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Creating a lighting plan

Types of lighting

To make a good lighting plan, it is crucial to know the various types of lighting and how you can combine them for the most beautiful and functional effect. For your convenience, we have divided lighting into four different types.

  • Basic lighting

The light that illuminates the room evenly, for example, a ceiling light or ceiling spotlights.

  • Functional lighting

Concentrated light in one place, for example, a desk lamp or a spotlight above the worktop in the kitchen

  • Mood lighting

Soft, warm light, for example, a beautiful table lamp

  • Accent lighting

Similar to functional lighting concentrated in one place, but in this case, accent lighting emphasizes a beautiful element, such as a painting or a houseplant.

Typically, a good lighting plan contains a combination of these four types of lighting.

The first step

Before you buy new lamps, it is good to know precisely what you want to achieve with the light. Where do you need more light to work, which dark corner needs to be brightened up, and where do you want to soften that harsh light? Making a map of the room can help with this. Draw in your sketch not only the fixed elements such as windows, doors and partition walls but also the furniture, the paintings on the wall and other places that need to be highlighted. Sketching on graph paper makes it easy to keep the right scale, but if you prefer to work on the computer, you can use a free 3d drawing program such as SketchUp.

Start with the basic lighting

interior with ceiling spotlights

The name says it all: this is the base that illuminates the entire room. Ceiling spotlights are a good solution. If you have installation options in the ceiling, you can opt for recessed spotlights. They can be concealed nicely and have a luxurious look.

living room with ceiling spotlights

LED or halogen?

For recessed spots, you can choose between LED spots and halogen spots. Halogen spots give a warm yellowish light, while LED spots emit light in all shades of white. Halogen spots cost less, but LED spots are ultimately cheaper because they consume much less energy and have a significantly longer life.

Take the interior colours into account

desk in blue light

Whatever form of basic lighting you choose — for example, a classic crystal chandelier — take the colours in your interior into account. How the colour of the walls, curtains and furniture fabrics are displayed depends on the light that falls on them. Warm light colours accentuate warm colours such as red and orange in your interior. The opposite effect gives bluish-white light. In addition, light interior colours will reflect more light. Good advice is to connect the basic lighting to a dimmer so that you can regulate the light intensity according to your needs.

Tips for your lighting plan

designer chair and designer lamps
  • Fluorescent lamps are not immediately the first choice when it comes to modern lighting options. But fluorescent lighting is perfect for the workshop or hobby room. Thanks to the diffused light, you are less bothered by shadows that can be disturbing while working.
  • Do you want to make your interior look bigger? Lamps that diffuse indirect light reflects more light off the wall or ceiling. This gives a spatial effect.
  • The light colour is just as decisive for the atmosphere as the light intensity. It is indicated in Kelvin. Lamps with a warm white light colour of around 2700 Kelvin are most suitable for an atmospheric lighting plan.
  • When choosing lamps, limit yourself to one style that fits well into your interior. For example, choosing a table lamp, a wall lamp and a pendant lamp from the same style family creates more unity and tranquillity.
  • Play with different heights in your lighting plan. Place a table lamp on a cabinet and a low lamp on the floor. See what special accents you can create this way.
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