The ambiance of any room will be affected by the things that appeal most to our senses. Sight, touch, smell.
The right balance of lighting, colour, texture, fragrance creates the atmosphere within a space so it’s important to consider each of these.
When planning the lighting within a space, think through its uses – does the light need to be functional, or atmospheric, an option for both perhaps.
Lighting plans (mechanical and engineering) are created early on in the build or design process. The cabling will need to be in place behind the plasterboard to ensure that you have the right options in the end result.
For functional lighting – in the kitchen for example you’re likely to want bright daylight-esk lights which are perfect for daily life. But for an evening you might consider having a dim option or include feature lighting, within cabinets, alcoves or highlighting individual features. In a modern life where we can even control our lamps from smart phones, it’s important to understand the options available.
To have fixed traditional lighting each lighting ‘zone’ will require a separate lighting circuit. I’d recommend separating these zones as much as possible in order to be able to control the mood or atmosphere. Dimmers are also a great option.
You also need to consider the bulb that you choose. Lumen indicates the brightness of the bulb, most of which are LED or Halogen now. These can be in a cool light (with a very slight blue tinge) or a warm light (more of a yellow tint). Modern finishes will often work really well with a cool light whereas warmer lighting will always bring a cosier feel.
The main different between LED and Halogen bulbs is that the Halogen will last much longer than the LED bulb, but generally are not as effective.
In order to allow lighting options you might consider placing lamps (especially within a living area) on separate sockets which are linked to the main rooms switch(s). It means that you switch all the lights off in the room when you leave rather than attacking the lamps one by one.
With new launch of smart bulbs, you can go even further. Linking home to a home hub or management system such as Amazon’s Alexa, you can manage your lighting from anywhere in the world. Mind boggling huh.