Light source Even today, people continue to say ‘light bulb’ when they mean ‘lamp’, and ‘lamp’ when they mean ‘luminaire’. To put the record straight: the lamp is the light source. No lamp, no light. First choose the lamp, then the luminaire [complete lighting fixture], as lamps produce the light.
Light colour Light colour describes the colour appearance of the lamp’s light. It is based on colour temperature expressed in degrees Kelvin (K). This affects our mood – warm white light is found to be soothing, cooler colours more stimulating. For example, an ideal house would work like this:
Living room, bedrooms, bathrooms: soft/warm light, 2,700-3,000K Kitchens and work spaces: medium, 3,500-4,100K Reading areas: cool or daylight, 4,100-6,500K
Colour rendering The colour rendering property of a lamp indicates how natural colour appears under its light. If skin looks colourless, for example, this has nothing to do with cool light of the lamp; it is due to poor colour rendering. Ra 100 is the best rating for colour rendering. For domestic interiors, at least Ra 80 is required.
Luminaires These are basically the casing or the housing where we connect the bulbs to the electrical current. Luminaires are available in millions of shapes and designs, from the most classical chandeliers to the most contemporary light fixtures.
We can divide them in three major groups – indoor, outdoor and underwater. The designs must contemplate several factors such as safety and operability according to each environment.
Anyone creating or refurbishing a home is well advised to pay early attention to lighting. Modern lighting solutions make for both greater comfort and higher energy efficiency. They create the atmosphere needed for a sense of wellbeing, relaxation and work, and many improvements can be made even without major construction work.
Lumen Arts designs lighting for all building types, as well as offers technical evaluation, site surveys and problem solving. Abu Ghazal Avenue, Zinj, www.lumenarts.net (1723 2880).
Turn night into day
Hanne Gokstad, ‘concept conceptualiser’ at THE One, tells us about the basics of lighting our home When choosing lights for a room mix functional, mood and general lighting to create layers and ambience.
Use light to achieve contrast and make a statement. Highlight objects like a painting, a chair, a sculpture etc. as focal points.
The eye is always drawn to light. Hang a chandelier over your dining table for dramatic effect and an inviting look. Choose light fixtures that are both functional and beautifully designed to serve the dual purpose of illumination and decoration. Remember that darker colours absorb light, so you will need more light sources in rooms decorated in dark tones than in rooms with light hues.