David Lee and Susan Cohen of Pastor Real Estate, look at the importance of getting the lighting in your property right, especially at this time of year, and how it can make a big difference to the way a property ‘shows’.
“As we draw closer to winter, the way a property is lit has never been more important.” says David Lee, Head of Sales, Pastor Real Estate. “Put simply, prospective purchasers and tenants are unlikely to be attracted to a house that feels dark. It is therefore crucial that agents arrive early to carry out as much pre-viewing preparation as possible, including, amongst other things, switching on the lights and setting the scene.
This is of particular importance for our international clients who live abroad and rely on our ability to present their homes. For those considering a new lighting scheme, determining the aspect of each room is crucial in recognising what type of light intervention might be required. A predominately north facing room, even in the summer, will receive limited light all year round. Analysing how much natural daylight a room collects is therefore crucial in shaping a well thought-out lighting schedule. Naturally, different types of light create a variety of atmospheres, all of which can dramatically impact the mood of a room.
Ambient light is likely most appropriate in rooms used for relaxation, with mood lighting favoured for bedrooms. Bright, clean light is often chosen for kitchens and is particularly useful at highlighting cookers and counter tops. Pendent lights with dimmers, as well as more discreet uplighters ensure furniture items and artwork are presented at their best.”
Susan Cohen, Head of Lettings, Pastor Real Estate lists her do’s and don’t’s to achieving the right look and feel through lighting
Feature Lighting: You can couple the basic need for light with the wider interior decoration needs of a property by considering well thought out feature lighting. However it is important to be mindful of the property in question. For example new age modern downlighting may look out of place in a Grade II listed period property.
Often in period properties, modern lighting can be dealt with in a more sympathetic way by recessing the lights under the cornice or a dropped ceiling, giving a more subtle but effective appearance. The light from a central fitting may also need to be enhanced with wall lighting in order to ensure the light is well distributed throughout a room. Equally, too large a floor lamp in a small room will be counterproductive as this will often look odd and make the room look smaller.
Back and up lighting: Often a simple option to provide further depth to a room or to highlight any unique features such as a fireplace or exposed brick wall.
Coloured lights: Popular today is the introduction of coloured lights, often in bathrooms. There are a variety of options from single to multi changing bulbs.
Type of Lighting: There is a huge variety of different lighting available, it is therefore important to select the right type of light for each space. Warm lighting is the best suited option for a residential home, we often see cold LED lighting installed in refurbished properties which do not promote a homely environment, rather remind us of an office!
Dimmer switches or mood lighting systems –we would recommend dimmer switches, or if the budget allows, a mood lighting system, giving the occupant the option to control the lighting themselves. Lamps should be wired into a system whereby they can all be switched on from the door and in the case of a bedroom from the bedside.
Energy Efficiency: When choosing, it is important to consider the energy efficiency of the property. Energy efficient light is generally slightly more expensive initially, but the benefits are recouped in the longer term by way of reduced running costs (both in terms of bills and often the cost of changing bulbs), and with the introduction of the EPC in 2007, and the pending minimum E rating from April next year, changes like this will help to achieve a high EPC rating. You can further help with the energy efficiency of a property by having motion sensitive lighting in certain rooms, ensuring that lights are not left on unnecessarily. We do not recommend these in a residential property as they are a nuisance.
Embrace technology: Long gone are the days of just choosing between 60 and 100 watt bulbs. There are a variety of technological advances in this area to consider and take advantage of, ever mindful of one’s budget. There are remote control bulbs, bulbs with a speak built in, colour changing bulbs, lighting systems controlled by your phone in the Bahamas!