Lighting Guide
Lighting can make a big difference in how you feel about your home. It helps you perform tasks more easily, makes you feel safer and more comfortable, and allows you to enjoy your home to its full potential. Lighting adds beauty and drama to a room. It can make a small room look open and airy, and a large room appear cozy and inviting. It can create a stimulating atmosphere for a night of entertaining, or a quiet feeling of relaxation after a long, tiring day. In so many ways, lighting can make a difference. And, it does so inexpensively compared to other home decorating or remodeling options.
The fundamentals. There are three basic types of lighting that work together to light your home: General, Task and Accent. A good lighting plan combines all three types to light an area, according to function and style.
Please view our different areas of lighting tips below to learn more about a particular room or light style (click on any image below for further information).

Bathroom Lighting
In the bathroom you  need shadow-free  even lighting for  shaving, grooming  and applying makeup.

Bedroom Lighting
When lighting a bedroom,  you will want to create  an overall atmosphere  of quiet relaxation while  providing some bright  spots for reading  and other activities.

Dining Room Lighting
Dining room lighting  should be functional  and aesthetically  pleasing. This lighting  sets the mood for a  variety of functions.

Kitchen Lighting
The kitchen is primarily  a work area, but it is also  a gathering place for  family and friends.  Lighting that is  comfortable and  functional is required.

Living Room Lighting

When designing a  lighting plan for a  living room you need  to consider the variety  of activities that  occur there.

Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting  enhances the beauty of  your property, makes your home safer and  more secure.
Energy Efficient Home Lighting Design - Article by -JAY B. THAKAR, Published in Lighting India - 03rd March 2016
Lighting in homes consumes 8 to15% of the average household electricity budget although the makeup of the installed lighting technologies, lighting design and user behaviour can make a difference. Efficient and well-designed lighting can yield household energy savings. Effective lighting design means putting light where it's wanted and needed, and reducing or eliminating light elsewhere...
Daylighting design aspects
Principles for daylighting in India
Electric lighting design aspects
Applications for electric lighting
General/ambient lighting
Task/accent lighting
Choosing lamps
Correlated colour temperature
Colour rendering index
Switches and controls
Lamp technology selection summary
Top ten steps to lighting
Thoughtful lighting design combines many daylighting and electric lighting strategies to optimise the distribution of light inside the building. It considers whole building energy impacts to minimise the building's overall energy usage and integrates the design of daylight entry (through windows and skylights) with electric lighting, including controls. It takes advantage of shading strategies and glazing technologies to moderate the intensity and spectrum of the daylight admitted to the home, to minimise heat gain during the cooling season and heat loss during the heating season. It chooses the best window aperture sizes, glazing and shading design for each orientation to reflect the expected solar angles, heat gain and glare criteria (see Passive design; Design for climate; Orientation; Shading; Glazing; Skylights).
Daylighting design aspects
Design your new home to not require electric lighting during daylight hours. The science of ‘daylighting' deliberately uses daylight to reduce or negate the need for electric light. Sources of daylight include sunlight, which is an intensely bright, directional beam, and skylight, a diffuse light of about one-tenth the illumination of sunlight. Daylight is dynamic, constantly changing its characteristics (intensity, colour, direction).
A goal of all new homes should be to not require any electric lighting during daylight hours. Siting, orientation and size of the home come into play but every consideration should be given to minimizing reliance on electric lighting during daylight hours.
Proper daylighting design can deliver a net saving on energy consumed by the building. Improper daylighting it most commonly increases the heat load on the home and its cooling energy consumption. If the daylight control system is poorly implemented, building occupants have to deal with glare and/or thermal discomfort using the most expedient means at hand (e.g. curtains drawn, operating air conditioner), which in turn negates any benefit that daylighting might have offered (see Passive design; Shading).
Some principles for daylighting in India
Direct solar gain or loss is effected by windows and hence are the major cause of comfort or discomfort. Under Indian conditions, less than 10% of the floor area should be used as window area in hot regions and north-side windows should be larger than those on other three sides. Also, proper shading should be provided in the windows to reduce excess solar gain. On the contrary, in colder regions, windows can occupy up to 20% of the floor area and windows on south side should be larger than those on the other three sides. In extreme cold climates, windows should be perfectly sealed.
About 25 - 30% of total heat gain/loss are estimated to be through walls. Proper materials need to be chosen for walls depending upon cooling and heating load. Burnt brick walls are used in hot and moderate climates. Humid climate prefers exposed brick walls for allowing the building to breathe. Cold regions prefer hollow and light concrete blocks. Baffle walls are a good choice for allowing ventilation and avoiding direct sunlight to enter. Proper shading in the form of overhangs is required to avoid heating of walls in hot regions.
The colour of wall should be ideally light shaded except in extreme cold regions where grey or black colour helps in solar gain to a great extent. The surface of walls in hot region should be rough and self-shading types. In any case the surface finish should be resistant to the effects of moisture to avoid decay of building materials. It is always profitable to have a roof surface of broken glazed tiles under most Indian conditions.
Skylights and light tubes of appropriate sizing and design can let in light without adding heat in summer or losing warmth in winter.
Externally reflected daylight contains less heat than direct penetrating sunlight (i.e. the infrared heat is predominantly absorbed by natural and built environments).
Light coloured interior surfaces reflect more light and reduce the level of artificial lighting required.
Clerestories (with the associated eaves appropriately sized) are very effective at delivering daylight to the core areas of a home.
Sunny locations can exploit tubular daylighting devices – tubular skylights – which send direct-beam sunlight into the space below and are capable of delivering very high illumination levels when the sky is clear.
Direct sun should be excluded from task areas (particularly polished surfaces including kitchen benches and desktops) because of the high potential for glare and discomfort.
Internal sun penetration can be controlled with the least impact on an external view by vertical blinds on predominantly east and west oriented windows and horizontal blinds for predominantly northern (and southern, for north of the tropic of Capricorn) oriented windows.
Electric lighting design aspects
Use of electric lighting in the home has two aspects: specific task lighting and creating a night-time ambience for a room or space.
Human vision has a very high dynamic range but perception of brightness shifts with the overall brightness of the entire space. The eyes adapt to low light levels at night and it is unnecessary to try to duplicate the high level of illumination available from daylight.
Figure -1 Light shelves reflect light deeper into rooms...
When considering lighting a space, work on points of interest within. The human eye is attracted to bright objects and accordingly should be rewarded with something of interest. By contrast, dark areas are of limited attraction but serve to accentuate (by contrast) the brighter objects of interest. Use highlights (about 10 times the ambient light level) to draw attention to key objects or spaces in a room, or for lighting specific tasks.
Carefully select features to highlight (e.g., artwork, sculptures, and furniture items) and use the minimum effective highlight level so you don't waste energy.
Reading lamps or table lamps are an effective, flexible and efficient means of giving higher task lighting rather than increasing general lighting of the entire space. They can also be part of the accent lighting for mood setting (e.g. table lamp on side table in lounge room).
Applications for electric lighting
Plan your lighting to complement your lifestyle. Consider the activities that occur in each room, the atmosphere you want to create and the decorative elements you want to highlight.
Consider in particular the areas that serve more than one purpose and require more than one style of lighting (e.g., relaxed entertaining, media viewing, reading/writing, general activity). Use separate lighting solutions and circuits for each function rather than integrating them into a single circuit. Lights may need to be on separate switches, and/or dimmers used to create the lighting desired.
Each lamp type has advantages and disadvantages and good design uses an appropriate type for each application.
Light is heavily absorbed (wasted) in dark-coloured rooms.
Light can be indirectly reflected (i.e., cove and pelmet lighting) to create very subtle background illumination but only in light-coloured rooms/surfaces.
There is no ‘best' lamp for all applications. Of the many alternatives, each has advantages and disadvantages: good design uses an appropriate lamp/light fixture for each application.
The various lamp technologies generate light differently. Choose lamps best suited to producing desired lighting effects such as light distribution, switch-on time and dimmability.
For example, some Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) take a few seconds to strike and ‘warm up', and are thus unsuitable where use may only be for a few seconds (e.g., kitchen pantry) or where lights are switched on and off quickly. CFL lamps, although efficient, are an inferior choice in these rooms to tungsten halogen or even LEDs, although LEDs may not have the cost benefit for such short uses.
Most rooms need two types of lighting: general lighting and task/accent lighting. Use different lamps and light fittings for each purpose.
General/ambient lighting

Ambient lighting provides overall, general lighting that radiates a comfortable level of brightness. A central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.
Use Omni-directional (light in all directions) lamps in pendants, chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures.
Avoid using downlights for general illumination. They make bright ‘pools' of light on the floor (most floor surfaces absorb as much as 80% of the light) while making the ceiling cavity appear dark, which creates a ‘gloomy' ambience. Downlights are better suited to task lighting over work spaces. Up to six downlights can be needed to light the same area as one pendant light. Think about other ways of lighting with fluorescent Omni-directional lamps before installing downlights or if used, fit lower wattage and more efficient bulbs.
Choose light fittings and lamp shades that allow most of the light through so a lower wattage lamp can be used. Some light fittings can block or absorb 50% or more of light.
Figure - 2 Directional light fittings complement ambient lighting...
Task/accent lighting
Task lighting is used to illuminate specific tasks such as reading, sewing, cooking, homework, games or hobbies. Accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. It can emphasise paintings, house plants and collectables, or highlight the texture of a wall, drapery or outdoor landscaping.
Directional lamps or downlights, such as LED or halogen reflector lamps, are best employed for this purpose.
Use desk/table/floor lamps in areas where the activity or furniture is likely to change positions (lounge, dining, bedrooms)
Where illuminated task surfaces will not change (e.g., over kitchen benches), use fixed directional lighting.
Make sure task lighting is free of distracting glare and shadows but bright enough to prevent eye strain.
Key points for selecting the appropriate beam angle for directional lamps:
Beam angle is the angle at which light intensity drops to 50% of centre beam intensity. Virtually all (around 90%) light from a directional lamp is in the beam and very little light reaches other surfaces outside the path of the beam.
Basic rule: for the same wattage lamp, the smaller the beam angle the brighter the surface illuminated but the smaller the area illuminated.
Select the appropriate beam angle by determining the largest dimension of the feature to be lit and the distance from it. The packaging of most directional lamps generally shows a simple graphic to help select the appropriate beam angle.
Luminous flux (the perceived power of light) at the beam angle light intensity drops to 50% of center beam intensity.
Choosing lamps
Colour of light
Two ratings are used to describe the colour of white light sources:
• Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT)
• Colour Rendering Index (CRI).
CCT , measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale, describes the ‘shade' of white light emitted.
The material and colour of your furniture can play a role in your decision to use warm or cool lights, since the variation of lighting colour can make room colours appear very vibrant or quite dull.
Correlated colour temperature
Unit: Kelvin Role: scale to describe how ‘warm' or ‘cool' the light source appears Origin: in theory, as an object (e.g., piece of metal) is heated, it glows, changing colour from a red to orange to yellow to white to bluish-white as the temperature increases.
CCT of typical residential lamps
Incandescent lamps: operate by heating the filament to 2,700K and by definition, have a colour temperature of 2,700K.
Fluorescent, CFL and LED lights: available in a wide range of colour temperatures.
Cool white (left) and warm white (right) colour temperature lamps give rooms a different appearance.
Match the lamp's colour temperature to the tones of your room. Warm colour temperatures render warm colours like reds, yellows and browns well; cool colour temperatures render cool colours like greys, greens and blues better. In rooms following these general rules, furnishings appear more vibrant. If you have a mix of furnishings, use lamps that produce light in approximately the 3,500K range. No matter what colour temperature light you choose, if it has a low colour rendering index, nothing will look good under it.
Colour rendering index
Unit: none Role: scale between 100 and below 0 where 100 represents true natural colour reproduction for that particular colour temperature Origin: a reference source such as sunlight is defined as having a CRI of 100; incandescent lamps radiate a similar spectrum of light to the sun.
CCT of typical residential lamps
Incandescent lamps: 100 Fluorescent, CFL lamps: 60–95 LED lamps: 80–90.
The colour rendering index rates the portrayal of colour. CRI rates the ability of the light to accurately portray colours of objects in the space being lit. A CRI of higher than 80 is usually adequate but for specialized tasks where colour is important (food preparation, applying makeup, painting) it is advisable to choose lamps with a CRI above 90. Lamps of the same colour temperature can vary in their ability to render colours correctly.
Switches and controls
Time of use, hours of use, and occupancy of and traffic through spaces vary in the home. Switches and controls can be a very effective method of providing lighting only when and where it is required.
Some basic principles
Provide multiple switches to control different lighting elements (ambient, accent or task) in a room where all may not be required all the time. One switch to turn on all lights in a large room is very inefficient. When choosing switching groups always begin with lighting that is needed most, such as that over the kitchen benches, then work backward. Place switches at exits from rooms and use two-way switching (for long hallways or stairwells) to encourage lights to be turned off when leaving the space.
‘Smart' light switches and fittings use movement sensors to turn lights on and off automatically. These are useful in rooms used infrequently where lights may be left on (for very long times) by mistake, or for children, the elderly and people with disabilities. Built-in daylight sensors make sure the light doesn't turn on unnecessarily during daylight hours.
Use timers, daylight controls and motion sensors to switch outdoor security lights on and off automatically. Similar controls are particularly useful for common areas, such as hallways, corridors and stairwells, in multi-unit housing. Some controls are not compatible with particular lamp types so seek advice.
Consider using solar powered lighting for garden and sensor security lights.
Modern dimmer controls save energy and also increase lamp life. However, reducing light output to 50% saves only about 25% of the energy (for a halogen lamp). If you dim some lights most of the time, consider replacing them with lower wattage lamps.
Most standard fluorescent and LED lamps cannot bedimmed (although this is improving), but special dimmers and lamps are available (check packaging or manufacturer's website for information), when installing new light fittings and controls.
Lamp technology selection summary
In India, only incandescent, CFL and linear fluorescent lamps are regulated for energy efficiency and light quality. Other lamp technologies can vary greatly in quality. Read packaging information and technical specifications carefully to ensure the product is suitable for your intended use.
Top ten steps to lighting
Design a house to not need lights turned on during daylight hours. Consider the orientation and layout of rooms to best use available daylight. Use surface reflectance of light coloured surfaces, and well positioned pendant and wall lights, for good light distribution in a room. Decide the type or types (e.g., general lighting, mood/background lighting, task lighting) of ambience you wish to create in each room during night-time use. For more than one type of ambience, adjust light levels (dim lights) or turn different lights on or off through different switching circuits. Create task or accent lighting with directional lighting. Create general lighting with non-directional lighting. Use warm coloured lamps for the home, except possibly for bathrooms and laundries where the cooler coloured lamps present an appearance of a clean, sterile space. Before selecting a lamp, identify relevant attributes for illuminating each room (e.g., quick start-up, long life lamp, dimmable, multi-way switching). For getting the ‘right amount of light' to create the ambience you want, think about lumens, which measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source, not wattage (power).

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