John Tiong learns about the 3-D approach to make the most of lighting in the home
EYES literally light up at the advancements made in energy savings when one walks through the home lighting department of Philips in Menara Axis, Petaling Jaya.
LED or the light emitting diode lighting can last for 25 years, and uses only about 20 per cent of electricity compared to normal lighting.
LED lighting is mercury-free, so it is safe to use in the home and because the lights emit very little heat, they are versatile for use in various environments. The LED product may be more expensive but in the long run, you will save on electricity.
The LivingColors Generation 2 translucent LED lamps have countless shades of light. By manoeuvring a round remote control, one can practically have a whole world of moods to create, be it for dining, a party, or a romantic escapade.
There are also white glasses with lights that flicker like a candle. These tealights are perfect as altar lamps, or to enhance the mood in a spa. No more messy candles.
Look out for a wine chiller with rechargeable cube lights at the base and little lamps in the shape and colours of a beetle for children.
One must-have is the minimalist Ledino range of lighting that appeals because of its space age inspirations. The range is slick, has symmetry of form, harmonious curves and geometric simplicity.
LIGHTING UP VARIOUS PARTS OF THE HOUSE
Lighting each room calls for an understanding of general, task and accent lighting. General lighting gives an even brightness in the home while task lighting is for a specific purpose such as reading and cooking. Accent lighting highlights a prized painting or antique vase.
THE READING CORNER
Task lighting for the reading helps to avoid eye strain. This is especially so on either side of the bed where reading lights can complement the general lighting in the room. This is also helpful when both partners wish to read at individual times. Lights can be mounted on headboards to save space. Reading lights with bendable necks allow one to focus on what one is reading.
THE TV ROOM/ LIVING ROOM
The light for the living room has to create illusion of space to make it more spacious. This can be done by using a combination of light fixtures.
Special possessions, like one’s favourite painting, can be accentuated with picture lights. Mount these above the frame to shine a beam of bright light across the painting. LED lights are especially helpful as they emit very little heat which is better for artwork.
Light fixtures on the wall have to be above eye level to avoid glare to the eyes. They have to be flat and not more than 10cm from the wall.
Choose uniform cove lighting or decor lights with diffusing covers for extra general lighting. To make a ceiling look higher, use floor or wall mounted uplights to throw onto it.
As it is damp, make sure the light fixtures here are certified for use, with IP 21 or IP 25 (ingress protection) rating. In the evening especially, the bathroom is a place to unwind, soak in a hot bath, before retiring for the night. Since we also start the day in the bathroom, the light around the vanity mirrors should be bright, so that we can shave or apply make-up with ease. Ensure that such lights are sufficient to illuminate the front and sides of the face. However, avoid any light that points into the mirror as this will cause irritating glare.
A hearty meal is a work of art, and the cook deserves a well-lit workspace. The lighting here is about clarity, safety and energy conservation. Light with high colour rendering index allows you to see things in their natural colour. Task lighting concealed under the cabinet helps illuminate the surface when you chop, grind and mix.
When do you use table lamps, standing lamps and ceiling lights?
The room is three-dimensional, so you need to approach your lighting with this in mind. Layering lighting will create a more visually textured space and will provide more depth and atmosphere than a single light source.
Light sources can be positioned on ceilings and on walls at high, mid or low level and can also be recessed into floors or walls at low level.
These layering of light sources can be achieved with table and free-standing lamps. As an example, the addition of a bedside light or free-standing floor lamp next to a reading chair will create a cosier atmosphere