Let there be light!
Darren Staniforth, technical expert at leading electrical regulatory body, NICEIC advises on the latest lighting innovations for the home and the importance of keeping electrical safety first.
Although one of the most underestimated design tools, lighting can have a transformational effect on the interior concept, changing the mood or feel of a room in the blink of a switch. With the right lighting, objects come to life. It can be used to illuminate the various textures in the garden creating an atmospheric, alfresco experience, while even the most basic bathroom setting can appear as a luxury, spa-like retreat. What's more, with so many different lighting options now available, from LEDs, colour-changing, smart solutions and more, the possibilities afforded by today's options are infinite.
So, when it comes to sprucing up the home, it's time to focus less on changing the paint or soft furnishings, and switch on to lighting. Darren Staniforth, technical expert at leading electrical regulatory body, NICEIC advises on the latest lighting innovations for the home and the importance of keeping electrical safety first.
Contrasting between the broad spectrum of soft and cool whites can create a stunning style statement. Beautiful in simplicity, white LED strips can be used in alcoves to create an extra warm glow, naturally commanding attention.
Stairway to Style
Lighting up a staircase is stylish and safe – but choosing the right option for your home is key. Traditionally, overhead pendants have been the preferred option, and more recently small recessed wall lights evenly spaced up the stairs. But, as many modern open plan homes have less walls and more glass, finding suitable surfaces in which to install the fittings can prove tricky. However, the good news is that concealing the lighting within the staircase can provide a neat and practical solution to this problem.
An LED strip can be recessed within a staircase in three ways - within the stringer, beneath each tread, and below the handrail. With the light source cleverly concealed, the eye is instead drawn to the surfaces being lit. The result is an atmospheric glow when illuminated as feature lighting, as well as providing ample light to safely see the stairs at night. Finally, it's important to remember that given the complexities involved in stairway lighting, all installations should be done by a registered installer with an approved body such as via NICEIC.
How Does Your Garden Glow?
Outdoor lighting is a great way to extend the enjoyment of your garden, drawing the eye beyond the black night sky into another space beyond.
Here, it's important to remember that a little bit of light goes a long way. Simple LED spike spotlights, for example, can create attractive highlights when positioned throughout the garden while sculptural plants look fantastic illuminated, especially when positioned against a wall or fence to create dramatic shadows. Equally, wall lights can transform a terrace into an outdoor eating area, while steps and paths should be lighted to aid safety.
In terms of what products to choose, it's important to purchase fixtures that are designed to withstand the British climate so always look for a weatherproof rating of IP65 or above and a minimum 5-year warranty. Copper and marine grade stainless steel (316L) are attractive finishes that will last well outdoors – plus Copper weathers to an attractive Verdigris finish over time which camouflages the fitting within the garden foliage.
Again, it's always important to keep safety first. If in doubt, it is always advisable to seek the help of a registered electrician. For further information please visit www.niceic.co.uk