Flick the switch: Lighting trends and expert advice

Flick the switch: Lighting trends and expert advice
Universal Magazines

Industry experts share their advice on how to make the most of lighting in your home + noteworthy lighting trends. 

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Interior design isn’t just about designer furniture and homewares: good lighting will give your home a sense of atmosphere and ambience. We caught up with a couple of industry experts to find out how to use lighting to infuse your living space with mood and personality:

Siobhan and Damon on noteworthy trends for lighting in 2012

  1. LED: “The use of LEDs in lighting is ubiquitous. Most lighting products are now available in LED, whether decorative pendants, wall lights or downlights. Lots of existing products that were made years ago are being relaunched in LED versions for better technical performance and, importantly, energy efficiency. On the whole, people are searching for more sustainable products,” says Siobhan.
  2. Natural finishes: “Consumers are certainly embracing natural materials. Timber has been extremely popular this year, adding natural and inviting warmth to lighting,” says Siobhan.
  3. Cluster lights: “It’s not just about taking a light and putting it in, it’s about installing it in a way that expresses something about the home,” explains Siobhan. Cluster lights work well in big spaces, creating a true focal point in the room.
  4. Splashes of colour: Bold use of colour is a dominant trend in decorative lighting. According to Siobhan, vibrant pops of magenta and other bright hues are making a statement, “Curved, moulded plastics with a high-gloss white and black finish and a splash of vibrant colour are on trend right now.”
  5. Big is back: “Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, interior lighting was hidden away from public view, almost as if it was an embarrassing afterthought,” says Damon. “The ubiquitous recessed downlight swamped everything from public buildings to private homes.” Now, as a result of the resurgence of retro fashions, interior design is embracing “big and bold” when it comes to lights. “The distinctive shape, light and shadow created by a well-chosen pendant can literally transform the mood of a space with the flick of a switch. It can act as a focal point or conversation piece in any space,” adds Damon.
  6. Down to the wire: shades constructed of thin wire in various shapes and styles are a new take on tradition. “Instead of trying to reduce the glare, these lights actually exploit it through their distinctive silhouettes, which cast interesting shadows around your space,” says Damon, “They can be used almost anywhere with spectacular effect. And if fitted with a low wattage bulb, these soothing shadows could work wonders in a child’s bedroom.”
  7. Sustaining style: The days of short-lived fads are over and consumers are searching for iconic designs that will stand the test of time “People don’t want things that will go out of fashion,” says Siobhan, “They don’t want to be changing their environment every few years. People want to shop for the long term, to invest their money wisely.” 

    Damon agrees that although energy saving designs would prevail, when it came to trends, lighting was like any piece of designer furniture: if it’s well considered, it can last for decades. “Don’t rely too much on the fashions of the day. It’s a never-ending cycle of minimalism versus flamboyance and the two often prevail simultaneously. The aesthetics and function of quality design are truly timeless,” he says.

Get inspired by these lovely lights

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Publish at: , last modify at: 30/06/2013

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