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Where lighting is concerned, the saying "perception is reality" is much more accurate than you may think.
When you enter a home, lighting - often on a deep, subconscious level - can quite literally be the difference between the boring and the sublime; between the disturbing and the stunning.
How do you create that magic? Here are our ten secret tips for perfect indoor lighting.
1 Plan, plan, plan
Almost everyone who buys lights is tempted to walk around their house, determine which lights go where, and go directly to purchasing. That however is a fatal mistake. You need a detailed lighting plan which will include a different mood for every room, measurements, and how various lights within each room will interact.
2 Go warm
The most important secret of all, and the most trivial, is to ensure that all your globes - especially downlights - are warm white. Most globes are either cool white or daylight white which are great for brightness but should be avoided at all costs in your home, unless you want it to feel like a petrol station.
3 Layers look great
Lighting looks infinitely better to the eye if it is installed in layers because this produces pleasing shadows and gradients. For example, in your bedroom you should install not only a pendant light, but also have table lamps - and ensure they all turned on together.
4 Dimmers, dimmers everywhere
With the exception of the kitchen and the bathroom, your home should include dimmers pretty much everywhere. Dimmers are the ultimate tool for refining the mood to exactly where you want it. Not all globes are dimmable, so remember to purchase dimmable ones.
5 Magic number is three
The ultimate answer to the question of lighting design is the number three. Why? Because all interior designers know of that very simple trick whereby they put three lights - most often pendants, and sometimes differing lengths - above your dining table, kitchen table or kitchen island. It makes a stunning impact and brings a room to life.
6 Focus on the interesting
Another tip is to create pools of light around specific areas of your home. These can be pot plants, pianos, sofas, or even bare walls. The pools can be created using adjustable downlights, spotlights or track lights.
7 Less is definitely more
One of the most important secrets of all - and the one most often ignored - in that where lighting is concerned, less is more. For example, two downlights will most often suffice in a bedroom, particularly when you utilise layering.
8 Create a central light
Make sure that at the areas where people will gather in your house - normally the dining or living rooms - you install stunning, high-end overhead lights, such as chandeliers. This point cannot be overstated, as the lights will become conversation pieces and will transform the rooms.
9 Don't forget the bedroom
You'll be spending a lot of time in the bedroom so it's important that the lighting is practical. Overhead lights should not shine into your eyes and bedside lamps should be accessible and flexible.
10 Be courageous
Our final secret tip is to be bold. Almost always, being courageous works very well and produces a great result. Try things a little out of the box: for example, a coloured globe directed at a wall or a strip light along the ceiling.
For the largest range of indoor lights in Australia, with thousands of products, see Lighting Style.