COLLECTIVISTE LIGHTING BUYING GUIDE
Lighting Buying Guides are boring and they almost all say exactly the same thing! So, rather than do what is expected of a lighting company, we are going to stick our flag in the sand, do a bit of jargon busting and share a few honest opinions, we might even chuck in a few do's and don't's!
So, lets start by blowing up the foundation of every good buying guide, Function! A professional lighting designer would likely walk you through your home discussing the three principal functions of lighting as traditionally understood, they are: Ambient, Accent and Task lighting. They would then go through product options that fall within those definitions in order to create what is termed as 'layering' into your design scheme. Lets hold it right there and state for the record that there are no right answers when it comes to lighting your home, and no set rules!
Task lighting is often fantastic to create accented areas; for example, imagine an old industrial task light carefully angled at a beautiful indoor plant, bookcase, work of art or that awesome designer armchair that nobody actually sits in. Conversely, in the modern world, while working at a computer late in the evenings, the last thing you actually want is a bright task light on your desk!! This is particularly true if you need to think or write creatively, in which case a nice low wattage decorative light in addition to the light from the screen can be just the ticket.
Everyone has different ideas about either what type of lights they like from a decorative perspective and also what constitutes the right level of light. Here at Collectiviste, we all feel very differently about this; Evelyn prefers her home to be on the brighter side, while Nicole much prefers pockets of light. During trade and design shows across the country, we are constantly talking to interior designers who have wildly different views on this and it shows in the product choices they make: those who prefer brighter lit rooms invariably select Elara (white mother of pearl) for their projects, while those with a penchant for more sultry palettes opt for the Callisto range (golden shells).
There really is no right answer, only a very human instinct that the French call 'un coup de coeur' or a shot to the heart. It is a beautiful expression that characterises a decision that is instinctive and personal in nature rather than analytical or deliberate.
There is no question that the best way to create a relaxed and welcoming home is through the thoughtful use of lighting. We do not disagree with most Lighting Guides which state that lighting your home is the perfect blend between the necessary and the nice.... but the necessary part is easy and quite frankly a bit dull. Any old bulb or fixture can illuminate a space, so the most important question really should be: how are my lighting choices working together to create ambiance and set the mood? In reality, this can only really be achieved through trial and error and experimenting.
Take any lighting designer or expert, who has a set vision for a particular room or starts discussing wattage formulas per square foot or square meter, with a pinch of salt. It's handy to be able to instantly change the feel of a room depending on the occasion or who has come to visit. A romantic evening in, dim those lights! The in-laws are discussing politics or religion, turn the lights up quick!! Want the kids to settle down and get ready for bed, dim the lights again. This works a treat. Want people to really relax and have fun at your party? Nothing achieves this better than dimming the lights. As soon as they've overstayed their welcome - turn the lights up again!! Being able to control the level of lighting will determine how people feel and really set the scene, but how you find the right combination of lights in your home is entirely up to you and entirely instinctive, you will feel if it works or not.
So the key message here really is just don't worry too much about design, or getting things wrong. Lighting your home really isn't difficult, its much more about just playing with light in order to alter the atmosphere and mood of a space, which, when done right, can have a hugely positive impact on your general state of well being. If this guide hopes to convey anything, is it to ditch the technical jargon, which is all just basic stuff we all understand anyway and get straight into the good stuff, what works for you and looks amazing!! Great lighting will absolutely transform your home.
A few Do's and Don'ts before we go:
DON'T Go for chrome or metallic light fittings with cold white or daylight LED bulbs. Unless you own a dental clinic or want your visitors to be able to inspect your every minor blemish and wrinkle! Make-up artists use this type of lighting as it's totally unforgiving working under the principle that if you can see all the blemishes, you'll have a better chance of covering them all up!
DO Highlight cool stuff in your home: old beams, fireplaces, indoor plants, artwork, you name it. Drawing attention away from the centre of the room and towards interesting aspects in the periphery is always a good idea.
DON'T be afraid to obscure or partially obscure your lamps behind sofas, furniture, cabinets, sculptures or behind plants. It's an unobtrusive way to set the mood and create an interesting sense of depth in the room.
DO experiment with wattage and, if using LED bulbs, with the warmth that they emit. This is largely a personal choice, however, what most people are actually searching for is "The Tungsten Look". The classic tungsten bulbs (now illegal) used to emit an instant warm radiant light - they naturally created atmosphere and, if we're honest, none of the Eco - Halogen or LED bulbs have been able to match it!! The Callisto range recreates this effect by almost perfectly matching the quality of the light emitted by the old Tungsten bulbs. It's just amazing, from a nerdy perspective, that the filtering effect of the shells is able to recreate this and something we are very proud of.
DO consider colourful lighting options as they have an almost magical capacity to pick up on tones within paintings, soft furnishings and other colour palettes in the room. If, in addition to achieving this you want a light that is a work of art in its own right, have a look at our hand painted Calypso range... a firm favourite with anyone looking to bring a bit of VaVaVoom to a room!
DO look at finishes and how they could add impact to your existing design scheme, while matching or accentuating other materials in the room.
DON'T be afraid of taller lamps. Interior design factoid: By obscuring the corners of a room you actually make the room look larger!! It's an optical elusion that we first learnt about from our friend Laurence Llewelyn Bowen.
DON'T buy generic mass produced light fixtures.... it is the hight of bad taste!
DO buy artisanal, handmade products that celebrate human creativity and support the communities and cultures from which they came!! YAY
DO dare to be different.