It’s quite an art to get your lighting right – an ill-thought through design reliant on the common recessed spotlight and dimmer switch combination is unlikely to produce an aesthetically pleasing result.
So it’s much better to have help early on, carefully considering how each room in the house will be used at different times throughout the day. Perhaps, working up mood boards during this stage could help you figure out what you’ll need. In this article we will check out the best and affordable Lighting cost, lighting shops in lagos nigeria, and pop ceiling lights.
Measuring light intensity: how many Lumens do you need?
Manufacturers will label bulbs (known as lamps by the trade) in terms of the products’ Lumen output, Lux intensity and their Kelvin shade/warmth. These are how different elements of the light is measured: brightness in Lumens; and intensity (or spread per m2) in Lux.
To put this into context, 800 Lumens generally does well to replicate normal daylight inside the home. The Kelvin (K) scale works to identify the tone of the light, with the warmer yellow/orange tints set at around 2,000K-3,000K and colder white/blue hues at 4,000K-8,000K.
Many self build homes include an open-plan kitchen, dining and family zone as the central hub, where different lighting demands are required as the daily routine evolves – task lamps in the kitchen, relaxed/warm illumination at the dining table and a cosy, fireside ambience for watching movies on the sofa.
Experienced interior designers taking a holistic approach to the artificial illumination will include a mixture of different fittings.
Think overhead lighting to provide directional wash over wall and floor surfaces, uplighters to do the same with walls and ceilings, pendants to highlight features and table lamps to soften the mood.
Directional lamps can help to reduce glare, while dimmers are useful for softening intensity and the general layering of light will create striking architectural shadows thanks to strategically placed features, blinds and curtains.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the colour of your walls and ceilings will contribute to the amount of reflection – for instance, darker hues tend to absorb rather than transfer.
Low voltage vs low energy
Many homeowners struggle with the difference between low voltage and low energy.
Low energy means the lamp will produce the required levels with a reduced amount of consumption, which is measured in watts (w).
Low voltage is a safety option; normal supplies run at 230V (volts), which is the current pressure being driven through the cables.
This pressure starts life at a power station at around 400kV (kilo-volts), stepping down at other transformer stations as it gets closer to houses until it ultimately reaches 230V as it enters our buildings.
Layered illumination will add impact, but requires careful consideration. Shown here are John Cullen Lighting’s handmade Grissini Pendants, Lucca uplights and Oslo floorwashers
Internally, we may choose to reduce this pressure further where it enters a wet zone in the house (ie bathrooms and kitchens), say from 230V to 12V for recessed lighting.
To achieve this you’ll need local transformers positioned just before the fitting connection.
However, the lamps in our bathrooms still require the same number of watts to produce the light, so it’s the flow of electricity (measured in amps) that will need to increase to compensate
for our drop in voltage (amps x volts = watts).
How many light fittings do you need?
Conventional lights are connected to a circuit (either a ring/loop or a radial, which travels in one direction) that feeds to the consumer unit (the fuse board). There are usually separate circuits for ground and first floors – there are likely to be several in each storey in larger properties.
Each circuit is protected by a 6-amp miniature breaker (MCB) that works to keep it safe from overload. The whole system is protected by a minimum of two residual circuit devices (RCDs) that are there to guard against any earth leakage (and human shocks).
The below table is a rough template for how many fittings are needed in different rooms – it’s easy to see how numbers can escalate. Adding a porch light and then four external flood lights would tip the total over 100 with around 25-30 light switches.Show 102550100 entriesSearch:
|Type of light fitting/room||BED 1||BED 2||BED 3||BED 4||BATH 1||BATH 2||WC||HALL & LIVING||KITCHEN||UTILITY||DINING||SITTING||STUDY|
|Wall & table lights||2||2||2||2||2||2||1||2||4||4||2|
As with all building products, prices vary enormously; the cost of different light fittings presented below are purely a guide.
Although many folks leave it to the electrician to supply these, if lighting is important to you then it’s better to visit suppliers and look into the options – much like you would with other elements, such as bathroom fittings.
It’s difficult to isolate the overall labour costs of having your artificial illumination installed as this will be carried out as part of the overall electrical installation at both the first and second fix stages.
However, lighting will represent about half of the electrician’s work in the house and it usually takes two weeks for first fix and another two for second and final commissioning.Show 102550100 entriesSearch:
|Type of light fitting||Total in home||Notes||Average rate||Total Cost|
|Spotlights||46||Recessed spotlight can start at £1.60 with directional at £4.95 & fire rated at £5.95||£5||£230|
|Wall & table lights||25||Plug sockets for table lights would be £2.50; some two-way uplights at £35||£17||£425|
|Pendant lights||11||A pendant with flec could cost £1.50 and some feature pendant fittings £100||£50||£550|
|Strip lights||13||From a small 250mm light at £4 up to a task strip light at £12||£8||£104|
|Switches||25||Backing boxes at £1 and switches from £5.30 for 3-gang||£4||£100|
|External lights||5||A robust LED spotlight with PIR||£35||£175|
|LED Lamps||95||For the internal light fittings; 5w spot at £6.50 and a 1m strip at £10||£7||£665|
|Ancillaries||1||Cables, flex, low voltage transformers, clips, etc||£400||£400|
LED lamps today
Light emitting diode (LED for short) lamps have been around for decades, but have only dominated the market in the past five to 10 years.
LEDs are more efficient in generating light from energy and do so without creating much heat – as a direct comparison.
You will only need a 5w (watt) LED to generate the same light as a 50w tungsten spot lamp or a 60-100w incandescent unit (which the government aimed to phase out by 2011 because of carbon reduction targets).
This is great news for homeowners as the overall electrical load will be lower, meaning bills are cheaper, too. The success of LEDs means manufacturers have found a way to produce them across most of the Kelvin scale; we can now enjoy warm lighting, as opposed to the crisp, cool, bluer shades that had previously characterised these units.
Smart lighting & upgrade options
Smart technology is fast becoming a more affordable choice, with lighting controls at the heart of the automated home. Common options include multiple push button switches where three, four or five pre-set mood levels can be selected, each then graded with a dimmer.
These require independent cabling and a central controller/relay for each zone (usually one room); however, one criticism of these systems is that a slight delayed response can cause the user to keep pressing buttons. Control via mobile phones and tablets is also an option, with some systems allowing you to change things even when you’re not home. For more on smart lighting see page 87.
In addition to purely technological upgrades, you may want to incorporate some more theatrical lighting, such as illuminated wall recesses or a perimeter channel around
a dropped suspended ceiling.
In combination with a central chandelier, these features can help to create a bit of drama and atmosphere. Stair lighting is increasingly common and subtle directional illumination can also help to separate zones within an otherwise open plan layout.
Not simply a way to guide you to the front door when you get home in the dark, external lighting can be used to enhance garden features.
Rather than closing the blinds or curtains, an internal space can be enhanced by switching on outdoor lighting so that you can see a dramatically staged set – especially where there might be a pond, pergola, pool or illuminated specimen trees.
Obviously there is some expense incurred with external lighting but its installation is becoming increasingly easy thanks to robust external sockets and switches, flexible armoured cables (which can travel through planters) and uplighters mounted on spikes.
A useful recent innovation is the ability to set the sensitivity and time delay for some external security lights remotely by a device operated at ground level rather than having to do this from a ladder.
|Cost Comparison Between Solar vs. Traditional Lights|
If you do a quick search online, you’ll find that the popularity for solar lights has surged in the past 5 years due to emerging green technologies and rising energy costs. Among this shift in moving towards more renewable energy sources for lighting, an important question is being raised: how much do solar street lights cost compared to traditional street lighting? To solve this mystery, our expert team of engineers gathered the necessary information to provide a cost analysis of each lighting system. The total street light costs may surprise you, but we reveal all of our information in this unbiased review below.Traditional Street Lighting CostsHow Much does a Street light Cost?Traditional street lighting is defined as “any electrical light used for street lighting,” which most commonly uses metal halide or high pressure sodium technology for lights. The average cost of one light, including the lighting fixture, pole, and base, averages at $1500. Not bad for the cost of one street light.Solar street lights utilize fixtures connected to a (typically) silicon-based solar panel to garner electricity through a process called the photovoltaic effect, which converts light into usable voltage. These lights reside off the main power grid and can be installed in remote locations. Because of the advanced technology required for solar lights, they are more expensive, averaging about $3000 per light. That includes the light fixture, the solar panel, controller, pole, and the smaller components that make up the light. Because of the advanced technology behind a solar street light, the street light cost is admittedly higher. But often times the up-front pricing for traditional lights is more deceptive, because people often forget about what costs a lot more: installation.The Price of Traditional Vs. Solar Light InstallationThe price for a solar street light may initially be a deterrent for interested parties, until you scrutinize the monetary details. The biggest difference between the price of traditional and solar lights lies in the installation fees associated with traditional lighting.Traditional lights are connected to a standard electrical grid to garner their power, which requires trenching and underground wiring. When adding in labor fees for trenching and wiring, this process would cost consumers about $120 per linear foot. The average cost of installation for traditional lighting would then be around $4500, significantly higher than the price for a solar street light.Because solar lights are autonomous and off the main grid system, consumers avoid the long and costly process of trenching and wiring. The price of installation reduces significantly as a result, pricing around $1500, driving down the total cost for solar.Maintenance Costs with LED LightsSolar lights are most efficient when we pair them together with LED technology to light an area of concern. You may think that solar LED lights require higher maintenance and upkeep levels in comparison to traditional lights. Truth be told, solar lights actually require less maintenance than traditional lighting systems. The typical lifespan for a traditional street light averages around 5,000-8,000 hours, which is slightly less than a year of usage, while solar LED lights last 5-7 years. The secret is in the technology of LEDs–they’re much more efficient with power than traditional methods of lighting and slowly degrade over time instead of burning out in an instant.While solar lights get repaired less frequently, the cost of each repair is higher. The battery of a solar light needs to be changed every 5-7 years. The cost of 2 batteries and labor for those changes averages around $1000. This is only slightly higher than the cost of standard lights which is about $800 for standard maintenance fees.Energy Bills (Or Lack Thereof)Since solar lights gather their energy from the sun, there are no energy costs! Standard lights, on the other hand, accumulate about $1500 in energy costs over 10 years by drawing power from the main power grid, and that’s the energy cost of one street light. A system of ten lights will rack up a hefty bill over the course of 10 years. We’re certain whomever is looking to purchase street lights would prefer lower energy costs. Solar wins in this category, hands down.
Incentive Programs for Solar Energy
There’s more to solar financially than just saving money long-term! Solar lighting systems are also heavily subsidized to encourage the use of green energy. According to the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, there are about 200 financial incentive programs for solar alone. Both the private and public sector offer incentives to use solar, but each entity differs in the amount and type of incentive they provide. For example, North Carolina provides a 35% state tax credit against the total cost of a solar panel system, while the Federal government offers a 30% tax credit, so if the cost of one street light is 3,000 dollars, you’ll receive 900 dollars back in a tax credit–pretty impressive! For more information on the solar incentives, rebates, tax credits, and grants available, visit http://www.dsireusa.org/.
The Verdict between Solar and Traditional Lighting
When comparing the total costs of traditional and solar lighting, there appears to be a clear winner. Overall, solar street lights cost around $5500 over 10 years, while standard costs a steep $8300 because of trenching and installation costs. As before, this is the cost of one street light. Imagine 10 lights? 20? Suddenly, the savings with solar are clear.
In the battle of the lighting systems, technology and innovation win. While traditional lighting systems may have won some battles, solar lights win the war for street light costs. It’s the combination of high-tech solar panels with energy-saving LED lights that propel these street lights far ahead of the competition.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BUYING LIGHTING
Lighting can often be overlooked when it comes to re-decorating, because it is often thought of as a utilitarian rather than a key factor in the overall décor of your room. But, when chosen correctly, your lighting can become a true focal point and is guaranteed to take your home design to the next level!
We have put together the ultimate light buying guide to help you to choose the correct lighting for each room in your home, with the perfect balance of style and substance. Because choosing the correct lighting is not as simple as you may initially think…
CONSIDER THE SIZE OF THE ROOM
The first step to choosing the correct lights for your home is to work out how much light you need in a room to keep it well lit.
In 2010, the way we measure bulb brightness changed. Bulb brightness used to be referenced in wattage (W), but now it is referenced in lumen (LM).
Each room in your home will require a different number of lumens in order to be lit adequately. To work this out, you can check an illumination chart which will show you the ideal number of footcandles or lux you will need for a certain task.
A footcandle = the amount of light on a surface created by one candela that is a foot away from the surface.
A lux = the amount of light on a surface created by one candela that is a metre away from the surface.
One candela = the light from one standard candle.
If you are using feet, look at the number of footcandles. One footcandle is equal to 1 lumen per square foot. Multiply the number of footcandles by the square foot in the room and this will tell you how many lumens are required.
If you are using metres, look at the number of lux. One lux is equal to 1 lumen per square metre. Multiply the number of lux by the square metres in the room and this will tell you how many lumens are required.
Find our illumination chart below:
And if you’d like to see how the kelvins will affect your room, you can use this useful tool from 1000bulbs.com, which shows how the colour temperature will transform the lighting in this kitchen space.
UNDERSTAND THE THREE USES OF LIGHTING
Now that you know how many lumens are requires in each room, the next step is to understand the three main uses of lighting. Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that one type of lighting will suffice for an entire room. Lighting works much better when used in layers. So, it’s important that you put together a lighting plan for each room, and a successful lighting plan should include three uses of lighting: ambient, task and accent.
Ambient lighting is the main light source in the room and will usually be your starting point. This lighting will determine the overall mood within the room, for example a living room will have a warmer and more relaxing tone than that of a workspace. Ambient lighting tends to come from recessed lighting or wall light fixtures within the room.
Task lighting is focused light that is used when tasks will be carried out in the room. A good example of this is a desk lamp, which will often be adjustable in order to illuminate areas that you need the most to help you carry out tasks.
Another example is vanity lighting above a mirror and under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen.
Accent lighting is the most decorative type of lighting in the room, its used to highlight focal features such as wall art, bookshelves and fireplaces. Accent lighting could also be a focal point itself if you go for a statement piece. For example, our Wofi Indigo Ceiling Light Often floodlights, track lights, picture lights and wall-mounted fixings are used.
KNOW THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LIGHTS AVAILABLE
Getting creative with your lighting will mean mixing different types of lights together, so its important that you know the different options available on the market.
Almost every room will have ceiling lights because they usually provide the ambient lighting within the room. The two main types of ceiling lights are pendent and flush lighting. Pendant lights hang down from the ceiling usually by a cord or chain whereas flush lights have little or no gap between the light fitting and the ceiling. There’s a vast array available on the market from strikingly stylish to the functional, and here at Lighting Style, we like to mix the two together!
Floor lamps are often pigeonholed to the ambient light category and also in the task lighting category, this is because they are perfect for adding extra illumination in rooms that need it but they can also be the perfect adjustable overhead lamp to add focused light in required areas. They are also ideal for adding smaller amounts of light in a room when needed, for example in the living room on an evening when you don’t want the main lights on, but you do want a small amount of light.
Table lamps are extremely versatile as they can be placed anywhere and usually create the task lighting within your room. They’re often adaptable to allow for versatile use, for example dimmable for a bedside table or adjustable for desk work. You could go for an extravagant design and use it as part of the room décor too, the options are endless!
Wall lighting does it all. They can create gorgeous accent and highlight focal
points within the room beautifully. They can help illuminate hallways and larger
rooms and add to the ambience within the room. They’re ideal outside lighting, or
when placed strategically they’re great task lights for focused reading.
Spotlights enhance visibility where you need it, they’re ideal task lighting. They are either made of several spotlights along a metal bar or a singular bright light that sits close to the ceiling. They can usually be adjusted to point in the correct direction for your needs.
GET THE RIGHT BULBS
Now that you know the different types of lights available, it’s time to choose the right bulbs! Many of our lights come with LED’s already installed, but some you will need to get the bulbs additionally if stated in the product description.
There are three main types of blubs; LED’s, CFL and Halogen. Incandescent bulbs are now being phased out.
LED’s: LED bulbs are a great eco-efficient option. They typically use 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb. They last the longest, they’re cheap to run and produce very little heat. Here at Lighting-Style we only stock LED’s (we think they’re fab!). Plus they are extremely versatile, meaning that during the manufacturing process they can be integrated straight into the frame of a light to create stunning strips of light, as seen in the image below:
CFL: Short for compact fluorescent lamp, CFL’s are the most common type of energy-saving bulb. They typically use 60-80% less energy than an incandescent bulb. They are a cheaper alternative to LED’s but they do take a while to reach their optimum brightness which can be frustrating when you need the light to complete a task.
Halogen: The cheapest of the three, halogen bulbs are dimmable but typically have a shorter lifespan. They use 20-30% less energy than an incandescent bulb.
At Lighting Style, we only offer LED’s. You can see our range below:
Choose the bulbs that best suits your lamp or light shade. Our decorative light bulbs are another great way of making a statement in your home, we have various lights where the bulb will still be visible, for example our Wofi Richael Pendant Light, so pairing with a statement bulb will make the light all the more stunning.
Shop our full range of bulbs here.
The cap, which is the base of the bulb, holds the bulb firmly in place while providing an electrical connection between the light and the bulb. In the above images you can see the cap type referenced under each image (E27, E14, G9, GU10 etc…). You will need to know the cap type of your light or lamp before purchasing a bulb for it.This can be found in all of our product descriptions, most typically an E27 or E14 bulb will be suitable, just be sure to check!
The kelvin scale
The next step is to understand the kelvin scale. The kelvin scale is used to describe the warmth or coolness of the light. The colour spectrum ranges from the yellow-based colour to the blue-based colour. As an example, people often prefer the yellow-based colours in a living room, and the blue-based colour in a utility, but there’s no right or wrong it’s ultimately down to your personal preference.
See our kelvin scale below.
Many of our LED lights can be temperature adjusted to suit your desired kelvins throughout the day. However, most of our LED lights are set at a default of 3000K, which gives a nice cosy feel to the room.
Once again just be sure to check the product description to see what the temperature is set to and also if it can be adjusted.
HOW TO LIGHT EACH ROOM IN YOUR HOME
While the layout of the room is down to your individual taste, there are some tips that we can give you that will work well for each room in your home.
Firstly, you need to decide on what mood you would like to create in each room and what type of lights will complement your personal style and the current design in your home.
This is arguably the most important area to ensure a grand entrance and a good first impression is created. Start with a dramatic statement light such as a chandelier overhead light, and then complement this with a floor lamp.
Kitchens are very busy spaces, where food preparation will take place. This means it must be illuminated well, especially in areas where you will be carrying out food preparation. Check out our blog post on kitchen lighting ideas for more inspiration!
You should start with general ambient lighting, we would suggest a pendant light or track lighting if you have a feature in the room, such as a kitchen island or breakfast bar, but if not recessed lighting will work well too.
You will also require task-orientated lighting where food preparation will take place, this can be provided by the addition of an under-cabinet lighting system. This will ensure that the kitchen is illuminated well enough in the areas that really need it, avoiding shadows being cast over knives and other potentially dangerous tools.
Dining Room Lighting
A common mistake with the dining room is hanging a chandelier over the table and thinking that is enough light for the whole room. It’s important to remember to create layers. A statement light over the dining room table is a great start, a chandelier or a pendant light will look stunning. Check out our blog post on dining room lighting ideas for more inspiration!
You then need to balance this, a great way to achieve this is to have recessed or track lighting, this will create the layers and avoid the room looking flat.
Living Room Lighting
The most multi-functional room in the home, the living room is an all-purpose area where you will watch TV, read books, chat with friends and family or do homework. This means the lighting in this room needs more diversity, to reflect the diverse tasks that are carried out in the room.
For general ambience, a pendant light or flush ceiling light overhead will create a good amount of light for the room. Then add floor and table lamps or sconces situated in task areas to provide more direct light, for example, if you have an armchair you like to read in or an area on the sofa where you tend to carry out tasks.
Vanity lighting is perfect for the bathroom, if you have a mirror in the bathroom then they are perfectly situated at the top of this. Not only will this add to the décor of the room, but it also adds the perfect amount of lighting in front of the mirror to help you when you’re getting ready in the morning.
For the general ambient lighting in the room, wall scones and recessed lighting will work a treat, and it’s always a good idea to get dimmable lights in the bathroom so that you can dim them when you would like to relax in the bathtub.
The perfect place to unwind and revive yourself, it’s important to have soft ambient lighting in the bedroom. A decorative semi-flush ceiling light that can be dimmed will give the perfect ornamental feature while providing you with soft ambient lighting. Complement this with accent lighting on the walls to give an extra luxurious feel. Many people also like to read in bed, so either an adjustable table lamp to go on your bedside table or a wall-mounted reading lamp is essential.
Home Office Lighting
You’ll need this area to focus on work, so this room needs function-orientated lighting. For the general ambience, recessed lighting or a flush overhead light will provide the main illumination for the room. Then you’ll need a desk lamp that can be adjusted in your main work area, and perhaps a floor lamp in dark corners or situated over the top of seating areas within the room.
Are you ready to take your lighting to the next level?
Lighting can have a massive impact on your home décor, and when done correctly it will provide the perfect atmosphere for each room in your home. So, if you’re ready to take your lighting to the next level then you’re in the right place!