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Positioning wall lighting


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Positioning wall lighting

A room will always look uninteresting, no matter how good the decorating is, if the lighting is poor. Lighting has an enormous effect on your house, yet is often limited to a single dangling lampshade and bulb.

Apart from ornate use of candles, good lighting can transform a room. You can appear to alter the shape of your room with clever use of light and shadow. A high ceiling can appear lower by remaining shadowy, while wall lights appear to increase the space within the room. Lighting giving an all-over light can appear depressing, whereas creating areas of light and shade gives more interest and warmth to a room.

Decide where you want the light and its purpose in the room. Ordinary wall lights are normally fitted approximately 5 feet (1.5 metres) above floor level. It may be for reading, writing, displaying a picture or so on. Reading lights should be used in conjunction with another background light to lessen glare. Bedside lights are best fitted approximately 4 feet (1.2 metres) above floor level.

Do you want the direction of light to be from one direction permanently, or do you want it to be flexible? If you decide on a flexible type, make sure you choose a type tough enough to stand constant alteration of the direction of light.

Decide whether it would be viable to add extra flexibility in controlling the artificial light by replacing the on/off switch with a dimmer switch while you are in the process of fitting. Dimmer switches are easy to install and the mood of the room can be instantly transformed. See Replacing a 1 way switch with a dimmer switch for details.

Check the position of the new switches for convenience. The most satisfactory positions for switches are near a door or on the side of a bay or chimney breast.

In order to conceal the cable cut a shallow channel below the wall fitting. Remember when deciding on the positioning of the fitting, the damage to the existing wallpaper or decoration. Consider whether you are going to redecorate the entire room or just one wall. If you are not intending to redecorate at the same time, you can surface mount the wiring in trunking, either as a permanent feature or until the next time you decorate the room. Lighting attached to bare brick walling should use the method of surface mounting - for example to an outside patio wall or porch.

Remember in a bathroom all light fittings must be enclosed to keep out the condensation.

Traditional lighting is often fitted in pairs or groups of lights - for example either side of a chimney breast. Spotlighting can look quite spectacular when grouped together, with beams concentrating on specific features of the room.

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