When selecting light fittings, take account of the quality of light that is needed for the task and function of the room.
Ceiling lights are fixed to the ceiling and provide good illumination for the whole room.
The downside is that it is difficult to control glare and create shadow and contrast.
Installing a dimmer switch can help to reduce glare. In halls, staircases and landings, where you need to be able to see where you are going, overhead lighting is effective.
Hanging from the ceiling, pendant light fittings can be used for atmosphere and general lighting.
As with most fittings, the quality of the light depends on the type of bulbs and shades used.
A pendant with a translucent shade that encloses the bulb, such as a glass globe, will disperse light around the room.
Light can be directed downwards with a shade that is open at the bottom.
This type of shade looks good over a table; it also helps if the pendant is adjustable so that the light can be brought closer to the table when required.
As the name suggests, downlighters spread a beam of light from the ceiling to the floor.
The width of the beam varies according to the fitting. They can be surface-mounted, recessed or semi- recessed into the ceiling.
Track lighting – a form of downlighting – offers flexibility as it allows you to move fittings anywhere along the track.
Downlight fittings provide general, mood and task lighting. They are useful for rooms with low ceilings.
With uplighters you get soft, general illumination without glare; the light bounces off the ceiling, which acts as a reflector.
Uplighters are relatively inexpensive and come in various forms, from semi-circular wall sconces to tall floor lamps with cone- shaped shades.
Both the shape of the fitting or shade and the type of bulb used will have an effect on the area that is lit. Use them to highlight attractive features, such as period plasterwork.
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