When you are planning and designing a conservatory there are so many different things to think about. There are the frames and the style of conservatory you want, there’s the glazing and the roof to consider and of course, once built, the conservatory must be furnished. The lighting is an important, but often overlooked, contributor to the overall ambience and feel of your finished conservatory.
Although a conservatory is essentially designed to capture the daylight, once the sun has gone down, the room will need some lighting if you intend to use it in the evening. There are many different ways to light a conservatory and plenty of ways to use lighting to enhance the look of the conservatory. Rather than just being a function, conservatory lighting can play a big part in the design.
When you think about the different ways to light your conservatory, you can think about the different styles of lighting and how you might use them.
Primary lighting is considered the main light source in the room. Usually this would be a ceiling light, but it could be via lamps or wall lights.
You may want to use a dimmer control with the primary lighting, to allow you to change the mood in the room. Task lighting is specifically designed for use with certain tasks such as reading.
This could be used to practical effect if you undertake any hobbies in the conservatory. Accent lighting is used to highlight area of interest, such as a painting, an ornament, or a particular part of the conservatory structure.
Different types of lighting
There are many different types of light on the market, some of the more common for use in conservatories are below:
Most conservatories use one wall of the house, making wall lights a popular choice. They can come in a variety of designs and colours, the styles include uplighters, which direct the light up towards the ceiling; downlighters which direct the light towards the floor, spotlights that can be moved around to shine wherever you want, and flush fitting lights which are flush to the surface of the wall.
Ceiling lighting in conservatories is generally surface mounted lighting, or lighting hanging from a ceiling rose. Due to the way conservatories are constructed, recessed lighting is not possible. Almost any type of ceiling light and shade can be fitted, but bear in mind that it will be very exposed to the sun and colours may fade.
Floor lighting is becoming more popular in conservatories, and can add a stylish look to the room. Floor lights that you can walk over are recessed into the floor, flush with the surface. The type of flooring you have, and the style you have in mind for the conservatory will determine whether floor lights are suitable. They shine straight up, and can be very effective when used to light up walkways and decking.
Lamps and table lamps
Standard floor standing lamps and table lamps are very versatile and can be used to provide the main light source for the conservatory, to provide task lighting, or to accentuate certain features within the room. Their only restriction is that they need to be close to a power socket; lamps are available in a range of different styles from the traditional bulb with a lampshade, to the more modern LED and energy efficient lamps.
A table standing lamp is a great way of drawing attention to a particular area of the room, or to highlight the ornamental table it is standing on. Many lamps also come with integral dimmer switches, allowing you to change the ambience of the room as required.
Much of the information above relates to lighting the inside of a conservatory, but you can extend the living space and create some fascinating designs with the use of outside lighting in the garden and around your conservatory.
As we have mentioned, floor lighting can be used to light up paths or decking; and if you want to be able to admire your garden long after the sun has gone down, large spotlights could be fitted to the exterior of the conservatory to completely light up the outside space.
For a much more subtle appearance, you can use solar powered garden lights, or low voltage lights. These are typically installed around the garden at low level and at regular intervals. These types of lights can be bought in a variety of different styles and colours, which can give the garden a unique look when viewed from the conservatory.
A conservatory light should not be considered as a merely functional purchase,you should take the time to consider all the different options for lighting when planning your conservatory. The lighting is a significant factor in the ambience and comfort level in the room and can be used to create different moods at different times or to draw attention to particular areas of interest. It is worth thinking about how to integrate lighting into your design, how it will work with the furniture and the style of the room.
There are a wide variety of conservatory lights on the market to choose from and a variety of styles within each category. It is important to ascertain what the lighting is for as it will help you to make a decision. If it is to be the primary light source in the conservatory, you might be considering a ceiling light or wall lights.
If you need light to read or to work on a computer, then you should look for a task light; perhaps a table lamp or an adjustable lamp would be suitable. If you are looking to create a certain style you might opt for floor lights or metal LED floor standing lamps to create a modern look; or softly coloured downlights on the wall and lamps with fabric shades to create a comfortable, cosy look.