Make the most of the lighting at home this winter as nights begin to get darker, and longer. Indoor lighting plays a very important role in creating the right ambience for the overall mood, experience and wellbeing during the winter months.
When choosing lights, make sure that they are useful for the function of the room. In winter you should particularly concentrate on warm and radiant light – even consider changing some of your bulbs to ones that give off a softer, warmer glow.
Here are a few lighting ideas to ensure that you have the right lighting scheme to warm up your home.
The living room
Soft lighting with warm tones in the living room is the key. The living room becomes the most used recreational space during the cold months, whether you are entertaining or relaxing. There are different ways people choose to relax, some prefer watching the television, read a book or even do some hobby crafts. So when putting a lighting plan together, all of these should be considered. The most efficient and best way is to use task lighting to create a balance between ambience and functionality.
Use floor lamps and table lamps around areas where you need focused light sources. A great way is to place them behind or next to chairs or sofas. Combine and layer the lamps with pendant or track lights to create a warm and cosy ambience.
As the evenings get longer, good lighting is more important so I never turn overhead lights on, but use a combination of table lamps and floor lamps instead. This keeps the light low, soft and cosy. You can set the lamps to turn on and off with timer switches, which takes less time than turning on each one individually.
The kitchen is a multifunctional space where you will find yourself cooking and socialising most of the time over the winter season. Multiple light sources will allow you to set the mood of the room accordingly.
Ambient lighting is a must in the kitchen during the cold season, so it is worth considering lights such as pendant lights, dimmable wall lights and lighting for shelves and cabinets. Under cupboard lighting is not only ideal for providing sufficient light around the food preparation area but also adds a warm and cosy feel when you are relaxing on winter evenings.
Use lighting on multiple levels. Combine under-cabinet lights with cans for task lighting and add a pendant to create a focal point. Put absolutely everything on a dimmer, even under-cabinet lights if you can. Mood lighting sets the tone.
The bedroom is more like a safe haven during the winter months where you can relax, unwind and forget about the cold outside. However, wrong lighting can make this a miserable experience, for instance, a bright overhead light can be glaring and uncomfortable, taking away the warm and cosy surrounding that we are all so familiar with during winter.
Bring in some soft lighting in the bedroom such as a bedside lamp or dimmable wall lights. These lights are great for reading in bed and also for evenings and early winter mornings when there is hardly any daylight. A floor lamp will add great ambience to the bedroom if you prefer more light. A bright overhead light away from the bed is still useful for carrying out other tasks in the room or for getting ready.
Avoid shades on lamps that are too opaque, otherwise your bedroom will be too dark. The fixtures may look nice, but the light will not be as functional. When buying a table lamp, opt for one with a softly diffused shade. The guiding principle in buying reading lamps should be the ability to adjust the light to your taste, either by swivelling or moving its arm. They should also be well-shielded so you don’t see the bulb and you are able to read.’ For overhead lights, he adds, ‘Don’t install lights directly over the bed. You will tend to look up at them while you are lying in bed. Direct light from overhead is less comfortable than soft light at face level.