Make lighting part of your house plan

Wednesday December 5 2018

Planning for lights after construction may mean

Planning for lights after construction may mean breaking parts of your house to incorporate certain lighting designs. Shutter photo 

By Gabriel Buule

Unlike in the past when lighting was all about a lamp holder and a bulb, today lighting is proving to be assuming a place in architecture with the people purposely considering it in their plans.
Annet Alitusabira, a lighting expert at Crystal Euro Lights in Kampala, explains that when designing lights for your home, put into consideration the purpose of the room, and section of the house.
“Deciding on your lighting scheme is an essential part of the home design process because it needs to be thought out and detailed on the detailed design drawings. Proper lighting design can make a vast difference to how comfortable and safe your house is,” says Alitusabira.

She explains that it is costly to deal with a house whose original architectural plan never considered lighting. She says dealing with modern lights on such a structure calls for redesign and at some point breaking to insert the necessary points or else missing out the details that would have created a cozy atmosphere in a home.
“In the past, lighting was the last task on the house. Actually, upon completion of all other tasks such as plumbing, furnishing the house, wiring, painting, one could insert lamp holders and thereafter bulbs and that was it with the lighting,” shares Alitusabira.

The plan
With modern lighting concepts, all the lighting details need to be part of the architectural plan. For example, if you are going to have mirrors, then plan for mirror lights. If you are to have pictures, plan for pictorial lights. For staircase on a storeyed house, plan for staircase lights. For pillars, plan for wall washer lights. For perfect additions to a room, plan for wall brackets. However, to be able to remember these details, you need a well laid out on a plan to ensure all necessary points are put in place during wiring.
Robert Musoke, a mason in Munyonyo, Kampala, says warm and inviting are some of the words used to describe environments that contain lamps with a correlated colour temperature that are good for places such as the kitchen, starecase and all busy areas in the house.

Unlike Musoke and Alitusabira, Joseph Ssali, a lighting expert and a house finisher, says there are no rules set when lighting a house that all one needs is to know what they want. “Everyone has a different idea about what type of lights they like and the level of light that is pleasing to them. Some people like pockets of light for a homely feel and others a bright and airy feel. Whatever you prefer, it is worth having a degree of flexibility into your design so you can change the feel and ambience of the room if, and when you want to,” Ssali explains.
Ssali says the most important thing is safety. Lights must comply with electricity safety standards. Also, bear in mind how much electricity a particular light consumes and the health of the people where the light is fitted.

Task lighting
Musoke says for dimmable lighting, one needs to invest in a small dimly lit lamp to avoid digging the walls again if not planned for on the original blue prints. If not positioned near the cot or bed, trailling cables can be dangerous.
Alitusabira points out that activities that occur in a particular section of the house should be put into consderation. “This is where the term ‘task lighting’ comes from. Determining the sort of tasks an area will be used for will go a long way in ensuring the right lighting is installed from the beginning.” Alitusabira explains.

Whether building a new home or renovating an existing one, Alitusabira says it is easy to get carried away figuring out the colour of walls, the location of furniture and forget about lights. “Something that often gets forgotten about, and which can have a profound effect on the look and feel of a home, is lighting. Strategically placed and different coloured lights, lighting ‘scenes’ and landscape lighting can drastically alter the way you feel about your home, how you interact with your home, and according to some, even your mood and health,” Alitusabira says.

The children’s bedroom
“Like for the case of children and babies rooms low energy lamps which have either fluorescent or LED bulbs are called for. These bulbs are cooler and cheaper to run - let’s face it, kids are not famous for switching their lights off,” Ssali adds.
Using the modern lighting concepts, children are inspired by the cool ways you light their spaces. With the modern lighting concepts, one can design a children’s room with features that can make the child love their room at all times.
Mishel Kisakye, a mother and lights merchant in Luzira, urges that whether it is trendy lights, practical lighting, cartoon lights for baby’s room, lights for the young should be colourful and bright lights.
“Lighting schemes that will grow with the child or one to help with the bedtime routine many parents are unsure what type of lighting is best for their children’s room. For instance, a light for a baby’s nursery isn’t the perfect light for your trendy teenager,” notes Kisakye.

She further advises that children also need the security of a dim light and she says for this case, one needs to fit a dimmer switch on the wall and dim the light when it is bed time.
Alitusabira says for one to deal with nightmares in children, one can use the recessed blue strip lighting around the perimeter of the bedroom. This gives a very cool light, which does not generate heat yet it gives a sleeping and ambient atmosphere. In the centre of the room, a colourful pendant can be fixed to add an excellent level of light across the room
Wall brackets are fixed on the sides of the room which serve as bedside lights for reading, freeing up the room on nightstands.
Create an ambient place for the children to sleep and rest that brightens the bedroom with a range of lighting.

Indoor lighting
She emphasises that the bathrooms generally benefit from lighting that allows you to see wet spots on the floor to avoid any accidents. She says the bathroom just like the kitchen and corridors, need a lot of light and she also emphasises that spot-lights should be used in addition to usual bulbs.
Putting beauty into consideration, decorative lights, mirror lights, picture lights, wall brackets add a warm glow of light to create a cozy atmosphere making areas where they are placed beautiful.

Outdoor areas
Annet Alitusabira, a lighting expert, explains one needs to install floodlights with a motion sensor fitted for security in the exterior. She notes that use of Motion sensors are good at saving power unlike the usual bulbs that light thought the night.
Also consider garden lights to make your garden more enticing. You can for instance, have paver lights in the driveways and walkways to create a lighted border that looks good.
In case you have pillars, consider using pillar lights, which enhance beauty besides its warm glow creating a cozy atmosphere.
Outdoor security lighting discourages would-be intruders from targeting your home as it would be hard for them to break in unnoticed.

“The best lighting design allows physical detection and facial recognition, minimises hiding spots, and increases your sense of safety. Illuminate your home’s exterior with functional and stylish outdoor wall lighting and also showcase your home at night and provide security by illuminating dark areas. Adding outdoor wall lights to your home is an easy way to illuminate a front or side entrance.” Alitusabira
Alitusabira emphasises that outdoor lighting add beauty and dimension to a home.

Consider that bright light is good for:
• Corridors
• Kitchen
• Bathroom

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