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5th May, 2020

The importance of light

The importance of light

Light is a key element in our daily lives and now that we’re spending more time at home and inside, the light in our homes is taking on higher significance.

It seems we have evolved to need and enjoy light. As well as being an important source of vitamin D, it enables sight and provides a natural daily rhythm. There is some evidence that the amount of natural light we are exposed to improves our sleep patterns and therefore our mental health. It is therefore important to consider light when buying or building a home, rather than leaving it as an afterthought.

The most common form of lighting in a home is general or ambient lighting. Choosing a home with large windows to provide as much natural light as possible is an obvious first step and then keeping those curtains open as often as possible. This can increase the energy efficiency of a property, as it will also provide warmth. If this is not an option, there are still ways to improve the liveability of our homes. Strategically placed mirrors to reflect natural light can go some way in compensating for small windows.

Natural lighting

There are two aspects of home lighting to consider: purpose and décor. Lighting needs to serve a purpose or it is simply wasting electricity, and insufficient lighting in a room often reduces its use. This determines the placement and the type of light. A workspace with natural light will improve productivity and strong lighting in an area with less natural light matches this function. Task lighting is necessary for some areas where ambient lighting is not sufficient, such as kitchens, where safe food preparation is essential. These lights are often directional, such as desk lamps and ceiling lights pointing towards a specific direction. Track lighting is an example of positional lighting used to highlight particular elements, such as a wall painting or a kitchen island.

Accent lighting is used to highlight particular elements of the interior including complementing wall colours. A small room with dark-coloured walls will appear smaller than one with walls that reflect light. Accent lighting can be for aesthetic purposes and as such, lighting fixtures become part of the interior design.

Kitchen lighting

Advances in technology have allowed designers to experiment with new materials so lighting options can be statement pieces in their own right. Often the first thing you see when you walk into a room is the light. Selecting the right light fixture can give a room real personality.

accent lighting

Lighting goes beyond the aesthetic and functional values it provides. Homeowners can also choose efficient lighting that reduces electricity costs and minimises the effect on the environment. In comparison with incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs give off less heat and use up to 75 percent less energy. They also last as much as 10 times longer. LEDs generate light without heat, requiring far less electricity and lasting about 50 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

Using solar energy to power lighting fixtures for outdoor areas that will benefit from night lighting is another option. Solar lights absorb light during the day and illuminate areas at night, and best of all, they do not require any wiring or additional expenses to operate.

If you would like to speak to our Interior Design team to help you design your home, or get your home at its best for sale, please contact us on +44 (0)208 251 8813 or interiordesign@fineandcountry.com.

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