Discover the latest lighting trends and technology for your home
Design, furniture, paint colours – these are all important aspects of successful interior design. However, they all rely on one thing to pull them together – lighting. And it’s not just the style of your lighting, but how much and what types of illumination you introduce into each space.
Without proper lighting a ‘moody’ living room simply appears dingy and a white bathroom, clinical instead of restful.
But above elevating the design of our interiors, lighting can influence how we feel in our homes. Federica Contardi, Citta’s national visual merchandiser, says, “Light has an important influence on our lives. It helps to regulate our days and our moods. When thinking about light, people often forget to consider the different times of the day and consequently, the intensity and colour of the lights.”
Lighting designer Laura Mitchell from Social Light agrees. “The key to creating successful lighting is to establish the right atmosphere. If you want your home to be relaxed and inviting, you’ll want to use the light to draw attention to areas of interest and where people should gather to achieve this.”
To ensure your lighting is delivering the best for your way of life, renovation consultant Jen Jones of Nine Yards Consulting says it should be planned as early as the concept stages. “Selections such as tile and bench choices impact the way colour is presented, i.e. reflected or absorbed, and if the right light isn’t specified, then it can end up being ineffective.”
The trends to know:
1. Pleated lampshades are making their way back into the limelight, normally accompanied by a sculptural stone, ceramic or wooden base. In fact, lampshades in general, when paired with a modern, sculptural base, are back in.
2. Natural and organic materials are also trending. Rachel says, “Clay, wood or rattan are popular, people want texture and warmth in their homes.”
3. Spherical lights – be they lamps, pendants or wall scones – round out the curvy trend we’ve been seeing in interiors lately. In particular, one large round pendant shade over the dining table.
4. Lighting as a design statement. Federica says, “Lights are increasingly becoming a feature piece of the room. Lamps and pendants have become art pieces to introduce into our homes. Design pieces are the go-to.”
5. One long linear pendant. While the standard line-up of three pendant lights along a kitchen bench or island is still a popular design choice, Laura says in this space there’s another trend coming to the fore. A linear suspension with a horizontal profile will provide focused illumination over a workspace.
Forget the days when the ‘double clap’ command to turn the lights on was a jaw-dropping moment, now you can do it from your phone – even when you’re not at home. Laura says, “Smart controlled lighting is becoming more mainstream and affordable, so we’re seeing a lot more homes using this technology. It’s particularly great if you’re on holiday and want to turn the lights on and off for home security. This technology also includes setting scenes, so with one push of a button lights will dim to a preset level to set a mood.”
Jen suggest checking out sunset dimming downlights for the bedroom.
When we think of LED lights, we often think of harsh blue light that’s not always easy to live with. But LED technology has come a long way, says Laura. “If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would’ve said no… now I rarely use anything else. You still have to be careful as to what brand you are using as there are still poor quality ones out there, but most New Zealand suppliers now have a great range of high CRI LEDs. The higher the CRI, the closer you are to an ideal natural light source – look for 90 and above.”
Federica adds, “LED allows for RGB colour lights solutions. This means that the tone or colour of the light can be adapted to different times of the day,” which is beneficial if you have a smart lighting system set up.
Text by: Bea Taylor.