“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey,” as the famous lyrics from The Mamas & The Papas song go, and we’re turning up our thermostats. This can only mean one thing: British Summer Time is coming to an end, marked by the changing of the clocks this weekend (29 October 2023). As the days get shorter and darker, now is the time to assess your home lighting.
Lighting has the power to make or break a room and enables you to get the ambience just right, explains Katie Sims at Ideal Home “Good lighting can transform the atmosphere in our home, and subsequently impact our mood. We rely on cosy ambient lighting to help us relax in the evenings, while lights in smaller rooms make them feel more airy and spacious. Updating our lights is therefore a worthy endeavour, whether that’s in one room with new kitchen lighting ideas or throughout the house all over.”
So, it’s worth re-evaluating your lighting as the seasons shift to ensure it still works for you and your home. Take time to think about where the natural light falls; where in a room you’re going to be undertaking certain tasks; and most importantly, how you want to feel in a room – selecting appropriate light fittings for each area is key. Need some help? Here are a few ideas to consider when it comes to illuminating your home for autumn:
We often talk about layered lighting, but what is it exactly? Layering light is about combining different kinds of light to create the desired atmosphere while emphasising various aspects of the space.
These layers can include general, decorative, task and accent lighting, each playing a part in creating the perfect ambience. Choose what works best for you based on how you intend to use the space throughout the day and night. For example, use table or floor lamps as task lighting to highlight busy workspaces and reduce shadows caused by ceiling lights, whereas a small orb table lamp can provide a cosier feel, perfect for unwinding.
Mimic natural light
A key factor when it comes to lighting is placement. High-traffic rooms, such as your living room or kitchen, are used throughout most of the day – so replacing natural light with well-placed lighting once it’s dark outside is a must. For instance, if you have skylights in your living room, consider positioning a lighting option directly below them. This will help compensate for the diminishing daylight, ensuring a consistent brightness in the room.
Introduce a soft glow
Low-level lighting – covered with a naturally diffused shade made from bamboo, rattan and raffia – casts interesting shadows at floor level, giving the space a warm, relaxed vibe.
Just as lovely with the light off as with the light on, the patterns and delicate quality of these Kashmir porcelain lamps make them a must-have for those looking to create a snug, homely atmosphere in their home.
If possible, avoid cold white light bulbs – opt for a soft, warm yellow light, rather than stark white.
Opt for LEDs
Have you checked your bulbs lately? By replacing all the bulbs in your home with LED lights, you could reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 50kg a year, equivalent to the emissions produced by driving your car around 145 miles.
LED lights use about half the energy of the larger fluorescent spiral ‘energy-saving bulbs’ and last a lot longer too. According to the Energy Saving Trust, switching from 60-watt traditional bulbs to LEDs could save you up to £6 per bulb per year, and when you consider the number of lights in your home, these savings can really accumulate!
Become energy savvy
Lighting accounts for 11% of the average UK household electricity consumption, and with rising energy prices, it’s important to keep on top of your usage.
The quickest and simplest way to start saving is by remembering to turn off lights when they’re not needed. The typical household could save almost £20 a year just by switching off the lights when leaving a room. Also, be mindful of the number of lights you have on in a room. If the main light is on, do you also need the lamp?
And lastly, make sure lamp shades and fittings are regularly cleaned to help enhance the impact of the light.