why you wake up when it’s bright in the morning and go to sleep at night. The brightness of a light is measured by the Kelvin scale (K).
At the lower end of the scale is warm white light with a brightness of 2700-3500K. This is a warm yellow light that is similar to sunlight during sunset. It will create a more cosy and relaxing atmosphere in the room, so they are mostly used in bedrooms and dining rooms where you want to unwind and get comfortable.
Further down on the scale, we have natural white light or cool white light with more than 3500K and ranges up to 5000K, which replicates morning early sunlight. This type of light is quite neutral, so it can be suitable for any room used during the day like your home office.
Finally, we have daylight white light at more than 5000K. This is the sunlight you will experience at noon, very bright and crisp. This type is not typically used indoors but can be used as security lights for your garden.
Here are some final tips
Get your measurement right
As we see now, you will have a different set of lighting for each room in the house. This also means that the size and the fitting of the light bulb are also different for each room. To make sure that everything will fit nicely, Auckland electricians recommend creating separate documents for the fitting and the preferable size of the light for each room and bringing them with you when you shop for light. So you can easily know if the light will fit and imagine how it would look in your room.
Always consult with professionals
Setting up a lighting system is not an easy project. There are parts that you can do research and do on your own. But generally, you should have a consultation with professional electricians to ensure that the lighting is not only suitable to your house but also safe and efficient. Jenco electricians are the ones who can give you the best advice, personalised for your own, unique house!
Jenco Electrical are registered master electricians in Auckland, who can help you with all residential and commercial electrical needs. Jenco Electricals provides prompt, reliable and highly organised electrical services that will get the job done right and on time in Auckland Central, West Auckland, South Auckland & North Shore.