Top Lighting Tips

WORDS Michelle October

Save on bills, conserve energy and create ambience and atmosphere with these top lighting tips.

  • Use energy-conscious, versatile LED lights – which cut down the energy on standard bulbs by 90 % – to create a range of atmospheric hues with strip lights, spotlights and different colours.
  • Halogen energy saving globes are ideal for chandeliers, using 20 % less energy, and they come standard with a dimmer switch.
  • An alternative to LED lights are CFLs, which use 80 % less energy, have a warm, inviting glow, and also don’t heat up.
  • With motion and daylight sensors, no more looking for the right switch or fumbling around in the dark, and worrying about whether you’ve left the lights on at home is a thing of the past.
  • Natural light is the best light – create new window spaces where possible to let in as much light as possible. If you have no extra wall space, the installation of a north-facing skylight can do wonders, plus it adds warmth on chilly winter days.
  • Strategically place mirrors where they will reflect light and send it bouncing into other areas of your space.
  • Cast pendant lights over your kitchen workstation for directional light and a warm, functional mood.
  • Opt for paint colours with high light reflection values (or high sheen) over colours that absorb light.
  • Create textural layers of light by setting multiple light sources at various levels.
  • Place directional lights according to the needs of each room, such as brighter lights next to the bathroom mirror.
  • Wary of committing to a big change without knowing exactly how it’s going to turn out? Use a lighting or 3D interior app to help you out. The Live Interior 3D Pro Edition app costs about R1 000 (on iTunes) but will give you unlimited opportunity to play out your wildest lighting and interior dreams before going ahead in real time. Also try the Philips Light Selector app (on iTunes) where you can superimpose 3D lighting models into your photos to see how they look.

This article was originally featured in IMAGINE. Visit for more handy tips.