Looking to create the home sweet home of your dreams, yet have no idea where to start at all, or any idea what type of lightings to buy for your home? We got your back! This article will give you the top 6 essential things you must-know when buying lamps, lightings and bulbs you need for your home.
1. Type of Ceiling
The type of ceiling you have in the space determines the type of lightings you can buy to install.
If you have false ceiling, you can consider installing recessed lightings which tend to be flush to the ceiling. The good thing is, if you intend to install surface mounted lights onto false ceiling, it can be done too. So false ceiling gives you an added benefit and flexibility of installing recessed light fittings. Also, another benefit of false ceiling is that you can choose exactly where you wish to install the light fittings, as your ceiling contractor can easily ‘open’ up a hole for installing the lighting, and effectively be able to install as many lightings as you need, without the worry for unsightly cables or insufficient lighting points (your electrician can easily do up more lighting points to fit more lights and have the cables run ‘above’ the false ceiling so they are not exposed).
If you have cove ceiling, you can also consider running T5 or T8 tubes along the perimeter of the cove, or also run LED strips along the perimeter of the cove, to create a nice indirect yet adequate lighting for the space.
If you have open ceiling, meaning directly ceiling slab or concrete ceiling, then you need surface mounted lightings which can be mounted directly onto the concrete. If the space is bigger, you can install several lightings too which can spread the illumination further, and one way to avoid unsightly cable in order to house more lights at one lighting point, is through the use of larger ceiling plates, so that these can allow you to house more lights at one lighting point, yet hide those unsightly cables which are required to provide this extension. You can find our large ceiling plates here: https://www.lightvault.com.sg/product-category/accessories/
2. Lighting Colour Temperature
There are generally 3 different types of lighting colors: warm-white, cool-white and daylight.
Warm-white (typically 2700K-3300K) is the more yellowish type of lighting tone, and is commonly used in Singaporean homes to create a more warm and cosy effect, typically bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms. Daylight (typically 5500K-6500K) is the pure white type of lighting tone, and is commonly used in Singaporean homes for studying or places which require more concentration, such as study rooms, or kitchen if a lot of cooking is done. Cool-white (typically 4000K-4200K) is in between the two above, and is the preferred choice of offices and office lightings.
Generally, we recommend homes to use predominantly warm-white lighting color, and to use daylight for study rooms and kitchen if a lot of cooking is done.
The choice of lighting color temperature can be a very personal choice hence you really have to go with your personal feel and also consult the end-users aka your family members – who’s using which room – to decide what’s the preferred lighting color temperature choice they favour.
3. Different Functions of Lightings
In professional lighting terms, we generally classify lightings into 3 different classes by function: Ambient (general) lightings, task lightings and accent lightings.
a. General (Ambient) Lightings
These are lightings which are most commonly used, used to illuminate an area throughout. These are also called mood lighting as they often set the mood of the space. Hence you can understand these are also the most important lightings in space.
Types of general (ambient) lightings include pendant lightings, chandeliers, wall lightings, track lights, and recessed downlights.
b. Task Lightings
Task lightings, as the name suggests, are intended for more specific applications specific to a task. Some common ones include reading lights in your study room, kitchen lights for food preparation, lights for your computer usage, or bedside lights for reading. Generally, for such tasks, you may require a higher level of illumination to do the task, hence such lights provide the required illumination for you.
Common types of task lightings include table lamps, floor lamps, under cabinet lights, track lights and vanity lights.
c. Accent Lightings
Accent lights on the other hand, is generally lighting which is placed purely for more aesthetic purpose, usually to provide a touch of illumination for the viewer, to accentuate a painting, plant, sculpture, a point of desired focus, or other decorations. Other items typically used to accentuate are outdoor landscaping, vertical gardens which are quite popular nowadays, or for that feature wall or unique design which you wish to highlight and make a focus.
Common types of accent lightings include wall lights, recessed downlights and landscape lightings.
Each of the above are like layers on top of the one before, hence always plan with general ambient lightings as the minimal base to start off from, then add on task lightings as necessary, and then accent lightings as desired.
4. Different Types of Lightings
Generally, lightings are classified into the various types as follows:
a. Pendant Lightings
Pendant lightings are lights which drop down from the ceiling to provide lighting closer to where the user needs it.
Arguably similar to pendant lightings, except they are usually larger and wider to spread the light across the space, these also drop down from the ceiling. In the past, chandeliers usually come with crystals ad dangles. However, in modern times, these lightings have evolved to be more contemporary in design and the term typically means larger pendant lightings which are more complex and usually larger.
c. Ceiling Lightings
Ceiling lightings are lights which are directly mounted onto the ceiling, so as to create general lighting for the space. The fact that the lighting is mounted high means the light can shine onto the upper part of the space and keep the space bright. And in typical Singaporean homes where ceiling heights are low, ceiling lights are a good addition to add general lighting to your space.
d. Wall lightings
Wall sconces, wall washers and other on-wall lighting fixtures are often used to create a nice mood in a space, or can be used as accent lightings to accentuate a point of focus such as paintings, art, plants, sculpture, etc., and are effective and versatile.
e. Track Lights
Tracklights are highly effective and versatile type of lights which enables the user to install them to effectively extend the lighting reach from just one lighting point, and such tracks can be joined up with connectors to extend their reach, meaning you can theoretically have unlimited (or a very long) track to spread your lightings wide and far across the space. Also, you can add on more lightings at any time as long as the track is there, in case in future you need more lightings. And another added advantage is that tracklights typically enable you to swivel and turn the light to shine at your desired angle, even after installation at any time, hence for example in future if you buy a painting, you can simply add on a tracklight and shine the light onto the painting directly, as a good point of focus for the place.
Downlights are lightings which are used a general (ambient) lightings to light up a space. Further split into recessed downlights and surface mounted downlights, recessed downlights are suitable only for use where there is false ceiling or plaster ceiling, and surface mounted downlights are suitable to use on both concrete ceilings as well as false ceilings.
5. Design Theme and Style
With interior design taking on different design themes, it is essential that the lighting design selected suits into your design theme. In our humble opinion, lighting can play the most critical role in the overall design theme and is one of the most important aspects of interior design. Serving purpose to enhance the overall interior aesthetics, as well as creating mood and ambience of your living space, the right lighting design theme and style is indispensable in whether your home or space leaves an impression
Many times, we’ve seen examples where good lighting is like the icing on the cake of good interior design, and easily becoming the focus of a space – what we call the statement lighting or centrepiece lighting – making a nice statement, and also creating statements quite literally in the light that your lighting can easily make conversations and be the talk of the home when visitors come to your place.
Some common design themes are modern lightings, minimalist lightings, Scandinavian lightings, industrial lightings and vintage lightings – all of which we have got you covered!
Last but not least would of course be the amount you intend to spend on lightings for your space.
We’ve seen lavish homes decked up with the nicest lightings look awesome. We’ve also seen basic homes with basic lightings for basic use. Depending on your budget, this can help you narrow down to what lightings you would wish to get.
For instance, if your home doesn’t come with existing false ceiling, you will need to consider getting surface mounted lightings or track lightings, else creating false ceiling just to use recessed lightings may not be a wise investment as it can cost quite a lot. Fortunately almost all of our ceiling lamps and pendant lamps allow for surface mounting on both concrete lightings and false ceilings.
Also, you need to consider the number of existing lightings points you have in your space, as every additional lighting you need may require your electrician to create a new electrical point, and depending on the charge this may add up to quite a bit.
Of course with our transparent pricing, you can be assured you are getting the best quality lightings at the best prices, so shop on with a peace of mind and create the dream home you’ve always wanted!
Armed with the above knowledge, you should be well informed now to be better able to select your required lightings for your space, and create your dream cosy home sweet home you always desired!