All about apartment lighting
The light is capable of transforming the same room beyond recognition, creating a mood in it from the romantic soft twilight of a lady’s boudoir to the surgeon’s dazzling light, like a surgeon’s scalpel. This phenomenon is actively used in the theater by light artists who, with the help of lighting, change the atmosphere of the stage without changing the scenery. Successful lighting of an apartment can turn it into a fabulous palace, and unsuccessful ruthlessly expose its flaws. So, as in Zoshchenko’s story, the residents of a communal apartment with the just electric light found out the wretchedness of their monastery, which was always hidden by dark corners. Gone are the days when the choice of light sources began with a lonely chandelier on the ceiling and ended with a floor lamp by a chair and a table lamp on a desk, today everyone can turn an apartment into a wonderful theater of light and shadow with the help of light. And if you intend to create an apartment lighting with your own hands, get acquainted with the secrets of design in this area, creating miracles.
- Light: pragmatism and magic
- Rules and Secrets of Lighting Design
- Development of an apartment lighting project
- Standards for power and number of fixtures
- Apartment Lighting Scheme
Light: pragmatism and magic
The following lighting devices are used for lighting in modern interiors of residential premises:
- incandescent lamps;
- fluorescent lamps;
- halogen and metal halide light sources;
- light cords “duralight”;
- optical fibers.
The spectrum of incandescent lamps is most comfortable for vision, but they only spend about 10% of their power on creating light, and the rest is converted into thermal energy. Therefore, in a room with too many incandescent bulbs it will always be hot and stuffy, as in a photo studio or television studio.
Fluorescent lamps do not heat up, but until recently they were reluctantly used to illuminate housing because of uncomfortable bluish-white light, an unpleasant hum and the need for additional starting devices to connect. The modern generation of energy-saving fluorescent lamps is free from these shortcomings and they can very well be used instead of incandescent lamps.
Halogen and metal halide lamps emit a rather narrow directional beam of light, and therefore are more suitable for lighting certain areas or highlighting key interior elements – paintings, sculptural groups, columns, niches, etc..
LEDs are durable, do not heat up, in their very wide range there are no infrared and ultraviolet radiation harmful to human health. The durability of LEDs is 80 times the life of incandescent lamps. But the light output of the LEDs is not so great as to be used as independent light sources, and therefore in the interior they are used more often for decorative lighting or as a night lamp. Duralight light cords are decorative light sources based on LEDs, widely used for light decoration of interior elements or in outdoor street lighting.
Optical fibers emit light only from the ends, but by removing them long distances from the main light source and using special nozzles, you can create magical fantastic lighting effects.
Rules and Secrets of Lighting Design
Architects and designers have long used lighting in the interior of an apartment or house as an effective tool for visual correction of unsuccessful room geometry.
One of the main rules of design is that bright light visually expands the space if reflective materials are used in the decoration of walls and ceilings. If you need to visually reduce too large a room, then the surface is shaded.
Lamps with upward reflectors visually “raise” too low ceilings. Too high a ceiling will appear lower if it is obscured with downward-directed lampshades of light sources.
A competent design of the lighting of an apartment must necessarily harmoniously combine a source of general lighting, for example, a main chandelier on the ceiling, and spotlights of local spot lighting. It is very important that the lighting control in the apartment in this case ensures the independent operation of each type or group of lamps.
The general lighting of the room can be a little muffled, because its purpose is to provide free orientation in the room and easy communication of the inhabitants. The role of the local brighter light is the lighting of workplaces, which include a secretary or a desk, a work area in the kitchen, as well as a dining table in the dining room or living room.
The rules of the organization of lighting also recommend that you highlight the wall behind the TV or the space behind the computer monitor: this technique, without violating the brightness of the screen, reduces eye strain and fatigue.
In the bedroom, it is better to make the general light diffused, slightly lowering the height of the ceiling, and for the mirror and bedside tables to provide brighter lamps or lamps. If the listed rules for the use of light in the interior of a large house are advisory in nature, then lighting a studio apartment is often the only zoning tool for not too large space, which simultaneously serves as a living room, study, bedroom and even dining room.
In the bathroom, the toilet mirror is usually illuminated with additional lamps, and halogen spotlights play the role of general lighting. But the lighting of the corridor in the apartment must be planned in such a way that it is always possible to turn on the bright general light when you need to dress, put on shoes, and correct makeup.
In addition to the utilitarian role, the hallway also performs a presentable function of the apartment’s calling card, and so that the narrow corridor does not resemble a dungeon of a medieval castle, using light, it can be visually expanded and enlarged. Finally, the lighting of the corridor should be in harmony with the lighting of adjacent rooms: if the living room is brightly lit, then in the hallway they turn on bright overhead light and dim it if there is twilight in the next room. All these tasks are solved by local lamps..
There are no universal recipes for working with light, everyone chooses the concept of design and lighting for their housing, but in order to avoid mistakes, it will not hurt anyone to look through illustrated magazines and see how professionals create lighting in the apartment: photos, sketches, illustrations for projects.
Development of an apartment lighting project
In an interior design project, an apartment lighting project is usually carried out as an independent section, taking into account the layout of the rooms, the ceiling configuration, the boundaries of floor and ceiling decoration materials, the location of furniture and stationary elements.
On the basis of plans for ceilings and floors, an apartment lighting plan is developed, noting on it the types and locations of lighting fixtures, sockets and switches, both ceiling and wall – the so-called lighting scenario.
Standards for power and number of fixtures
One of the main conditions for comfortable lighting of a living room is the correct ratio of power, the number of lighting devices and the illuminated area. Lighting experts recommend using for every 5 sq.m. lighting devices with a total power of 60-75 kW.
Thus, you can independently calculate the optimal number of lamps for lighting each room of your apartment or use the following recommendations:
- for a one-room apartment with an area of 30-40 sq.m no more than eight lamps are required, for example, three ceiling lamps, a chandelier, two sconces, a floor lamp, a table lamp;
- for a two-room apartment, the optimal set of nine lamps can be represented by the following devices: two chandeliers, three ceiling lamps, a floor lamp, a table lamp and two sconces;
- for a three-room apartment you will need eleven lamps – you can add a chandelier and sconce to the set of appliances for a two-room apartment;
- eleven lamps are needed for a four-room apartment: the previous set can be supplemented with one ceiling lamp and another table lamp.
Apartment Lighting Scheme
In accordance with the plan, a detailed apartment lighting scheme is being developed, taking into account the connection schemes of each device, their groups, as well as lighting control devices.
In the drawing, the type of each switch is indicated with the number of keys indicated and the arrows indicate for which lighting device or group of devices it is intended. For too large rooms or long corridors, redundant switches for the same device can be provided by installing them at different points in the room. All wall and ceiling lighting fixtures in the diagram should be tied with the corresponding designations to the wall or the nearest opening, door or window.
Similarly, with reference to the nearest walls or openings, place on the diagram the location of sockets, switches and other devices involved in the lighting system.
With the finished project in hand, you can proceed with the installation of wiring and lighting fixtures and finally embody in the material the results of the painstaking work of the designer. But as a reward, your Cinderella apartment will turn into a beautiful princess and life around you will sparkle with new fantastic colors.