t is a truth universally acknowledged that the rooms in which we spend most of our time must be in want of a proper lighting scheme. By “scheme” I mean a network of lamps to allow you to achieve different atmospheres in the same room, instead of relying on a (deep breath) “Main Light” for all your lighting needs. Great lighting can completely change a room and with this season’s launches, the early sunsets will prove to be less dreaded premature curtain calls and, instead, a much-anticipated opportunity to illuminate your space in fun and interesting ways. In my books, the earlier the sunset the better.
When it comes to lighting schemes, work on the principle of layering task, ambient and accent lighting. “Lighting for the home has three distinct purposes which, if possible, you should consider at planning stages to maximise opportunities,” says Peter Bowles, founder of Original BTC, the British lighting brand. “Task lighting helps you perform specific jobs, ambient or mood lighting creates atmosphere, while accent lighting highlights areas of interest. Effective, efficient lighting should be built up in layers, using a mixture of all three lighting types to achieve the perfect balance.”
When reconsidering your lighting scheme, the best place to start is with your bulbs. According to Emily Butterill, owner and the designer at Glow Lighting, approximately 5 per cent of household energy costs are for lighting, so it’s worth making sure you’re minimising this spend where possible. “Selecting energy-efficient light bulbs can make a big difference,” she says. “Although the initial outlay may be higher for LED, a 4w LED lightbulb should last around 25 times longer than their 60w incandescent counterparts. Quirky vintage style LED filament lightbulbs are becoming readily available, so you need not scrimp on style.”
When it comes to the decorative considerations of putting together your lighting scheme, the new season trends point to conversational, statement-making shades and bases. Hayley Pearshouse, lighting buyer for Sainsbury’s Home and Argos Home says that “these ornate options, with their quirky, novelty bases and shades, work as objects throughout the day, turning into hero lighting features come evening”. She adds, “animal-inspired lamps are this season’s biggest trend with searches up 115 per cent since last year”. For the ultimate novelty shades, try Sainsbury’s Home, Seletti, Oka and of course Porta Romana for its Duck Feet lamp.
Another fantastic new season launch is Matthew Williamson’s lampshade collection for Pooky, the decorative lighting brand. The collection, which launched earlier this month, comprises a colourful cocktail of animal prints (naturally), ikats, florals, and palm prints. “All of my rooms at home are filled with interesting lights,” says Williamson. “When it comes to lighting your home,” he adds, “choosing lamps should be like selecting accessories to complement an outfit. Setting the mood rests entirely on the lighting you choose. Forget about using one main lighting source in favour of illuminating a few lamps around the room for a more interesting, flattering lighting scheme. This way, you can be more flexible with what you intend to light.”
For the design purists out there, new for AW20 from iconic British lighting brand Anglepoise is the Type 75 Mini table lamp. The design builds on one of the brand’s most classic designs, which is also a known favourite of design director Sir Kenneth Grange, to create a model which is ideal for bedsides and home office desks. It features light vents at the top of the shade which give a decorative, ambient effect, meaning you’re in great company when burning the midnight (or late afternoon…) oil.