Lighting is a big part of design
RENOVATION and interior design has always been one of the biggest fixations for home owners, regardless of what type of property one owns.
Be it HDB, condo or a landed property, a well-thought-out renovation job truly makes the home one's own. But with flooring, wall paint, layout and furniture arrangement to think about, it's easy to forget the other touches.
Lighting and other small elements play a part, too. To help out those who are looking to renovate their homes, Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has compiled a list of tips that one can think about when in the renovation process.
1. WALL SWITCHES AS A DESIGN ELEMENT
Wall switches are necessary fixtures throughout the home. But think about this - they're also located at eye level and can be used as elements in your interior design.
Choose aesthetically-pleasing switches and sockets that fit in with your design concept, instead of trying to make them unobtrusive, as most home owners do.
2. ENSURE YOUR DESIGNS BLEND WELL
Design is all about blending various elements and making sure they go together. There's another way to put this: Think about the "flow" of the room.
Avoid placing sharp or pointed objects in the living room. Instead, display them within an enclosure so that the sharp angles and lines don't stand out too prominently.
3. NIGHT LIGHTS
Ever woken up in the middle of the night and fumbled around for the light switch? Two words: Stubbed toes.
Some modern mechanical switches feature LED locators that give off an enticing soft glow, allowing sleepy-eyed people to easily locate the switch at night. The soft lighting ensures that the room is not too bright for a good night's sleep.
4. LIVING-ROOM LIGHTING
As the focal point of most households, it is of utmost importance that the living room has adequate lighting. For those who believe in fengshui, a bright living room signifies good fortune and positivity. Round lamps are ideal as they signify completeness. Try to avoid lamps or furnishings with pointed edges or corners. Other light furnishings with irregular shapes are not suited for use in the living room, as they can make people feel uneasy.
5. LIGHTING ON DEMAND
An elegant form of lighting control is via occupancy sensors, which provide lighting on demand. They detect movement and turn the lights on only when and where needed, saving electricity in the process. Occupancy sensors bring convenience and simplicity to the modern home, and help prevent accidents, especially at night.
6. OPTIMISE LIGHTING
With lighting accounting for 20 to 30 per cent of electricity consumption in a home, keep this in mind when carrying out renovation work. One of the easiest ways to ensure that the home is energy efficient is to optimise the use of lighting with dimmable occupancy sensors.
These high-tech installations reduce light-related electricity wastage by turning lights off in unoccupied areas, and dimming the lights to optimum brightness according to the light intensity of the environment.
7. WATERPROOFING AND WEATHERPROOFING
One of the most vital safety aspects for the home is preventing electrical shocks. As more and more electrical and electronic items such as small TV sets and radios are being installed in humid places like bathrooms, outdoor gardens or balconies, waterproofing and weatherproofing the sockets connected to these devices is becoming even more important.
When shopping around, ask about the Kavacha membrane for socket and switch covers that prevents electricity leakage due to wet hands.
8. KEEPING ORDER
In most homes, the area around the TV is probably the most wired-up with high-tech gadgets which will probably include a DVD player, hi-fi system, cable TV set-top box, and perhaps even an entertainment system like the Xbox.
But it also means that this area is one of the most messy, with wires trailing everywhere. Use wire organisers to make the area look neat and tidy.
9. CONTROL THE HOME, DON'T LET IT CONTROL YOU
These days, various companies like Schneider offer home-control solutions that allow home owners to manipulate appliances and systems from one central dashboard.
When you're out, you can use a mobile device to monitor that all is well at home. It's also possible to remotely video-monitor the home via mobile device or PC.
10. MANAGE YOUR ENERGY CONSUMPTION
When renovating, home owners can consider installing an energy monitor which will help them better understand energy-consumption patterns and save on utilities. The power monitor allows home owners to conduct regular checks on energy-consumption levels in different zones of the home.
Information from Schneider Electric.