The Lighting Plan - How We Did It

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1 The Challenge: Warm & Cosy Ambience
2 The Lighting Plan: How We Did It
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I was surprised this blog attracts readers from local renovation forums such as,, and

Lighting Plan - Warm & Cosy

After we posted the above photo of our living area, some of you wanted to know how we did the lighting. Well, here's the lighting plan for our living area: how we did it!

The Plan
We wanted our living area to serve two functions: first, to provide a cosy, warm space to entertain guests and for the family to spend quality time together. Such as enjoying a movie on the home theater or watching TV together.

However, on occasions we may need the living space to be generally well-lit, particularly during festive occasions when many guests arrive at the same time.

That meant the light fixtures we buy must provide (1) general lighting and (2) mood lighting - providing a soft, cosy ambiance that is conducive for conversation in a relaxed setting.

Ceiling Light: Nothing fanciful, simple E27 Bulb for LED in future

To achieve general lighting for the living space, we settled on two energy-saving fluorescent bulbs rated at 36 watts each, each giving a brightness equivalent to a 150W incandescent bulb. These energy-savers would be our main ceiling light to provide general lighting for the living space.

We also wanted the ceiling light fixture to be future-proof, as we wished to replace the energy-saving fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs

in future. That meant we had to settle for the standard E27 bulb socket instead of buying light fixtures - most of which come with proprietary sockets - that would become dated and obsolete when LEDs become the rage in a few years' time. The high-quality 6W Cree LED Light Bulb with E27 socket shown on the left, for instance, supposedly replaces a 60W incandescent bulb! However, we would need several of these LED bulbs to provide sufficient illumination over a large living space. These bulbs generally last 5 to 15 years, consume very little electricity, hence pay for themselves within a short period of time.

Two parallel ceiling strips with E27 CFC Bulbs for future LEDs

We foresee LED bulbs will become mainstream products within the next 5 years, if not sooner. At present we could only get LEDs for wall lights and spot lights locally, not for ceiling lights. Lightcraft stocks several of these LEDs, but prices are generally steep. Perhaps as LED technology matures and consumer demand for home LED lighting grows, prices will drop to more acceptable levels in future.

To supplement the ceiling lights, we installed two Zen-inspired wall lamps - again a minimalist design - from Lightcraft. The wall lamps used 100W halogen bulbs that gave a bright, bluish-while light.

Our Investment Piece: Wall Lamp, Simple yet Beautiful, a classic design!

Zen-inspired Wall Lamps from Japan

Now for the important ambient lighting scheme.

Mood Lighting
To create a soft, relaxing ambiance in the living space, we used incandescent bulbs, particularly bulbs that gave a warm, yellowish glow.

After looking around, we found Ikea retailed bulbs and fixtures that produced the type and quality of light we were after.

Mood lighting - in our view - is mainly created by table lamps and floor lamps

placed appropriately around the living space. Placement is essential to produce the degree of ambiance we were after. That required lots of trial-and-errors, before we found ideal locations for the lamp placements.

Finally we settled on an Ikea floor-standing lamp that produced a warm, cosy light and placed it beside the 3-seater sofa.

Found this beautiful scandinavian-designed floor lamp at Ikea

And we bought two table lamps of a minimalist Zen-inspired design from Ikea to supplement the warm glow produced by the floor lamp. These were placed on the console.

There's beauty in simplicity - table lamp from Ikea

We employed LED wall lights to provide a degree of contrast with its daylight-type quality. Which was fine as the LED wall lights provided only a small and limited amount of whitish daylight to "paint" the wall, not enough to overwhelm the overall mood lighting scheme.

LED Wall Lamps: not many choices available

Dining Lamp with 7 mood settings operated remotely!
For the dining area we bought a hanging dining light from Lightcraft that was able to direct light 3-ways singly: down-light, reflected inner dome-light, up-light and in 4 combination giving different moods. Eg.s operated singly upwards to "wash" the ceiling, downwards to highlight food dishes on the dining table, and reflected by the dome to produce a wide swathe of warm light that lighted up the entire dining room area. The light fixture operated by remote control. Nice.

So there you have it - our lighting plan for our living space! Do you think we succeeded in creating a cozy ambiance for our living space? Hit the Shout Box and show us yours!

Related Posts
1 The Challenge: Warm & Cosy Ambience
2 The Lighting Plan: How We Did It
3 Showcase: Lights
4 More Lights


Anonymous said...


GreenCoal said...

Please post in English for the benefit of our non-Chinese / non-Mandarin speaking readers. Thank you.

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