Buying Guide

Welcome the Light Buying Guide. An informative and comprehensive guide aimed at answering any questions you might have regarding lighting. It will include general information about the different types and characteristics of lighting and will help you in your decision to choose the perfect lighting for every setting. If there is something specific you would like to know about, feel free to email me your questions.

Lighting is one of the most effective ways to create atmosphere and drama in any room. Most of the time the decision about the type of lighting that will be used in a room is determined when a home is built. However, through the process of redecorating a room or the entire house many lighting projects can help to redefine the allure of the desired area. Also there is a great importance on the type of lighting that is used to light the outside of the house.

Living room

You spend a lot of time in your living room, so it's only natural that you think carefully about how to light it. There's always something going on in a living room, so it needs a variety of lighting in order for the space to work best. Low level lighting adds atmosphere but a ceiling fitting will probably be your main light source.

For spacious rooms with high ceilings I would suggest multi-arm lights, available with five, eight or more, bulbs. For smaller rooms, up to 5 x 4m, a three-arm light should be sufficient. Alternatively, semi-flush or flush fittings are perfect for low ceilings, and many of our fittings are height adjustable. Whatever you need there is great choice of living room lighting to match your decorative style. Wall lights are a great source of additional lighting, whether focused up, down or in both directions. I sell a variety of wall lights in styles that match or complement ceiling fittings. It's a good idea to choose light fittings in the same finish as the room's door handles or existing switch cover plates, and I stock a wide selection to create a co-ordinated scheme.

Kitchen and dining room

Kitchens vary more in size than almost any other room, ranging from small, functional, and galley-style to spacious open-plan family rooms which may include sofas and a dining table. A flexible lighting scheme is required because a kitchen is not only often the centre of family life, especially if there are children, but also used for entertaining friends as well as being the place for cooking and preparing food

To reflect the wide range of functions that kitchens must fulfill, the lighting design should be flexible. It should adapt from a bright, general light for daytime - crucial in a dark kitchen as a supplement to daylight - to an intimate light in the evening. As with other rooms in your house, the fist thing to consider is the general lighting.

The most effective and attractive kitchen technique is to use recessed downlights arranged regularly with wide-beam bulbs. Besides appearing far neater than a suface-mounted track and spotlights, they are also less susceptible to the gathering of grease, dust and dirt of a surface spotlight.

For dinner tables, look for dimmable styles or choose side lighting for more relaxed lower level lighting. An eye-catching pendant can provide excellent light over a dining table – and it creates a focal feature even when switched off. Alternatively, a floor standing arc light looks great over a dining table and creates an effective solution that doesn't require any wiring.

Bedroom

In bedrooms, effective task lighting is necessary for nighttime reading and around dressing tables, and the general light needs to adapt to every requirement of the changing seasons: on a dark winter's morning, low-voltage bright lights will provide early risers with a feeling of get-up-and-go.

When designing a lighting scheme for a bedroom, it is essential that each of the chosen effects be easily adjustable, according to the mood you wish to create or the brightness of light required. As this is the last room to be seen at night and the first room to be seen in the morning, you need lighting that will bring a calming atmosphere at night, with task lighting for reading and around a dressing table, and a refreshing wash of light when you awake.

Bathroom Lighting

Until fairly recently bathrooms were designed as purely functional rooms, but in contemporary homes they have taken on a new role as a sanctuary or relaxation. There is often little natural light in a bathroom, so your lighting design needs to complement the style of the room and be flexible enough to change from bright and invigorating in the morning to a softer, more subdued ambience for evening baths.

The location of your light fixtures is crucial within a bathroom, partly because of the potential safety hazards, but also because of many of the surface finishes are very reflective. Crisp low-voltage halogen light reflects particularly well off these surfaces, and its success had given rise to a range of new lighting techniques. Instead of a regular grid of downlights in the ceiling, you could consider locating the lights directly over your basin and bathtub; when they are filled, a wonderful pattern of rippling water will be reflected on your ceiling.

One of the priorities in a bathroom is the lighting around the mirror. If this is done badly, your face will either be completely in shadow or have unsightly dark shadows cast across it. The ideal solution is to have side lighting from a diffuse source on either side of the mirror, or, even better, as a continuous strip around the mirror. This achieves virtually no shadowing and gives the most even modelling of the face.

Home Office

More and more people are now working from home, either from a desk area in the corner of the living room or bedroom or in a separate office. Working for long periods of time, particularly on the computer requires very specific solutions in order that the right environment for focused work is created and headaches and eyestrain are avoided. If the work space is part of another room, flexibility is essential.

Unlike most other rooms, the most important requirement when lighting a work area is an effective task light. A successful balance must be achieved between this and the general lighting to avoid eyestrain, which can result from the contract between a well-lit surface and dark surrounding walls, or if too much light is reflecting onto a screen. Feature lighting is not essential, but will be effective in creating more atmosphere in a room where you have to spend time, and could be used to highlight a bookshelf or picture.

Lampshades and Bases

We have a great range of bases and shades in many styles and materials so you can find the perfect lamp to complement your style and your home. A base is a great starting point for your overall look. Think about the other furnishing materials in your room: while it's a good idea to match wood finishes, metal, glass, or ceramic work well with any decorative style.

Select a shade that creates a balanced feel: tall, thin bases look great with smaller shades, while chunky bases can carry larger shades. In terms of shape, round shades generally suit rounded bases, and so on.

Light specialises in bespoke lampshades made in Ireland from any fabric of your choice. This is an ideal solution when finding the ideal lampshade to complement your room proves difficult.

Alternatively, choose one of our complete base and shade combinations. The diameter of your lamp shade should be approximately equal to the height of your lamp base. Try to view the light at the same height it will be at home, to make sure you are happy with the proportions. When the maximum wattage differs between the lamp base and shade always observe the lower wattage when selecting the bulb.

Garden and Exterior

Your garden can be such a pleasure during the day, but is it forgotten at night? Even if it is small, a garden could become an extra room in your house and provide an added dimension to the character of your home. If your garden has a well-designed lighting scheme, your eye will be drawn outside to all the features you have lit, and the feel of space will expand to include the area surrounding your home.

A garden can appear magical at night if you simply light a few carefully chosen features. Even a lantern can be enough to provide a glow or focus. A little light goes a long way at night; it is therefore important to decide what features to light and to what intensity.

Garden lighting can be problematic. One example of this is the "security light" approach, in which a halogen light located above a door or window gives an overall flood of light, but will not create any atmospheric or feature lighting. Your garden can become a magical area at night with the right lighting. Why not highlight special plants and features with spotlights, or add focused wall lighting to your patio area?

E-mail us: info@completelighting.ie