Lighting your loft space can be incredibly tricky. All those sloping ceilings are enough to give even the most ardent amateur designer a fit of the vapours. So where do you even begin? From the start, of course! Read on, follow our steps and you will be basking in the glory of your new loft conversion lighting scheme in no time at all.
Practical lighting for practical tasks: harnessing light & making your loft conversion work for you
Loft conversions are notoriously tricky to light. Get it wrong and you could find yourself in a dark place. Get it right and you could end up with a glorious space. Your own beacon of light in the sky.
First things first, get your task light correct. Look at each area and be honest about how you are intending to use the space. If you have created a study space, you will need adequate light for written tasks. If you have a bathroom in your loft, you will need to light for shaving, applying make-up etc. Will you have a bedroom in your new loft conversion? Do you read in bed? Will a child be using a desk for homework? If so, they need to be able see what they are doing. Think about how shadows will fall when placing light sources.
Using natural light to reach lofty highs by placing glazing strategically
Is there anything finer than basking in the invigorating glow of the sun? Really think about the natural rhythms of the sun when you plan your space. Clearly, buildings have restrictions, as do planning departments but where you can, carefully consider the beauty of natural light and harness it for maximum impact.
Switches everywhere. Keeping it simple in your new loft conversion
Unless you are using a smart lighting system in your loft conversion, try and design a simple and effective lighting scheme using a maximum of three circuits per room. If it is possible to create a beautiful and practical scheme with just two circuits per area, fantastic!
Achieving the desired effect with a circuit for tasks and one for atmosphere is optimum. Do this and you are onto a winner. If both of these can be on dimmers you have further opened up your options.
In larger multi use area perhaps think about adding side lamps, table lamps or perhaps a desk light to your two circuit scheme.
How to deal with the sloping ceilings & dormer spaces in your loft conversion
Often lighting schemes in loft conversion present two main issues; restricted ceiling heights and sloping ceilings. Recessed downlights are an ideal solution for low ceilings. Perhaps think about adjustable fittings. There are some gorgeous frameless options out there, both square, round and multiple units. Be careful using them on sloping areas!
Consider how joists and steels are positioned and work your layout around these restrictions. Check you can dim the fittings and that they are compatible with your dimmer switches. Make sure recessed lights comply with fire safety! This is so important.
Use those full height straight walls to their full potential
Any straight full height wall is a candidate for a wall light. Identify these areas and consider how you can make use of them. These walls are often the only spaces that are suitable candidates for wall hung art and shelves. Can you combine your art, shelves and lighting?
Grab that pencil and work where and how you are positioning furniture, then identify the flat ceiling sections and any straight full height walls. Think about how you will use the spaces and get designing.