Lighting is such an important part of any space or room. It can completely change the feel and atmosphere of a place. With that said, it’s easy to make common lighting mistakes when you’re not aware of them. This blog post lists common lighting mistakes to avoid and breaks down how to avoid making them in the first place!
The common mistake is to use overhead lighting when you want more task lighting. However, from experience it’s easy to assume that if there are no windows in a room then the only source of light should be an overhead fixture. So instead of using one type of lighting (overhead) and putting all your attention on how to make it look pretty and nice with everything else we need to remember what kind of mood we’re trying out accomplish with our space or room? If so, imagine where you would put headlamps around camp at night! What do they do? They provide ample amounts of focused directional light right down onto whatever surface needs working on such as cooking food, playing games, hanging out around the campfire, etc. The common mistake is to use overhead lighting when you want more task lighting. However, from experience it’s easy to assume that if there are no windows in a room then the only source of light should be an overhead fixture. So instead of using one type of lighting (overhead) and putting all your attention on how to make it look pretty and nice with everything else we need to remember what kind of mood we’re trying out accomplish with our space or room? If so, imagine where you would put headlamps around camp at night! What do they do? They provide ample amounts of focused directional light right down onto whatever surface needs working on such as cooking food, playing games, hanging out around the campfire, etc.
If you’re only using one fixture then that’s all there will be light on! The common mistake here is not having enough fixtures over an area so that each part of the room gets equal amounts of light. What ends up happening instead? You have two different types of lights where one might look nice but isn’t doing anything useful while another doesn’t stand out at all because its too dark! But if we use multiple sources throughout a space or room, even though they may seem like the same light, they actually look very different.
A statement light fixture can make your space look nicer, but it is important to have enough lights so you can do things. If you only have one light, some parts will be dark. To solve this problem, use layered lighting. This means having more than one type of light that works together and does different kinds of stuff. Read about ambient and task lighting.
When lighting walls or indoor spaces that are mostly large surfaces of uninterrupted flatness common mistakes might be to use the wrong kind of fixtures on them for optimal results. We think about recessed lights as being able to provide an even amount of brightness over a surface but if there is one thing it doesn’t do well is creating interesting shadows and textures! The common mistake here is choosing smooth surfaced recessed can type ceiling lights – which cast no shadows at all- when you want more texture in the space like I did with this bedroom makeover . It’s important not only how bright your sources are (see Mistake #02) but also what shape those glowing shapes take up in your space, which is why sconces are common lighting mistakes to avoid!
Common mistake when lighting a room like this kitchen makeover was not to think about how the light would look in different parts of it during both daytime and night time. What did I do? Well day time meant overhead track lights but what about night time? If you’re standing at one end of the long counter looking straight down its length then any kind of overhead fixture will work – that’s common sense right there. But if you were sitting on one side or the other having dinner with friends (like we often do) then common mistake get another pendant type ceiling lamp angled correctly over where everyone would be seated so they can see each other and talk easily – which is what I did!
This is one of the most common mistakes. You fall in love with a light and forget that it will make your dining table too bright, or not provide enough light for you to work in your kitchen. This can happen when you are looking at statement pieces, like lanterns. They will look out of proportion and if they are not bright enough, then they won’t be good lights for the room you want them in.
If you are choosing a light fixture for your dining room, get one that is around 30 centimeters smaller than the width of the table. If you are using a single light fixture in your room, make sure it is around 10% of the total diameter of the room.
Downlights are a common mistake in lighting. It is easy to use one light source, and then end up with a lot of downlights on the ceiling. To properly illuminate a room, it’s better to reflect the light from the walls and not use so many downlights.
Downlights are great for providing some general light in a room. But they can look bad if there are too many, and they can take away any warmth or character that other lights might bring to the room. Other types of lights like pendant lamps or wall sconces might be better at giving specific lighting.
Everyone has bought a globe and put it in their home. But then they realized it is different color than all the other globes at their house. So, the most common mistake with lighting is getting the right color temperature of your globes. You need to set the tone of your space by selecting the right color temperature of light for each room. Read more about cool white and warm white, and how to decide whether you need cool or warm light for different rooms in your home.
Installing a light in the wrong place will cause shadows. There are some places with shadows that provide an ambience, but not others. The kitchen and bathroom are two rooms where shadows are not good because they prevent people from doing tasks in those spaces. Installing more than one light source is helpful to alleviate this problem. Steering away from more open fittings that provide less directed light will also help in those task oriented spaces of your home.
Andrew Orange , the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.