Optimise your illumination with wall lights

Most rooms will have a ceiling light of some kind to create ambient illumination; however, there are many places in which the addition of wall lighting will be invaluable. There are many different types available, from traditional sconces to contemporary bulkhead lights that can really enhance your home’s interior.

Larger rooms, such as living rooms, really benefit from the additional illumination that wall lights bring. They are also ideal if you want a softer lighting effect, perhaps whilst entertaining or relaxing in the evening. Many central ceiling lights are available with matching wall lights to give a seamless look; alternatively, different styles can be used to create a range of effects. Uplighters are perfect for when you want to illuminate bigger spaces or darker rooms, as they have a large diffusion range. Place these near corners and the light will be reflected not only off the ceiling but also off both walls, creating a wide, appealing glow.

Downlighters are the ideal option when you want to highlight decorative features such as paintings or wall hangings. These can be positioned above the feature that you wish to accentuate, not only to add extra lighting but also to really make it into an attractive focal point. When using downlighters, there are many different types to choose from, including contemporary horizontal bar models and more conventional bell lights. Whichever you choose, it is important to ensure the beam of light is positioned a little way from the wall and shining back onto the object you wish to illuminate to get the very best effect. You might even decide to incorporate side lights or swing arm wall lights on a hinged bracket that can be easily repositioned to suit your exact requirements.

Up-and-down lights have become increasingly popular in recent years. Usually square or rectangular, the open sides at the top and bottom of the fixture allow light to be diffused in both directions to create an interesting effect. Another on-trend option is to install plaster uplighters, which can be painted to match your decor.

For a sleek look, what about bulkhead lighting? This can look especially effective on the walls of contemporary homes and complements bare brick walls perfectly. It is also ideal if space is at a premium. Using this type of flat lighting is a great option on narrow staircases where good visibility is crucial but there is insufficient room for protruding light fixtures.

From highlighting dramatic focal points in your living space to creating the most stylish stairs, wall lights are a fantastic addition to your home.

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Add glamour with the latest luxe lighting trends

There is no doubt that lighting is an essential part of the home and that much of it can veer towards the functional rather than the beautiful; however, the right lighting can totally transform the appearance of an interior, adding far more than simple illumination. A well-chosen statement piece instantly lifts your decor out of the mundane and propels it into the stratosphere of the extraordinary. The new trend for all things luxe is a great way to add a touch of glamour to your home, giving it a sumptuous and decadent feel with very little effort – just one or two luxe lights can enhance the feeling of opulence throughout your interior.

Chandeliers are no longer the preserve of stately homes; instead, they can be found everywhere in a huge range of styles. Traditional candle-style lights are enduringly popular but have been given a contemporary makeover with the use of more unusual metals. Chrome, bronze, black wrought-iron and brushed aluminium are all great alternatives to the traditional yellow gold of the fixtures. Whereas once they would be found mostly in hallways or living rooms, chandeliers can now be found in every part of the house. A pair of contemporary-style chandeliers hung low over a dining table add elegance and atmosphere to the dining experience, whilst an elaborate and ornate fitting brings a welcome touch of opulence to a bedroom.

Chandeliers have also moved on in terms of design, with contemporary starburst fixtures perfect for those who want the luxurious feel a chandelier brings but without the traditional heavy framework. These make a bold and unusual centrepiece for any modern interior. It is also popular to include lots of crystal detailing on modern light fittings. Whilst clear crystals have a timeless appeal, coloured embellishments in pastel pinks and yellow, or even bold blues and greens, can look spectacular.

In addition to eye-catching metallic or shimmering crystals, luxe light fittings can include fabric shades. Banish all thoughts of 70s-style fringed brown lampshades and instead embrace the trend for heavy, luxurious fabrics in interior design. Ornately-embroidered material can be used in a variety of ways to accent decor, from cushions to curtain panels, and light fittings are no exception. A richly-decorated design adorned with gold or silver detailing is the perfect way to include understated yet stylish luxe glamour in your home.

From sumptuous fabrics to glittering chandeliers, luxe light fittings are a quick and simple way to instantly add glamour and opulence to any room.

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Save money with outdoor solar lighting

With energy costs accounting for an ever-larger proportion of our household bills, any opportunity to make savings should be welcomed. Spending money on running outdoor lighting can be an expense you may be reluctant to pay, but luckily there are some fantastic solar-powered options that will help to keep those electricity bills right down.

The UK may not have the sunniest climate; however, as contemporary solar lights rely on daylight rather than direct sun, this does not mean that solar power cannot be an effective solution to meet your lighting requirements. This not only does away with the need for mains power, which reduces the potential for costly bills, but also means that no electrician is required for installation.

There are many different types available and these can be used to light your garden in numerous ways. Post lights are an ideal option for inclusion on a driveway or decking area, with their 360-degree design providing maximum illumination. If you want to make the most of your garden’s features as the sun goes down, consider using solar lighting to highlight attractive flowerbeds, paths or even water features. Spike lights are available in a huge range of shapes, style and colours. They are easily secured into position by pressing into the ground and can be relocated in a matter of minutes if you need to move them.

Solar-powered lighting is not limited to small individual lights used to create an appealing ambient glow – it can also be much more powerful. Solar spotlights and floodlights are the latest in outdoor security lighting and can be used to direct a powerful beam up to 20 metres across your garden or patio. They feature a separate solar panel, either mounted on top of the fixture or on a separate spike, depending on the model. Unlike earlier solar lights that required direct sunshine to charge, many of these can be powered simply by daylight, ensuring they operate even when the weather has been cloudy. The solar panel charges throughout the day before powering the spotlights when the sun sets. Models with a separately-mounted solar panel are ideal if you need to illuminate a shady corner, as the charging panel can usually be situated up to five metres from the spotlight.

Whether you are looking for small lights to illuminate paths, decking and flowerbeds or more powerful exterior fixtures to protect your home’s security, solar-powered lighting is an efficient solution that works effectively and helps to reduce your energy bills.

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Clever lighting for neglected non-rooms

You have probably thought long and hard about lighting in the main rooms of your house, particularly your living room, kitchen and bedrooms; however, there are lots of spaces in the home that are not separate rooms but still require specific lighting. By including thoughtfully-chosen fittings, you can transform these often-neglected areas into useable and appealing spaces.

In many ways, your hallway is one of the most important spaces in your home. It is the first part of the interior that visitors see, and how it is decorated gives them a unique insight into your taste and personality. Many hallways tend to be quite dark, as there is often not very much natural light in this space; in addition, they are usually long, narrow areas, meaning that lighting them well is a priority.

You will need a good amount of functional lighting to illuminate this tricky space. Tracks of spotlights can be a good idea, as these can be angled to reach into any dark crevices; however, you will also want to create a strong decorative impression and a dramatic light fitting can greatly enhance the appeal of this space. If you have very high ceilings, take advantage with a bold chandelier; alternatively, opt for a light fitting that sits flush to the ceiling when headroom is at a premium. Add a cosy touch with a table lamp on a small bureau.

The lighting on your stairs needs to allow you to safely go up and down. Fixtures at the top and bottom can be in any style, but you may want to consider opting for bulbs that are brighter than in other rooms. For an ultra-modern touch, you may even want to include LED lights inset into each stair. Wall lights at intervals up the staircase look very attractive and add extra useful illumination.

Your upstairs landing is one of those spaces that you probably rarely think about. It probably is not seen that often by guests and may simply be an area you walk through on the way to the bedrooms, study, bathroom or airing cupboard; however, this is the perfect place to experiment with a bold light fitting. The decor here is usually quite neutral, especially if there is very little natural light, so add a vibrant touch with a colourful shade or eye-catching ceiling fixture.

The hall, stairs and landing may not be individual rooms, but this doesn’t mean they can’t look good. Use a combination of effective task lighting and attractive decorative lighting to create a welcoming and appealing ambience.

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Divine ideas for desk lighting

Whether you use a desk as part of your home office or simply to indulge in a favourite hobby, it is essential that the correct lighting is employed. This is not only to ensure that you can easily see what you are doing but also to make sure you are not subjecting your eyes to undue strain. Correctly choosing and positioning a desk lamp will greatly enhance the time spent at your desk.

Desk lamps need to provide enough task lighting so that you can clearly write, use your computer or carry out whatever jobs you need to. Adjustable lamps are ideal, as the beam can be directed exactly where you need it. These vary from traditional anglepoise lamps to the latest contemporary designs featuring fully-flexible stands.

The bulb you use needs to be bright enough to illuminates effectively but not so harsh that it creates excessive glare. It is also worth remembering that a desk lamp should not be the sole source of illumination, as the contrast between a dark room and a single low-standing bright bulb can strain the eyes. Use a desk lamp in conjunction with other ambient lighting, such as an overhead pendant.

If you do not have a designated office or study, you can use lighting to create a workspace in any small unused areas. A corner of the dining room or even the space under the stairs can be converted into a cosy nook in which you can work or your children can do their homework; in fact, these can be ideal for children, as you can keep an eye on them and in turn they will not feel too isolated. Whilst these spaces may not have the option of overhead lighting, they are likely to have a plug socket; therefore, a desk lamp can be a simple solution.

The positioning of your desk lamp is also key. You will obviously need to be near to a socket and it is sensible to ensure that the power cable is safely stowed away to minimise the risk of tripping. Your work space should ideally take advantage of any natural light, but equally you should ensure that the angle of the light does not cast shadows that obscure the surface or create unwelcome glare. A lamp that clips onto the side of the desk can be a fun option and one that is easy to reposition should the need arise.

An adjustable desk lamp is a valuable addition to your home office or study, enabling you to work in comfort.

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