In the December issue of Kodustiil (Postimees), an article about lighting was published. For this, we discussed illumination issues with Krista Kiin and because we could not fit the entire interview in the magazine, we would like to share this with you here.
Would you like to start by explaining what general rules should be taken into account when lighting up the home so that living is bright and cosy? Is it good to have any wall, floor or table lamp in each room, in addition to the general lighting, the ceiling lights?
A common mistake in lighting the home is that the luminaire is installed only on the ceiling or only recessed luminaires are installed. Such a solution does not create warmth or character to the room. It also wastes electricity because the walls do not reflect the light back. The regular ceiling lamp is, of course, the easiest solution and certainly necessary, but floor, table and wall lights are also needed. They are practical according to the purpose of the room – for example, for reading on the couch, while providing the room with added value in terms of design and lighting. With accent lighting, you can bring out artistic and beauty items on the shelves or simply play with light effects on the walls. While choosing to light for the room, you should consider both the mood, the accent and the illumination. All of them combined will give the best result.
One of the easiest, most affordable and convenient solutions for having a bright and cosy surrounding at the same time is dimming. This allows you to control the brightness of the light according to daylight, mood or activity. For example, a room that is too brightly lit can ruin a nice cosy dinner, but a bright room is also necessary for learning, playing or cleaning. A dimmer or a light regulator will help with this.
According to your work experience, what mistakes do people make while choosing the lighting for their homes – for example, are they insufficiently illuminated, too few light sources are used, or vice versa, have too many bright lamps?
The most common mistake that is being made in home lighting is the choice of luminaires that do not give enough light for the room. Therefore, customers often turn to us concerned about the need for additional light in the room and often this problem has to be solved by adding a floor lamp because no more cables can be brought from the ceiling or from walls for additional lighting. Therefore, it would be wise to use a specialist who chooses suitable luminaires with correct light intensity, design and other characteristics, ensuring a suitable result. It is always best if customers turn to us in the process of drawing up the circuit, but since today the range of lighting options with a variety of technical options is very wide, our specialists can also recommend the best solution in homes with existing cabling.
As the world of light has moved to practically LED technology, we see that it is often difficult for people to orientate in it and therefore they can choose too dark, too bright or too light-coloured luminaires. For LED, you need to look at the strength of the luminous flux measured in the lumens (lm), as well as the very important light bulb Kelvin scale (K), which we know indicates whether the luminaire produces a yellowish warm light or a bluish cold light. In rooms with different functions, it is advisable to use different colour temperatures. The larger the number, the colder the light. The 2700-3000K is warm, yellow and cosy light, and we recommend using this range at home. Of course, there are exceptions depending on the purpose of the room and in this regard, we can give advice in the salon.
How are the colours of the lamps (metallic, dark and matte tones) affecting home lighting and what should people know about this? How prominent could the lights be, so that the overall impression would not be too uneasy?
The colour of the luminaires does not only affect the design of the home but people should also think about the fact that the colour of the shade can affect the brightness of the luminaire. We can choose a high-power LED light source, but if we install it, for example, in a black luminaire with a shade, we must take into account that the dark shade absorbs light. Therefore, when choosing dark lamps people should check whether the contents of the shade or reflector are light, or we recommend using the stronger light sources so that the room would not be too dark.
The aspect of the design is important while choosing the design and colour of the luminaire. Unless very minimalistic and underexposed lighting is used, luminaires are often design elements and must definitely fit into the rest of the interior. As a result, our staff is always fully informed about the trends and designs of the interior world, so that we can advise you to fit the luminaires with the entire interior.
How to add space and warmth to the rooms with luminaires during darker winter times?
The sense of light is very different for people. Therefore, there are no specific requirements for living rooms as some people prefer to live in completely bright spaces, while for some people, excessive light is tiring and they prefer darker conditions. Here you will have the option to use the dimmer for help, which will make it easy to adjust the light. Since we live in Estonia and the winters are long and dark, the choice of the right lighting is important for all of us. Therefore it is good to have a wall or floor lamp in the room in addition to good general lighting. Their light creates a cosy environment and gives the opportunity to play with light. By combining different types of luminaires and lights in the room, we can choose the perfect combination for current time and mood.
What should I keep in mind while choosing the colours of the luminaries, the diffusion of light and the choice of lamp materials for different rooms, living-, sleeping- or children’s room?
The colour of the luminaire depends entirely on the interior and there are no specific rules here. Even in children’s rooms, we often recommend using neutral shades of luminaire’s because fun can be added with small details that can be easily changed later. A neutral luminaire can be used successfully for many years, even when the child gets older. In children’s rooms, we recommend using diffused light-generating luminaires rather than directional spotlights. If, however, the design is suitable for spotlight type lamps, we recommend choosing light sources with the widest possible angle and ensure that they illuminate the entire area evenly. In children’s rooms, it is especially important to have enough light, because children have activities that require accuracy when playing and learning. Good light is very important in order not to be tiring for their eyes. Often customers do not want to use glass lights in the children’s room, because it can be dangerous when they choose to play football, for example.
In the living room, we should also take into account that it should be possible to completely illuminate the room by scattered light, for example, cleaning during the dark. At the same time, you can create effects with using targeted narrower lights to bring out paintings or shelves. Contrary to the prevailing opinion, painting lights do not have to be wall lights, but if you select a beam with the right degree, you can successfully illuminate the painting with a spotlight on the ceiling. There are no restrictions on materials used in livingrooms lights. For example, in industrial-style homes, we naturally recommend luminaires made from metal, but fabric or glass luminaires are also suitable. The entire interior is important.
People are used to using fabric luminaires in the bedrooms but luckily, more and more materials are being used and combined. In the case of a minimalist and cold bedroom, fabric-, glass- or crystal luminaire can add cosiness and warmth. Since there are often wardrobes and closets in the bedroom we strongly recommend that you pay attention to their lighting. In the closet or wardrobe, we recommend choosing lamps with a wide angle to adjust them if necessary.
What would you recommend to keep track of the energy efficiency aspect when purchasing luminaires and bulbs?
In order to save the environment and consumer wallets, the European Union banned usage of halogen light bulbs since this September, which has been widely used instead of incandescent bulbs. We recommend the use of LED light source instead of halogen bulbs – they have the widest choice of colour and intensity. They are definitely more economical and for comparisson it’s worth to look how much watts (W) a given light source takes. However, caution is necessary while choosing an LED light source, as it is not yet known what effects a LED light, and especially its blue speck, can have on people and on their health. A very yellow coloured LED light source can also give out strong blue speck and could be a cause for sleep problems or other health problems. We recommend using built-in LED light sources made by good manufacturers because, based on our experience, their quality is higher and the risk factors on our health are lower.
What are the current trends in luminaires? Is there something new, surprising, absolutely different from the previous years?
As in the entire interior and design world, Art Deco and the influences of the middle of the last century continue to triumphant in luminaires too. In terms of materials, it has been characterized by trendy marble, brass and velvet in recent years. The gold and polished brass finishes have been replaced more and more with warmer metal tones. The soft gold and brushed brass have become particularly popular and a lot of manufacturers are using them. Matting finishes have also become particularly popular, especially in pastel tones. For glass luminaires, the trend is to use different shades of glass or a grey smoke glass.