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The right lighting can transform any room, giving it a totally different atmosphere. The dullest of rooms can become theatre-like, the starkest of rooms can appear cosy ... you can see where I'm going with this. With a little strategic thinking, you can create your own lighting plan and make your space functional and right for you. Before you create your own lighting plan, you should determine the kind of lighting you require. Click here to find out about the difference types of lighting effects.
Once you've made your choices as to the type of lighting and fittings would best sort your needs, it's time to start creating your plan ....
What you need
Grab the following:
•a pencil and rubber;
•a tape measure;
•a ruler; and
•graph paper for drawing to scale. Don't worry don't have any, click here for some we made earlier.
Draft your floor plan
Start by measuring your room and then rescale it and draw it onto the graph paper. Draw at the optimal scale of 1:50 so that every 1cm/inch of your floor plan represents 50cm/inches of the actual space. Mark any immovable objects such as chimneys and windows and then draw in your furniture.
Design your lighting plan
Add to your plan the different functions played out in each area of your room. Think of all the possible uses this space offers. Keep in mind that some rooms have multiple functions, even at different times of the day. Think about which areas you will want to highlight with accent lighting, ie architectural features you may want to display.
Draw in the light zones and fixtures
that you’ve set-up your floor plan, you can choose locations for each light source. Draw ‘light circles’ in areas that you would like to illuminate, avoiding too many overlapping and dark zones.
Make sure to place recessed lights approximately three feet away from the wall. Avoid creating shadows in any corner, as this will have the visual effect of lowering the ceiling. To determine how far apart to space your recessed lights, divide the height of the ceiling by two. If a room has an 8 foot ceiling, you should space your recessed lights approximately 4 feet apart. If the ceiling is 10 feet, you’ll want to put about 5 feet of space in between each fixture.
What kind of switches?
Mark light switches in convenient locations on your floor plan and remember to pair them up with corresponding fixtures. Dimmer switches add mood and atmosphere by adjusting the light level to suit every occasion.
Your lighting plan is complete! Now you need to find your light fittings. Remember that light fittings with LED lamps will save you much more money in the long run. Read more about the benefits of LEDs here.