Lighting changes our environment and the way we feel about our environment.
We combine a creative and intelligent approach to lighting design with an understanding of the complex technical requirements you may have.
Our sole focus is achieving the best possible lighting for our clients in terms of aesthetics function, flexibility, maintenance & cost. With our experience of shop lighting, factory lighting and domestic lighting we have a wealth of knowledge that can be applied to your project whatever the size.
You might not realise you've got bad lighting but you'll recognise the symptoms: headaches and sore eyes, frustration in the kitchen at not being able to see what you're doing and arguments in the bedroom over whose turn it is to get up to switch out the light. Good lighting will make your home feel spacious, clean and welcoming.
The key is to create a flexible scheme that takes you right through the day and all the different uses of your room. At the flick of a switch, you should be able to transform it from a bright, vibrant living space to the setting for a romantic dinner for two.
It's a fantastic asset to any home, but the quality of the light depends on the aspect of the room.
Cold and harsh rather than direct sunlight. Artists choose north-facing studios because the light gives truer colour rendition.
Bright first thing in the morning followed by long shadows and no sun later in the day. Use artificial lighting to control glare and maximise the available natural light in north- and east-facing rooms.
warm light all day, although it changes throughout the day and year. The midday sun is usually so bright it flattens everything out. Choose south-facing rooms for the kitchen, main living areas and other rooms you spend a lot of time in.
Sunlight at the hottest part of the day, which can cause glare. In the late afternoon, you'll get long shadows and softer light.
Ambient or background lighting, plays the part of daylight and is usually provided by a central pendant light, a hangover from the days of gas lamps. It can be the source of most lighting problems as it creates a bland, flat effect.
However, if you supplement general lighting with some or all of the other types, you'll end up with a great, flexible scheme. Staples include ceiling-mounted bowls, wall lights, downlighters, uplighters and standard lamps.
This gives texture, focus and shape to general lighting, adding depth and shade, with shadows in some corners and pools of light in others. It's formed by a mixture of halogen spotlights, downlighters, uplighters, tracks and table lamps. With the latter, use opaque shades that direct light down and prevent it spilling out. Tracks are great for lighting different areas of a room.
Once the basics are in place, decide which possessions to highlight, whether it's glass, a favourite picture or a table decoration.
Light from below or behind. From below, place a row of low-voltage halogen spotlights beneath the shelf or a fluorescent strip hidden from view in a casing. From behind, use fluorescent strips not halogen, which doesn't give the right effect.
clip a spotlight on the underside of the shelf or put wall washers into the ceiling.
Pictures and paintings
It's tricky to light paintings well - and if they're behind glass you have the additional problem of glare. To avoid glare and give an even distribution of light, use an 'eyeball' light that can swivel, and set it to 'flood' (a broad beam). You could also mount an adjustable spotlight on a ceiling track and point it at a focal point in the painting.
Read the care instructions to check whether the plant loves sunlight or needs to be kept out of it. For a large pot, put an uplighter or a spotlight recessed into the floor behind it. The light bounces off the floor and the ceiling and diffuses back into the foliage of the plant to create unusual shadows. You can also buy tiny light 'spikes' that fit into the pot.
This is what you need to do a specific job, whether it's reading, working at a computer, cooking, drawing or sewing. It needs to be focused on the area you're using.
If light seeps out, you're likely to get glare from other surfaces, especially computer screens. Task lights come with tungsten, halogen or fluorescent bulbs, the Anglepoise being the best example.
What to look for in a task light
Go for a fully adjustable Anglepoise-style lamp, especially a cantilevered one, that can be angled and lowered.
Don't skimp on the price of your angled lamp. If the stem is too short it will be hard to get it high enough over your work, which will cause shadows. The more manoeuvrability the better.
Use inexpensive pull-down pendants or clip-ons.
Clip-on spotlights are useful, as you can move them to wherever they're needed.
Your light should be able to take Changing the lighting can alter the way a room looks, particularly the dimensions, just as much changing the colour of the walls.
To make your room appear larger
Use wall washers on a large expanse of light coloured ceiling.
Use uplighters to bounce light onto the ceiling and walls.
Create panels of light at one end of the room - your eye will be pulled along towards it, making the space appear longer.
Light all four corners of the room.
To make your room appear taller
Use vertical light beams,
Hang pendant lights low.
To make your room appear cosier
Use several table lamps, singularly or in clusters, to create lots of little low pools of light in a large, high room.
Don't allow light onto the ceiling.
Follow our simple guide to which bulbs should be used for which purpose, and you won't go wrong.
Remember: never to put a higher wattage bulb than the fitting instructions suggest; and buy the highest wattage allowed then control it with a dimmer.
• Tungsten (incandescent)
• The everyday household bulb.
• Light: warm, yellowish.
Available in: clear, pearl, silver reflector or coloured versions with bayonet cap (BC), small bayonet cap (SBC), Edison screw (ES or E27) and small Edison screw (SES or E14). The clear type is best when the bulb is visible, in a chandelier for example, whereas the silver reflector is perfect for spotlights.
Ideal for: creating warmth, cosiness, intimacy.
Advantages: cheap and easy to find. They use mains electricity and don't need transformers or additional equipment.
Disadvantages: if you use a wattage that's too high your paper shade might get scorched, which could be dangerous. Constantly switching them on and off will shorten the lifespan. They tend to blow suddenly.
Known simply as halogen bulbs, they burn at a much higher heat than tungsten and the case has to be made from quartz rather than glass to withstand the temperature.
Light: whiter and purer than tungsten.
Available: in low voltage (low-voltage tungsten halogen or LVTH) and mains voltage. For the former, you'll need a transformer, fitted or inbuilt, to keep the wattage down to 12 volts.
Ideal for: uplighters.
Advantages: energy-efficient. With low-voltage bulbs, the design can be slim and compact. The mains-voltage type can be used in conventional fittings without a transformer, but ask your electrician or manufacturer to be sure.
Disadvantage: expensive to replace.
They're associated with the harsh, buzzing strips of factories and offices, but they're now available in lots of new varieties.
Light: flat (curved and circular tubes are better).
Available in: compact fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs (known as compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs) that look like ordinary ones.
Ideal for: mini strip lights in kitchens.
Advantages: energy efficient and economic. Can be used with mains-voltage fittings.
Disadvantages: can't be fitted with dimmers.
They cast distinct pools of light onto the surface below. They're usually recessed into the ceiling or mounted on the surface and can be fixed or directional. They suit modern and period homes, but you might not have enough recess in the ceiling or prefer not to cut into it and disrupt plasterwork or period detail.
Install downlighters in areas where fixtures are unlikely to move, such as above kitchen and bathroom surfaces, rather than at the ends of furniture. Without wall lights the effect can be gloomy, and rows of them can make you feel as though you're in a shop.
The eyeball type of downlighter that can be swivelled is perfect for accent lighting to highlight a particular feature.
Lighting empty rooms and using bulbs of the wrong wattage for the fittings are two of the most common ways to waste energy.
Try these simple ways to cut down your electricity bills and help save the planet.
Turn lights off when you leave the room.
Replace ordinary bulbs with low-energy ones, especially those you leave burning for four hours or more. You might have to pay more up front - £5 as opposed to £1 - but you'll save in the long run. They're available in many shapes and sizes, although some can't be used with dimmers.
Look for CFLs - they use 25 per cent less energy than ordinary bulbs and last up to 13 times longer.
Fit timers and dimmer switches. Motion sensors that turn on and off when you enter and leave are already being installed in some houses although they're expensive at the moment.
The bulb is encased in a housing and can be ceiling mounted or recessed.
Consider how the fittings will distribute the light. This will depend in part on where you put them and whether you conceal or make a feature of them. Visit the lighting shop armed with your lighting plan.
Think about the look you want. Do you prefer minimalist, for example, or period. Chances are, it's a mixture. Track spotlights can sit comfortably alongside Victorian shades, although they have to be mixed carefully. It is a shame to cut into elaborate plasterwork ceilings to fit recessed downlights, and a chrome-and-steel light fitting might look inappropriate hanging from a Victorian ceiling rose.
Look at the light when it's off as well as on - it can appear quite different. More light will get through transparent shades than opaque ones, which give more localised pools of light.
There are two types of glare - direct and indirect.
Direct glare occurs when you look at a bare bulb - you'll get spots before your eyes and maybe see a lasting image, especially if you're in a darkened room.
Indirect glare is caused by a reflection of light, perhaps in a television or computer screen or even a polished surface. Avoid it by positioning lights so you can't see the bulbs directly. Pendants hanging at eye level are especially uncomfortable for dinner guests.
These usually hang from the centre of the room. Used alone, they're the main cause of the 'interrogation cell' look. Although they're a good starter for general lighting, they need a boost from other sources.
They tend to flatten shadows and cast a dim light. It helps to fit a dimmer or hang them on an adjustable flex so you can change the height or clip them out of the way. They come in a myriad of styles, from the ubiquitous paper lantern to chandeliers.
A tall, freestanding light with a heavy base, which moves up, downand sideways.
Several spotlights or floodlights can be attached to a track to take rows of LVTH or mains-voltage lights with no need for a transfomer. You can use more than one circuit, so you can have all the lights on at once or just some.
They throw light onto the ceiling, which then bounces off, creating a soft look. They work best in rooms with light-coloured ceilings, particularly in studies as the fact that the light is directed upwards prevents glare.
Use them behind sofas or large pieces of living room furniture. The light they create matters more than the lamp, so they're usually tall and slender with minimal decoration. Put them in corners or in pairs and fix them at eye level or higher. A clip-on spotlight angled upwards creates the same effect.
Any fitting mounted on the wall, from shades to frosted fittings. They diffuse light gently into the room and are perfect for adding general lighting. Ceramic bowls diffuse light towards the ceiling; translucent ones give a softer light. They're perfect for hallways and living rooms.
They give off an even stream of light. Often mounted on or recessed into the ceiling. Sometimes only the silver reflector shows, which gives out a brilliant light.