Home Lighting 101: How to Shop for Better Lights and Improve Your Home Design

Lighting a room properly for mood and utility is often more involved than picking out a few fixtures and calling it a day. Sol Luminaire’s Co-Founder shares advice on some of the trickier aspects.

The lights your company offers are quite unique! What influenced their design and which are your bestsellers?

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Our lighting design influences come from spaces, materials and a person’s way of living. We try to create and rethink lighting fixtures to suit the different spaces and concepts in Singapore. Our Line Mini and Voli styles are popular for their versatility.

We’re often told to start planning lights early on in the reno. Could you share advice on doing this and how much should we budget?

Light planning and placement depend heavily on an individual’s lifestyle and requirements. Material usage and ceiling lights are also factors to consider. For us, we often prioritise ambience and mood creation at home and ensure that lights act as an accent to not overpower a space. We are also one of the very few lighting houses that put emphasis on the art of shadow play. Budget wise, $1,500 to $3,000 for a four-bedder is a good starting point.

What are your best tips for lighting a space?

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Select a lighting fixture with a low UGR (unified glare rating) for visual comfort at home. Lighting fixtures with higher UGR are slightly more glaring—you don’t want your chill-out spot to look like an office.

Another tip is to emphasise and create mood in spaces with lighting. Don’t overpower a space with lighting fixtures. If the space is too bright, it tends to look too flat and dull to even create any kind of mood.

How do you determine the ideal brightness for a room?

The brightness level for every room is based on activity and usage. If it’s a master bedroom, for example, we recommend a lux level of 150–300 lx. If it’s the wet kitchen, the lux level should fall between 450–550 lx as we require that area to be well-lit.

What do you think are the lighting trends for this year?

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Small, compact and efficient lighting is already a trend and will get even bigger. Homeowners and designers are moving towards a very soft-finished ceiling approach, reducing the use of bulky and chunky lighting fixtures.

This post was adapted from an article originally published in the April 2021 issue of SquareRooms.