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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Lighting design for self builders

A good artificial illumination setup will help you make the most of your home’s unique features – both functionally and in terms of its aesthetic appeal, says architect Julian Owen

If you’re a theatregoer, you’ll probably have noticed how effectively the drama is emphasised and enhanced by the way the stage is lit. Exactly the same principle applies to your home’s artificial lighting – not only does it have an important functional role, but it can affect the mood and encourage an emotional response. Many self builders don’t think about the lighting scheme until quite late in their project programme, but planning it before you start building will help you to maximise all the potential benefits that a good illumination design can offer.

Fitting a new lighting system in an existing room can be messy and expensive – the wiring will need to be chased into the walls to conceal it, requiring complete redecoration afterwards. But if you are building from scratch (or totally refurbishing a room) there are plenty of ways to be creative without busting your budget. Integrating the lighting into the interior design will allow you to make use of the wide range of impressive effects available.

Function & emotion

The right illumination can bring an otherwise bland room to life. This is one reason why the hospitality sector invests so heavily in lighting design and use its techniques to make their interiors feel plush and special. It’s worth looking around some upmarket hotels to pick up a few ideas. In these projects, the bulbs, fittings and their siting are all carefully chosen, and the way the light is cast and reflected is controlled to create particular moods.

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About Build It

The May edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A stunning light-filled contemporary bungalow transformation (page 20) • Discover the right build system for your project (page 60) • Choose a modern front door (page 71) • A complete guide to loft conversions (page 80) • Top tips for your lighting design (page 90) • Common plot issues and how to overcome them (page 97) • Dealing with damp (page 103) … and more!