How to light your space
The guiding principles to consider when lighting your home.
On the whole, lighting a room comes down to personal preference. Yet, there are some general rules of thumb you can follow to get the very best from your lights. We’ve gathered these together below to help you on your way.
Height and distance
We’ve already written about how to hang pendant lights over here. But what about wall lights and surface-mounted spotlights?
Let’s start with wall lights.
On an open wall (one without anything else mounted on it), we’d recommend installing your wall lights around 170cm from the base of the shade to the floor.
However, if there’s anything else already on your wall – like a clock, or artwork – generally speaking, you’ll want to keep the centre of the shade in line with the centre of the object.
Measurements aside, the key thing to avoid is glare from the exposed bulb. By keeping the top of the shade at eye level, or slightly above (when standing), you should do just that.
Of course, there’ll be situations where you’ll want your wall lights lower down – such as on either side of a mirror. The light that’s cast here needs to be even, glare free and flattering. To achieve this, drop your lights so that the centre of each shade sits at eye level.
When it comes to spacing your wall lights, we’d suggest aiming to keep them around 250-300cm away from each other, although again, this will depend on the size of your space.
As for spotlights, keep them one metre from where the ceiling meets the wall to avoid shadows. And to work out the spacing for ceiling mounting, simply divide your ceiling height by two to get the right distance.
The amount of light needed in a room will depend a lot on its use. Kitchens and bathrooms (functional spaces) will generally require greater levels of light than sitting rooms or bedrooms (living spaces).
When looking at how much light a room needs, we tend to talk in lumens: a unit that measures visible light output (more on this and other lighting terms here).
Broadly speaking, living spaces will require roughly 110-215 lumens per square metre, while the ambient areas of functional spaces like kitchens and bathrooms will need around 250-380 lumens per square metre.
The parts of these functional spaces used for tasks, however, will need anywhere between 600-850 lumens per square metre.
Bear in mind that this is just a general guide, but it should help you to get a good idea of the basic level of light you need.
Now, let’s talk about our own spotlights and how many you’ll need.
At Corston, we offer two sizes of surface-mounted spotlights: 35mm and 50mm.
Our 35mm spotlights are designed for use with our GU10 Court narrow beam LED bulb.
In living spaces, we’d suggest using one of our 35mm spotlights per three square metres (100-120 lumens per m2). In functional spaces, it would be one 35mm spot per one square metre (300-320 lumens per m2).
Our 50mm spotlights work with our GU10 Arthur wider beam bulbs.
In living spaces, we’d suggest one 50mm spot per five square metres (100-120 lumens per m2). And in functional spaces, it’s one per two square metres (300-320 lumens per m2).
Many of our wall lights come in two different sizes: small and medium.
You may wish to opt for the medium-sized versions of our designs in larger, higher-ceilinged rooms to stop the fittings from getting ‘lost’ on the wall.
Keep in mind, however, that increasing the size of the wall light won’t increase the light output.
When it comes to spotlights, on the other hand, increasing the size will increase the light output. In other words, our 50mm single and double spotlights house LEDs that cast a wider beam angle than our 35mm options.
A few more tips and tricks on lighting your space, in brief:
Lighter coloured walls and furniture will, overall, make a room appear brighter.
Our Chester 50mm GU10 12° bulb will create more dark areas as it’s highly directional.
All our bulbs are 2700K – a nice warm colour temperature. You can source compatible 4500K bulbs from other suppliers of you want a light that’s closer to daylight and slightly brighter.
Always keep your bulb colour temperatures consistent in a room.