…Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.
Both functional and attractive, spotlights are becoming more and more popular in our homes as they are unobtrusive but still look the part. Typically considered for a contemporary layout, they work just as brilliantly in a traditional setting too. In this post we’ll look at different ways to use spotlights and why they are such a brilliant, lighting piece in your home.
Spotlights tick all the boxes when versatility is concerned. Used for ambience, task and accent lighting, you can place spotlights just about anywhere in your home. Firstly, let’s look at the different types:
Simple, small and stylish, single spotlight fittings can be mounted on both the ceiling or wall. They’re extremely versatile as they will provide light where it is needed. They make great lights for using over a bed for reading, highlighting a particular feature or ornament within the room or to provide light in an alcove.
A very self-explanatory name, multiple spotlights are fitted to a ceiling plate, bar or rail. They’re very practical as you can swivel the light in numerous directions, letting a distinct pool of light onto the surface below, all from one fitting. Just like single spotlights, these pivoting geniuses a lot safer than you would think. Their gleam can be directed further away than where you initially locate them, rather than fitting them up-close by ovens or showers. Also, by positioning spotlights correctly, you can look at computer and television screens without receiving a glare, which prevents the risk of eye strain.
The most versatile of them all. I know I keep using the word versatile, but I couldn’t say it enough times just to express how practical they are! Recessed lights are so unobtrusive and fit perfectly into your home with the right planning and layout. They can be placed just about anywhere to create a dramatic effect, from your ceiling, walls, under your cabinets, going along the skirting, on the floor, on your drive, on stairs, in shelves, cupboards, bookcases, the list is endless. They’re very aesthetically pleasing and add a lot of depth, which can give your room a new lease of life. Don’t be fooled by this modern technology though, they look just as fab in period homes!
What people tend to struggle with when it comes to spotlights is how many do they need, how far apart should be the spaced, should they all be in a pattern, how far from the wall do they need to be? It’s very difficult to tell because everyone’s home is different to the next and each room has a unique style.Larger rooms need more lights, large rooms with low ceilings don’t need as many, higher ceilings may need more, small rooms don’t need too many. You also need to consider what you use the room for and if there are any areas that need more focus, with regards to lighting, than others. Kitchens need ambience, dining rooms need softer/mood lighting. Here we have a rough guide for you to follow.
- Measure the width and length, then multiply them together to get the square footage.
- Multiply the square footage by 1.5. This will give you give you a guide to how much wattage you need to light the space efficiently.
- Choose the bulb you want to use, then divide the wattage total you previously calculated by the wattage of the bulb you intend to use. This will give you a guide to how many fixtures you need.
Place your lights 1.5-2 feet away from the wall and try to avoid creative shadows. The space between each light depends on how many you have. Although try to keep them evenly spaced. However, the layout of your lighting will vary in relation to your personal preference and the tone you want to create in the room.
Better suited for a contemporary setting, track lighting will look right at home in your kitchen, dining room and even living room. The modern concept is quite easy to get your head round, it’s simply a spotlight fitted to a track, where you can move it a long or swivel the head to direct the light in any way you want. We talked before about hanging spotlights over decorative wall features; with a track you can position it opposite, giving you the art gallery feel. Fitting a track all around your ceiling gives you both ambience and accent lighting, your room is illuminated but the light is beaming where you want it to.
Let’s look at some ways at how spotlights can improve the interior and exterior design of your home.
Placing track lighting in your hallway is such an efficient idea. Hallways are usually quite narrow, track lighting can extend across the length of your hallway making your ceiling look less empty. Re-position the spotlights to highlight picture frames and ornaments, your guest’s eyes will be drawn to them.
Placing recessed spotlight into your cabinets create the perfect accent lighting. Look how they’ve transformed this empty looking bookcase, with not much in it, to something dramatic and visually interesting.
Here is a superb way to demonstrate how spotlights can be used for task lighting too. Placing under your kitchen cabinets allows you to see what you’re doing and focus on the task in hand, without turning on the main ceiling light/s.
Recessed spotlights are perfect for outdoor purposes, especially on pathways, decking and driveways. They don’t get in the way, they’re perfectly discreet and they illuminate your garden fabulously for summer entertaining, al-fresco dining and more importantly, safety! Your guests and family can see where they are walking when it’s dark out
Back to accent lighting; you can use singular spotlights on your the exterior walls of your home for, again, safety and security reasons, but also to highlight your favourite garden features such as a cheeky gnome or a plant you’re particularly proud of and want to show off.
The list of things you can do with spotlights is never-ending so I’ve put a few pictures together to give you some more inspiration you might need.