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Leave the lights on in empty rooms

by | Mar 25, 2021

When I design the lighting in a home it sounds “counter intuitive” to leave lights on in unoccupied rooms, especially when automation and control is so accessible and energy is an important topic.

“Vista”, the one simple reason. Planning the lighting is not just about what you see in the space, room you are in but what you see around you, from you into other rooms, corridors and staircases.  Planning each light as part of a scene not a circuit allows you to add a simple spot or lamp in a room you only look into or pass by.

The advantage of adding these little lit effects in a darkened room is beautiful as you have often the darkened room to work with…thus a tiny 8 degree pin spot to a centre piece on a table, or a picture lit with no ambient light around it.

These Vista moments happen because the element of brightness is surrounded by darker frame, thus the contrast is increased and acts as interests by the eye in its saccades…capturing attention and bring about focus. You can take the design tip away from the explanation and that’s fine, but to understand why you are designing this way and for the moment of interest, human reaction and satisfaction in the completeness of the design moves you forward in your skill set.


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Secret Lighting is a world leading creator of bespoke homes designed with light and intelligence.

For three decades, we have been redefining the integration of light into the very fabric of architecture, creating the innovative, beautiful and spectacular homes.

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