Making Light Work

It used to be so easy – 40, 60 or 100 Watt bulb? Not today. With so many types of light fittings, bulbs & technologies now available, the cost of energy to consider (not to mention saving the planet), lighting your home is the ideal winter topic for us to think about. 

We often overlook the importance of lighting; general lighting to wash the walls, accent lighting to vary the mood and functional lighting for reading, eating, work & make-up! I’ll start this month with some very practical tips on how to make light work in your home (more Mr. C’s thing) and then move on next month to the much more interesting field of style, design and what’s trending!

General lighting plays the part of daylight and is usually provided by central pendant lights or chandeliers. To work out how many bulbs you need take the floor area of the room in square metres and divide by 3 – this will tell you how many 50 Watt ‘old style’ light bulbs are needed (for the technically minded this will provide around 300 lumens per square metre)

If the room is to be used for reading or light work such as food preparation, or if you are ‘getting on a bit’ then double this number – we need more light as we get older and we need more light in areas where light tasks are carried out.

A 50 Watt old style bulb is about the same as a 40 Watt Halogen bulb, an 11 Watt Fluorescent bulb and a 7 Watt LED bulb. As we pay for electricity in proportion to the number of Watts you can save on the running costs – but the bulb prices are higher. Fluorescent bulbs are the most common these days – they take a time to ‘warm up’ to give the desired light, but otherwise are a great moneysaving product.

After general lighting you can be more creative with accent lighting – for example placing table lamps around a room at different heights will give a feeling of warmth and space. And finally think about task lighting, perhaps for reading, sewing or drawing – the angle poise lamp is the best suited and comes in a huge variety of designs.

So that’s the practical side of making light work – next time we will look at trending styles such as French Refined and Modern Mix, plus some great ideas on resalvaging.

Andrew Bradley