You may think that lighting for a conservatory isn’t overly important due to the high level of glazing involved in the structure, however, this is far from the truth. Designing the perfect lighting scheme for a conservatory is absolutely critical.
During the summer you will be blessed with a bright and light space, as long as the weather is kind. But, on those days when the sun isn’t always shining, or if you want to use the room late into the evening, you need to ensure your lighting is appropriate. Your conservatory is a space you want to use all year round, no matter the weather, and that is where good lighting is important. With that in mind, here are some important things to consider when planning the lighting for your new conservatory.
Build the interior around a statement pendant
Typically, a conservatory is used as a separate dining room or kitchen, therefore, fitting a central pendant to create a true design statement might be a perfect choice. A pendant provides the ideal combination of ambient lighting for an evening meal while providing enough illumination for everyday tasks, such as unloading the shopping. We often see homeowners choose one large eye catching pendant or multiple smaller ones that can be hung over a dining table or kitchen island to create a focal point that complements the rest of the room.
Alternatively, if your requirements are purely functional a minimal pendant will give you the light you need without overpowering the room. These are typically a popular choice over a kitchen island where they provide illumination to a sink or hob and leave enough headroom for the cook to work under.
A pendant is an ideal choice for a conservatory where the glazed walls make it difficult to install wall lights. Additionally, the apex of a conservatory is a perfect point from which to mount the fitting.
Frame the room with strip lights
The amount of glazing in a conservatory makes it difficult to run electrical wiring around the room, therefore it’s important to make the most of the foundation walls. The low level walls of a conservatory are a practical place to install electrical outlets and other power supplies for your lighting. Many homeowners like to install strip lights around the outer edge of the room to help frame their interior.
Alternatively, adding uplighters around the room will help to reflect a warm glow up the walls and to the ceiling above. Not only will this help illuminate the room but it will help to create a cosy space where you can enjoy a long quiet evening. On the other hand, downlights are an option that helps to brighten the space and avoid the annoying reflections that can come from the glazed walls.
Function over style
While we want our lighting to help elevate the overall interior design, there are situations where function is more important than design. This is particularly true in a space such as a kitchen or home workspace. Task lighting, or functional lighting, will be brighter than ambient lighting to ensure the space is well like with no shadows, allowing tasks to be undertaken efficiently and safely.
For example, in a kitchen, you may want ambient lighting to help set the mood for an evening meal, however, task lighting will be crucial when it comes to preparing the meal. Therefore, it can be useful to install spotlights above a kitchen countertop to help illuminate the space where food preparation takes place. Another option that allows you to seamlessly transition from functional lighting to ambient lighting is the addition of dimmer switches for full control over your lighting.
Always have options
When it comes to planning a conservatory lighting scheme, the biggest piece of advice we could give homeowners is to have choice. Don’t just look at the space from the same level, you need to consider the different layers of lighting that might be required. It makes sense to start from the top with a central pendant that will light the whole room, but you may need more subtle lighting for other occasions. This is where tall floor lamps or small tables lamps will help to create a warm glow in the room for an evening of relaxation with family or friends.
Despite being a room that is flooded with natural light during the day, it can be difficult to design a balanced lighting scheme for a conservatory. By following these tips you will be confident that you have designed a space that can be enjoyed all year round.
Mervyn Montgomery of Hampton Conservatories.
Mervyn established Hampton Conservatories, almost 40 years ago, as a manufacturer of bespoke joinery products for the restoration and heritage sectors. Since then, he has personally overseen the expansion of his company throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe, & North America, and its development into one of the leaders in its field.