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6 Common Lighting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Lighting your home … it’s just about installing some downlights and then adding some statement pieces right?  Wrong.  Too many of us make some all too common lighting mistakes.

Lighting can make or break the final aesthetic of your home.  To help you avoid some of the common lighting mistakes, we have put a few together with some simple tips to help you get it right.

Choosing the Wrong Size Fitting for your Space

This is one of the most common lighting mistakes people make.  It’s easily done, you fall in love with a fitting, and forget that it will overwhelm your dining table, or not provide enough light to work in your kitchen!  This is particularly the case when you are looking at statement pieces.  Not only does it look out of proportion, the light it provides will likely also be inappropriate.

A good tip for sizing ant statement light fitting pendant light or chandelier over your dining table is to ensure the width of the fitting is around 30cm smaller than the width of your table.  If choosing a single light fitting for you room, a good rule of thumb is to ensure the diameter of your fitting is around 10% of the total diameter of the room.

Common Lighting Mistakes - Choosing the wrong size fitting

Installing Only one Light Source in a Space

A statement light fitting can add real glamour to your space, however, it is important to make sure you have adequate lighting to also complete tasks.  Only installing one light source in a room will more often than not leave some areas of the room dark.

Solving this problem involves the use of layered lighting, which enables you to light areas within your space appropriately.  Effective lighting requires multiple layers of lights that will compliment each other, and fulfill different tasks.  Read more about ambient and task lighting to help you get the layers right.

Common Lighting Mistakes - installing only one light source

Overuse of Downlights

The overuse of downlights is another one of those common lighting mistakes.  It’s easily done, particularly, if you are only installing one light source in your space.  It’s easy to get carried away trying to light every corner of a room, and ultimately, leads to a ceiling covered in downlights.  To properly illuminate a room, however, light should reflect from the walls, and downlights are not as equipped as other forms of lighting to do this.  Besides, looking unsightly and harsh if too many are installed, it can also take away any feeling of warmth or character that a pendant or lamp may bring to your room.

Downlights are great for providing that overall ambient light within a room.  Keeping in mind that downlights are not always the best lighting solution to providing task lighting, or even accent lighting, you will be more inclined to bring other lighting elements in to help create a functional, and inviting space.

Common Lighting Mistakes - overuse of downlights

Under Lighting Small Spaces

Small spaces in your home include things like the pantry, the wardrobes, and even the laundry.  They are easy to forget about spaces, as they are not on show, but they are some of the most important spaces to light correctly.

All too often, these spaces are lit with a single overhead light, which will create shadows and dark areas in the space and leave you feeling like you can’t find what you need, at least not easily!  Give more consideration to these spaces using things like LED strip lights or under cabinet lights.  These will provide real impact, but more importantly, help to eliminate shadows and dark spots.

Common Lighting Mistakes - under lighting small spaces

Selecting the Wrong Colour Temperature

We’ve all done it … bought a globe and installed it at home and realised it is a completely different shade of white to the rest of the globes in your home!  Getting the colour temperature right is one of the most common lighting mistakes.  It is important to set the tone of a space in your home, and this can be done by selecting the right colour temperature of your globes.  Read more on the differences between cool white and warm white and the most appropriate applications for each.

Not Considering the Needs of the Space you are Lighting

It’s really easy to fall in love with a light fitting that fits our aesthetic perfectly without considering it’s functionality.  Buying a light purely for decorative purposes can leave your spaces lacking, and is another of the most common lighting mistakes.

Consider the needs of your space, and then choose fittings that will first light it appropriately, and then fit with your décor.  A statement fitting supplying the wrong type of light can ruin the overall aesthetic of a room as much as a fitting that doesn’t fit your décor.

Our top tip – speak to a lighting expert about your needs.  And, if you find a fitting you fall in love with, but isn’t quite right, see if they can find you something similar.  A specialty lighting expert can generally access more than what they may have on display!

Ignoring the Shadows

Installing a lighting fitting in the wrong place can lead to shadows.  In some areas of your home, shadows will provide an ambience, however, in others, it will prevent you from completing tasks within the space.  Your kitchen and bathroom, for instance, are two rooms in your home where shadows are not appropriate.

Installing more than one light source will help alleviate this.  Steering away from more open fittings that provide less directed light will also help in those task oriented spaces of your home. 

Placement of fittings is also important.  Avoiding installation of overhead lighting in your bathroom, for instance will help eliminate shadows on your face at the mirror.  Smaller wall lights, or lights that frame the mirror are a better option.

Common Lighting Mistakes with bathroom lighting

There are many factors to consider when planning lighting for your home.  How do you light it appropriately to complete necessary tasks?  How do you ensure you have the right lighting to create that inviting feel?  How do you select lighting that will fulfill all your needs, and still create a statement that is aesthetically pleasing?

These are only some of the considerations.  Rovert Lighting & Electrical can help you get your lighting plan right, and ensure you don’t make some of these common mistakes.  Speak to one of our lighting experts today.

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