How to light your dream bedroom

Rardo Architects + AlsinaSech Lighting Projects

The bedroom is the first room we see when we wake up and the last one we see when we close our eyes; we start and finish each day between its four walls. This reason alone means we should take special care when designing its lighting. However, we often pay little attention to it, beyond applying run-of-the-mill lighting solutions such as placing fittings on both sides of the bed and having diffuse ambient lighting. There are many more resources we can use to help create more personalized and appropriate lighting that match our interior design and requirements.

Ideally, bedroom lighting should be bright and energizing in the morning and intimate and atmospheric at night. But there are nuances that depend on how we use the room throughout the day: Do we read in bed or somewhere in the room? Do we have a wardrobe or dressing area? Is there a TV in the bedroom? If it is a couple’s bedroom, are they both going to sleep and wake up at the same time? The design of layers of ambient, task and accent lighting, together with the use of lighting controls are the main tools enable us to adapt the lighting to the needs and lifestyle of each customer, and of course the design and personality of each space. In this context, linear leds provide interesting solutions and details for bedroom lighting, whatever style we choose, as we will see below.

Rardo Architects + AlsiaSech Lighting Projects

The lighting layers in the bedroom

Ambient or general light is the base layer of well-designed bedroom lighting. It should give soft, wide-range lighting that complements natural light. There are many ways to achieve this, whether with decorative ceiling or standing fittings or by using indirect light provided by led strips built into false ceilings, sconces, or perimeter curtains. An interesting solution for this type of lighting is to use leds with adjustable colour-temperature changes, such as Lluria’s Titan Double White, which can emit several shades of white between 2400K and 6000K and adapt the atmosphere to every moment of the day.

Good ambient lighting is the basic lighting that connects to the other lighting layers – the task layer and the accent layer – which will be used for other typical bedroom tasks such as reading, watching TV or dressing.

The reading light usually can usually be resolved using focal or diffused light fittings next to the bed or in the reading or study corner.

Rardo Architects + AlsinaSech Lighting Projects

General lighting may be sufficient for dressing, but customers are increasingly aware of the importance of a good task light in the dressing area and request specific, front and diffuse lights close to the mirror and built-in lights in the cabinets that sorting, looking at and locating clothes. Both needs can be solved using linear leds, which are increasingly refined and adapted to the various types of mirrors, cabinets and dressing rooms. The range of Lluria’s sizes, profiles and optics means we can configure specific fittings for each application.

Accent lighting often adds personality and emphasis to a corner or detail of the room, often through accent lighting or even decorative lighting. An interesting solution provided by linear leds can be found by integrating them into shelves to create lighting effects that highlight books or decorative objects.  In short, the more layers of lighting we have in the room, the more variety and flexibility we can achieve, as is the case in other rooms in the house. The bedroom, moreover, has a peculiarity. Everything revolves around a piece of furniture, the bed, of standardized dimensions and that allows conditions the distribution of the space. Now, we’ll look at how we can light this area.

Saladie Light Studio

The bed, the functional and visual focus of the bedroom

The double bed is usually the largest piece of furniture in the bedroom and one of the largest pieces of furniture in the house. Sometimes we want to highlight it theatrically with accent lighting, but the most common thing is that the bed is not lit up by direct lighting, but by light that surrounds or frames it. This is usually provided by the lights in the bedside table areas (wall lights, tables, hanging lights or a combination), which are found in almost all bedrooms. Although their position means their primary function is to provide reading light on both sides of the bed, they often also serve as elements that frame it and define its personality.

But to highlight the bed, once again linear leds come to our help.  Built into the bed head, or under the bed and even bedside tables, they give nuanced light that can add a special touch to different layers of lighting. For example, indirectly lit bed heads can provide general ambient light or complement the reading light; lighting under the bed or a bedside table is ideal as signal lighting while generating a framework of light that places the visual accent on the bed itself.

Another unique aspect of the “bed area” is that it also functions as a control centre from which lights, curtains and television can be controlled. It is achieved by simple switches or by more complete control systems.

Rardo Architects + AlsinaSech Lighting Projects

Improving sleep quality

Since sleeping is our main activity in the bedroom, we should ask ourselves whether the lighting is ideal for a good night’s sleep. However as much as we may love artificial light, we sleep best in a completely dark bedroom. If we wake up at night to use the bathroom, a small signal light, of extremely low colour level and temperature, can be useful for moving around safely. Led lines hidden from sight under the bedside table or bed, with a colour temperature of 2400K or lower and regulated to a minimum, are an excellent solution. But while we sleep, the total absence of light helps us get a deep and refreshing sleep. Equally important is the light we are exposed to before bedtime. Higher light levels and longer wavelengths have been shown to suppress melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleeping and waking cycle. Therefore, using soft lights and warm/reddish tones before bedtime can help us rest better.

Layers of light to consider when lighting a home’s living room

Saladie Lighting Projects

A living room is the part of the house where light layering is essential. While the other rooms are normally used for specific tasks like cooking, sleeping or showering, the living room where people spend most of their personal or family life, and engage in a wide range of activities that depend on the time of day or their habits and customs. Since this multi-purpose room is usually the largest in the house, it is essential to ensure it has carefully planned, flexible lighting that takes into account the different layers of light – general, task and accent – and that you can adapt it to each way that the room is used.

One good strategy before starting to design the lighting is to ask yourself the following questions: How is the living room going to be used? Is it going to be used for reading, social activities, watching TV, or relaxing on the sofa? Is it going to have a study area for working on a computer? Is it going to include also a dining area? Is it going to open onto the kitchen?

Let’s look at lighting strategies that make a living room work and come alive in each of these cases.

AlsinaSech Lighting Projects
AlsinaSech Lighting Projects

First layer: ambient lighting

If the underlying idea is that a living room is normally used for relaxing, it is important to design an ambient lighting system that provides a light backdrop to the room.

LED strip lights are an excellent tool for creating this first general lighting layer, especially for a cosy indirect lighting effect. Hidden in recesses, in decorations on false ceilings or walls, or even on top of tall furniture, LED strip lights provide an indirect, discreet and effective general light. Installing lights on cornices or in perimeter mouldings brings great results because all the light is directed towards the ceiling, which reflects it and creates an extraordinarily even ambient light. This kind of lighting is the ideal base on which to add the other layers of light for each kind of activity.

Saladie Lighting Projects

Second layer: reading and watching television

The best option for reading is to put decorative reading luminaires, especially floor and swivel lights, mere sofas or armchairs. Their bright, focused light creates a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy a good book.

Watching TV or working at computer are other activities that people do every day in their living rooms and which call for almost the opposite type of lighting. TV and computer screens give off their own light, so you should avoid an overly dark environment so as not to tire your eyes too much. Yet the room’s lighting should not conflict with the screen, either by reflecting off it or generating a glare. Again, using indirect lighting solutions is the best way to solve both issues, avoiding any glare on the screen while reducing eyestrain at the same time. To ensure the solution is really flexible, the lighting should be dimmable so that you adjust its intensity.

Another more specific solution for watching TV is to place strip lighting behind the TV set, ideally using a colour temperature changing or RGBW LED strip. This helps to create a pleasant atmosphere while increasing visibility around the screen by providing the ideal level of contrast.

Iluminacion viviendas lineales led
Punto Luz

Third layer: accent lighting for social activities

Living rooms are usually where friends and family meet and get together, and often include a dining area, where lamps hanging over the dining table often take centre stage.

When it comes to socialising, accent lighting is key. This kind of lighting is often used to highlight artwork, family photos, bookshelves, plants, architectural details or anything that adds value and personality to the space and deserves to be highlighted.

There are numerous techniques for generating accent and contrast, whether through downlights, swivel spotlights or LED strip lights. Some of the best ways of using strip lighting is as a light source to illuminate pictures or to highlight the texture and material of a vertical wall with grazing light or wallwashing. Also, when they are built into furniture like shelves or bookcases. In the latter case, you need to think about how to build the lights into the item of furniture, and the types of shapes and optics, as the different combinations can produce totally different effects: from diffuse frontal lighting in a bookcase, to 45-degree angle accent lighting to illuminate decorative objects, to backlighting to highlight translucent or transparent elements such as bottles or crystal glasses.

The solution of integrating lighting into furniture, as a general kind of accent lighting, is also often used as a visual connecting element in kitchens that open up onto a living room. These cases call for more sophisticated lighting effects, especially when highlighting materials and finishes or transition areas to the living room, to “ennoble” the kitchen’s lighting language.

Punto Luz

Yet since living rooms are used in so many ways and laid out so differently, it is not only important to work with layers of light, but also to consider how they interact with each other. A basic approach would be to organise the circuits and lighting rationally, considering the different ways in which the space is used. The next step would be to implement a control system to make the layered lighting as flexible as possible and make the lighting of each different scenario easier to manage.

But if you need more advice on how to build LED strip lighting into your project, just contact us at info@lluria.com, and we will be happy to help you find the best solution.

Interview with Josep Maria Aixut of Aixut Interiorisme

Josep Maria Aixut

He is passionate about interior architecture. He never goes out without a paper and pencil in his pocket, his head is abuzz with ideas and he needs to be ready when inspiration strikes. He considers himself lucky. Since he started making photocopies at the age of 7 in his father’s interior design studio, he has not stopped doing what he likes the most: transforming spaces to make them beautiful and functional.

Aixut Interiorisme has been dedicated to interior architecture for more than 30 years. How would you define the studio’s professional career?

Aixut Interiorisme is a family business that was founded by my father and a partner under the name Aixut Alvarado. Since they both retired, it has continued under my creative direction and that of my wife, who is in charge of all the administrative part.

Aixut Interiorisme
Sala espera Hotel Brisa. Sant Antoni de Portman, Ibiza.

Would you say you have a recognizable style?

I suppose so, many of my clients can recognize the projects we work on. Despite the fact that our work philosophy implies adapting to the tastes and needs of our clients without ever repeating ourselves, in the end it is almost inevitable that we leave our personal mark. We carry out numerous works on the island of Ibiza and, as it is such a limited territory, we consider it essential never to develop two identical projects.

Aixut Interiorisme
Sala lectura Hotel Brisa. Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza.

How would you define that personal stamp?

Personally I’m always in search of functionality and dynamism. Starting from there, I develop the first ideas in sketches of plans that lay out directions, how people move about and spaces adapted to the needs of the clients.

Aixut Interiorisme
Cocina y salón vivienda particular. Ibiza.

Do you follow a methodology when facing an interior design project?

I like to develop projects as if they were for me. First, I listen to the client’s needs, I try to internalize them and from there I design using my own criteria, although obviously, always including their personal preferences. My way of designing is very peculiar. After taking measurements I always carry them about hand-drawn on a piece of paper in my pocket, so that when an idea occurs to me, wherever it is, I can automatically incorporate it. Some projects flow straight away, but others can stay in my pocket for days until I get the perfect solution that shapes them.

Aixut Interiorisme
Cocina vivienda particular. Ibiza.

Aixut Interiorisme is especially strong in the hotel industry and holiday homes in the Balearic Islands. What are the specific demands of this service?

We have several types of clients, depending on whether they are dedicated to seasonal or all-year-round tourism. We try to design a flexible interior design for the hotels that open all year round that provide warmth during winter and coolness in summer. Another condition is linked to the type of visitors they receive, the Italian, German or English visitors are totally different. But something common to all our clients is that we always establish an extremely close relationship of trust before, during and after the project. With the work already completed, it is quite common that each year we carry out different adjustments and fine-tuning. We are proud to say that, as a service company, we have clients in the hotel and the dwelling sectors with whom we have been working continuously for thirty years.

Aixut Interiorisme
Dormitorio vivienda particular. Ibiza.

The hotel industry is one of the industries that consumes most energy in Spain. Is the equation that factors comfort, efficiency and return on investment basic requirements when you design lighting?

We always try to achieve maximum energy savings in our projects. Without a doubt, the appearance of led technology and control systems has been of great help because we can create scenarios and adjust consumption to ideal levels, increasing quality, comfort and service.  It’s important to point out that Aixut Interiorisme doesn’t just handle interior design but develops global projects that take into account the consumption of electricity, gas and water and focusses intently technical installations, climate control and kitchens.

Aixut Interiorisme
Recepción Apartamentos Oasis Sa Tanca. Cala Llonga, Ibiza.

Home interior design is another area in which you are especially active. In this area, linear LEDs provide a wide variety of lighting solutions. Do you like to use light lines? What are your favourite uses?

I confess that I am a great admirer of led strips and I always fit them into our projects. We put a lot of thought into lighting, as it is the component that provides the greatest degree of comfort. Personally, I find indirect lighting attractive. Human beings receive sunlight from above, therefore it seems important to me to apply this principle in artificial lighting. When you install spotlights, you see a very intense point of light that generates a pool of light on the floor, not on the ceiling. That is why I consider that linear LEDs integrated into recesses, false ceilings, or with specific profiles that hide them, do let you light the ceiling. Then you can always add a fitting to provide focussed light at a certain point, but when designing general lighting, the linear led system provides greater uniformity, comfort and visual quality in all spaces.

Aixut Interiorisme
Cafeteria y terraza Hotel Lux Isla. Platja de Talamanca, Ibiza.

Could you mention a project in which the linear LEDs have solved a specific challenge?

In the renovation of the Sal Rossa tourist apartments in Platja d’en Bossa in Ibiza we had to renovate the pool area, located on a floating floor due to the problems associated with being in a flood zone. We had to adapt the lighting to the existing kidney shape and the best solution was offered by Lluria’s Wolf strip, as it had an IP68 rating and met the requirements of being flexible, submersible, shock and weather- resistant. Moreover, the resin capsule does not turn yellow in time, as it usually does. The client is very satisfied with the result, the lighting creates the right atmosphere for outdoor dining on summer nights.

Aixut Interiorisme
Terraza piscina Apartamentos Sal Rossa. Platja d'en Bossa, Ibiza.

Five creative ideas for lighting your bathroom

Saladie Lighting Projects

Bathrooms have been gaining more and more prominence in recent years and is no longer thought of as merely utilitarian. Nowadays bathrooms are designed as places where you can be alone and spend time on yourself,

It is essential to provide your bathroom with the right kind of lighting to turn it into a relaxing, intimate place where you can enhance our personal, physical and emotional well-being.

As we describe in our article “The three types of linear lighting in the home”, to make a bathroom comfortable and give it a pleasant atmosphere, you really need to take special care not only of the lighting you need for those intimate gestures up close to the mirror, but also of the ambient lighting. Although, when it comes to small bathrooms, the mirror lighting itself can also serve as ambient light. It is in larger bathrooms, designed with a spa area, or with finishing touches that need highlighting, where it is advisable to include accent lighting and decorative lighting fittings.

Here are 5 ideas to solve bathroom lighting creatively using linear leds:

VAM Arquitectos + Vié Il.luminació + Solertia

1. Minimal recessed lights

Integrating light lines in the ceiling, walls or floors creates an elegant and clean effect. Nowadays, thanks to miniature led lines, even the tiniest cubicle can be fitted with a curtain rail, coving, or a vertical or horizontal slot that emphasizes the structural elements and provides a soft indirect general lighting. Forget the downlights and risk recessing!

Tip: include light in wet and shower areas, using high-IP fittings.

iluminacion banños tiras led
Maraba Studio

2. Illuminated mirrors

The lighting in the mirror area is without a doubt the most important. Using linear LEDs on the sides of the mirror (integrated or surface) we can effectively solve the practical aspects of lighting; that is, personal care such as makeup and shaving. If you can’t fit lights on both sides of the mirror, you can also opt for frontal linear lighting at the top.

Placing LED strips behind the mirror does not provide the best light for practical purposes; however, depending on the finish, it can give an interesting general indirect light or an effective halo of light.

Tip: it is important to study the installation in detail to prevent the led strip from showing from different positions.

RS Arquitectura + Krea Lighting Studio

3. Furniture floating in nocturnal lighting

Depending on the time of day, or what you happen to be doing, increasing or decreasing the intensity of the light in the bathroom can make a massive difference. Integrated linear lighting fitted under furniture, benches or sinks offers an interesting opportunity, providing lighting which, in combination with other lighting systems, provides depth and visual richness to the space during the day, and at night provides a subtle halo of guiding light at ground level.

A word of advice: avoid direct reflection from the led strip on very glossy floor finishes.

Saladie Lighting Projects

4. Lighting integrated into furniture

The variety of ranges of profiles and linear miniature LEDs can provide personalised lighting solutions for any bathroom furniture. There are simple solutions, such as fitting the lighting directly onto the shelves or on the sides of the doors, using orientable profiles. The functional and aesthetic benefits are significant.

Tip: miniature shelves help you to get the most out of the space in your bathroom furniture.

La Casa de las Lamparas

5. Sensory dynamic lighting

Since the bathroom is a place dedicated to our well-being, why not dare to do something different and enjoy changing lighting for the pleasure of our senses?

Colour changes and dynamic white are often used in water and spa areas. Lluria’s waterproof and flexible led strips are ideal for this type of situation and can be fitted details to provide a perfect finish.

Dynamic white LEDs are also an excellent solution for the general lighting in any bathroom –especially one that lacks natural light– since they offer us the opportunity to better adjust the lighting to our circadian cycle: cooler and more energizing in the morning and warmer and more relaxing at the end of the day.

Tip: use a control system with a simple interface, for quick and effective adjustments.

AlsinaSech Lighting Projects
AlsinaSech Lighting Projects

Whatever the dimensions or the style of your bathroom, linear LEDs are your perfect ally for lighting design. They have freed us from the need to depend on downlights and wall lights, revolutionizing general and specific lighting solutions.

You can design a minimalist bathroom just with linear LED fittings by carefully selecting profiles, diffusers and integration details. But even the most baroque bathroom, with chandeliers or wall lights, can benefit from the discreet light provided by hidden LED lines, which will provide general or complementary light, making the decorative fittings stand out even more.

Interior and exterior design with dynamic light

Bala Perdida Club. El Equipo Creativo
Bala Perdida Club. El Equipo Creativo

The notion that artificial light can only be switched on or off is now a thing of the past. Dynamic lighting has come to stay, thanks to LED technology and its control systems. But what is dynamic light? Well, its lighting that can vary and change, to better adapt to the room or the needs of the people, through changes in colour temperature, intensity and even chromatic spectrum.

Restaurante Zela. Londres. BMLD.
Zela Restaurant. London. BMLD.

Natural light as a benchmark
Sunlight is dynamic by nature, transforming its composition and distribution throughout the day, with changing speeds and patterns that we as humans find fascinating. In indoor spaces, the distribution of natural light is made up of diffused light and reflected light, which is redistributed on surfaces in a complex way, thanks to refraction and reflection. Fortunately, LED technology now allows us to reproduce and reinterpret the dynamic nature of natural light both indoors and outdoors.

Lluria Xperience reMM
Lluria Xperience. reMM

Benefits
Static lighting affects the way we perceive our environment, whereas dynamic lighting has the added ability to influence our emotions and sensations. Because it is flexible and customisable, it helps create comfortable, adaptable spaces that are more centred on the human being. Dynamic light also provides more experience- and sensory spaces, whether by amplifying our feelings, as in commercial shops, concerts and events, or by helping us to reconnect with ourselves, in more private and relaxing spaces, where the changes in brightness and tone can generate feelings of wellbeing. When dynamic lighting imitates the natural rhythm of the day and night, it helps to improve our inner biological clocks.

But what are the most common applications of dynamic lighting?

Vivienda particular. Bellaterra. Vié iluminación.
Private house. Bellaterra, Barcelona. Vié iluminación.

Connecting with the outdoors / Imitating daylight
A paradigmatic case of this would be an office, where the quality of natural light is fundamental, according to WELL certification standards. Dynamic lighting can adapt to the tasks and needs of each user, making for better attention and concentration.

For industrial work, dynamic lighting ensures the workers’ state of alertness and concentration, fostering greater safety.

Similarly, in the school setting, it has been proven that students’ performance improves significantly under dynamic lighting. The youngest children particularly benefit from a type of lighting that supports their activity and rest periods.

And in homes that lack natural light, the changing patterns of the lighting help the people to feel more connected with the outside world.

Hotel SB Glow. inSense + Alado Studio

Achieving flexibility in use
In places like the hotel lobbies, event reception halls, multipurpose halls and auditoriums, dynamic lighting can quickly transform and adapt the spaces to the specific type of event or to new uses, and it is unquestionably an advantage when it comes to selling services.

Restaurante Origen. Ainara Arevalo
Restaurante Origen. Ainara Arevalo

Changing the mood or the perception of the space
A simple change in intensity or colour temperature can have an enormous effect on our perception. In the case of entertainment establishments, restaurants and bars, the variations throughout the day, with brighter and more energetic light during the hours of sunlight and a more diffused and warmer light from sunset onward, for example, can have a direct effect on users and their consumption habits.

Museo Egipcio Barcelona
Museo Egipcio Barcelona

Highlighting products, objects and works of art
In commercial and leisure and entertainment sites, shop windows and hospitality centres, yet also in museums, the use of dynamic lighting, whether in white or other colours, enables us to emphasise the objects on display, guide the visitor and communicate brand identity. It also enables us to evoke a given mood or recreate an inspiring environment, reinforcing the story that is being told. In commercial architecture, LED lighting can be truly dynamic, allowing for virtually infinite variations in colour temperature, colour reproduction and saturated colour.

Roca Gallery. Barcelona. inSense
Roca Gallery Barcelona. inSense

Dynamic lighting for outdoors and façades
The advantage of implementing dynamic lighting in urban spaces is its capacity to generate a visually more alluring and sustainable setting. Though it is advisable to avoid bombarding the senses when calling people’s attention, dynamic lighting improves the use of the spaces, and cities are opting for permanent and temporary lighting installations, thanks to their ability to attract visitors.

Lluria Xperience. reMM
Lluria Xperience. reMM

Lighting and music
The design of dynamic lighting is closely related to music, as a sequence of dynamic patterns, rhythms, phrases and events that take place in time. Moreover, light and sound are two materials that when brought together mutually reinforce one another and enhance our sensory experience. As a result, it is hard to find music without dynamic lighting, which is essential at concerts, events and discotheques.

BGA Ganjilk Mall.
Ganjlik Mall. Lighting Design Collective

How to design dynamic lighting
Dynamic lighting requires careful planning to ensure that it satisfies the needs of the people, the space and the intended uses of the space. It is a detailed process that will generate a flexible space envisaged to improve the human experience; a space that can be adapted to new uses and new technologies. The idea is not to play with flashy lighting effects that can ultimately become tiresome, but rather to plan out a lighting that provides real added value to the space and the users.

Hence, the first step is to understand the needs of both the space and the user. Next, the different settings of the space must be defined, documenting and discussing them with the client who will be using the space. The following step is to decide on the most suitable type of dynamic lighting and the control system, as well as defining whether the dynamism will be automatic or whether it will require some sort of user interaction. Finally, the envisaged settings will be viewed, making any necessary adjustments during construction.