Lighting Design Tips - Testament Interiors

Lighting 101

The History of the light bulb

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Over centuries humans have used different forms of light to work in the evenings and travel at night. In 1802, Humphry Davy invented the first commercial electric light. Over time, multiple inventors had various forms of lights and in 1878, Thomas Edison successfully created the first incandescent lamp. In 1880 after several patent attempts, he commenced the commercial manufacture of light bulbs with his company Edison Electric Light Company.

Today the light bulb has evolved to LED (Light emitting diode) which is a more efficient way to conduct light.

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Customer specifications

It is important to establish at the outset the lighting budget and how you wish to live and use the spaces within your home, office, or commercial space. Questions I ask my clients include do you like to read at night and require a dedicated reading light? Are there areas you would like to create mood lighting or can use dimmer switches to control the light brightness? It is important to send clients a lighting wish list so they can work out how they will move and live within the interior spaces as this will be the base for the lighting plan and space planning.

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Lighting Plans

Investing in a robust lighting plan is a wise investment. This will not only ensure that the house is lit practically but will save you money and time by having lights in the correct positions and preventing having to add further lighting after construction. It is important that you have established a budget and are clear with the specifications before you commence with a lighting plan to avoid cost blowouts and unmet expectations.

Lighting types

It can be very confusing when looking at lights and where to start. I always suggest to clients to not be tempted by cheap quality downlights that they purchase online. From the outside they may look similar, but their function and longevity will be the difference. It may cost more in the beginning, but the long-term sustainable investment is to use a highly qualified Electrician and the installation of good quality lights that will stand the test of time.

Once upon a time you could choose either warm or cool light bulbs or down lights but now you can choose sunset diming which controls the light output spectrum and enables the user to natural light effect. This is very important from a circadian aspect as this helps you body clock begin to enter the wind down stage of the day. It is suggested that the lighting in your home is dimed two hours before bedtime to help prepare your body for rest. This enables your body and brain to fully relax and restore overnight.

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Feature Lights

Once you know the areas you wish to light, I always like to include beautiful feature lights including entrance ways, stairwells, Kitchen islands and dining tables. Its important to know how these will look when lit up and if they throw shadows or create a pattern effect so that you are not disappointed after they are installed.

Depending on the style of the space its important that the lighting matches the design style. If you are doing an organic space, you would choose organic shaped and natural coloured lighting for example not a modern brightly coloured pendant.

Current trends include reflective lighting that is artistic and thought-provoking. The use of glass and metals in feature lights is on trend this year and creates statement pieces that will elevate your living spaces.

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LED strip lighting

A popular choice in lighting for interior spaces is LED lighting strips. These are constructed using flexible circuit boards that can be used at angles up to 90 degrees and in numerous applications throughout both the interior and exterior spaces.

Popular places to install these include stairwells, kitchens and negative detail spaces to create depth and mood lighting. Even wet areas including laundry and bathrooms can use strip lighting by using neon strip which the LED sits within and will withstand moisture penetration.

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Functionality and Control

Once you have decided what your lighting needs are, set a budget and have a lighting plan, the last step is to decide how you wish to control the lights within your space. This includes where the light switches will be placed in rooms if you require two-way switching (at different ends of a room). Do you require dimmer mechanisms (round dials that control the brightness of the light). Would you include a smart hub to control lighting at the push of a button or a remote device that links to your cellular device? This means you can control lights or turn off your space from another room within the house, or work, in preparation for your homecoming.

The use of timer switches and sensor activation can help lights become more efficient and save you money on power usage. Examples include down hallways that come on as movement is detected and turn off after a preprogrammed time delay. Lights can be programmed to dim at a certain time of the evening in preparation for bedtime and help create a sleep schedule that is scientifically proven to reduce health issues, and stress and prevent mental health decline.

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“In the midst of darkness, light persists” Mahatma Gandhi


I love improving people's well-being, by creating beautiful, sustainable and harmonious interiors spaces that reflect a person's life journey.

Sarah Parry

Testament Interiors By Sarah Parry

In Summary

By following the above steps and choosing a good reputable Electrician like Fused Electrical and working with an interior designer who understands the importance of Lighting design and following a structured process. This will create a space that is a joy to live and work in and create a harmonious and healthy place to journey life. Want to know more then contact Sarah to book a 20-minute discovery call so we can transform your space and transform your life.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Blessings Sarah 

# The June blog will be on Staycations: The Winter Edition

Interior Designer; Personal Branding; Business Photography; Commercial Photography; Giselle B Photography

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