Home magic is in the lighting
In the same way that great stage designers and photographers work with light to create magical effects, carefully deployed lighting in the home enhances the decor and creates a welcoming and comfortable living environment.
Anthony Ng, marketing manager, Philips Electronics Hong Kong (Lighting Division) says lighting is about creating different lighting effects that complement an environment. ‘’ Lighting needs to be subtle in certain environments so that it will provide the right level of illumination and not take away the attention of the overall surroundings,’’ says Ng. On the other hand, he says task lighting, as its name suggests, is necessary in the kitchen for preparing meals, cooking, or in other rooms for studying and reading. ‘’Knowing which type of light to choose and where to place it will make a significant difference to a home’s overall appeal and atmosphere,’’ says Ng. ‘’Lighting placed in coves and hidden lighting all affect the spatial requirements of a home often complement and bring character to the various interior design elements,’’ he adds.
Thanks to advances in technology, particularly LED (light-emitting diode), Ng says there are many lights available in a range of sizes, styles and functions. LED is a completely different method of distributing light than traditional incandescent (or even fluorescent) bulbs. For example, with the introduction of LEDs, in addition to lower energy consumption, there is no longer a limitation on the colour temperature of light sources required to achieve different moods. When renovation and redecorating is taking place, Ng says lighting design needs to be incorporated into the interior design phase, as the selection of lighting will have a huge impact on the final outlook of the project.
‘’The possibilities are enormous with wireless control and we see it as the future of lighting,’’ says Ng who adds wireless technology controls such as Philips Hue with iOS/Android systems can be used to adjust lighting to match the desired mood setting and can even set to follow the beat of music.
In addition to the controllable qualities, LEDs ultraviolet (UV) free which make them excellent solutions for illuminating paintings and photographs that can be damaged over time by traditional lighting. The low heat emitted by LEDs, generally five times less than an incandescent bulb of the same wattage, contributing to energy conservation. To provide examples of what can be achieved with LED lighting, Philips Hong Kong partners with a major telecoms supplier and showcases different lighting designs in the company’s selected showrooms.
Steve Jones, CEO and co-founder of design-driven lighting company Innermost believes LED lighting offers many benefits and features that were difficult, if not impossible to provide using traditional lighting technologies. ‘’LED has opened up a world of intensity, colour and positioning possibilities,’’ says Jones. ‘’If you can dream it, we can make it,’’ he adds.
Because Hong Kong’s building stock tends to be relatively new, Jones says the ducting and coving makes it ideal to install and set lighting system to suit different lighting purposes. In terms of trends, Jones says some of the Innermost lighting product finishes that have been made popular in Hong Kong have now become popular other markets. These include shiny gold, and copper. ‘’Compared to Europe, Hong Kong people are generally more accepting of contemporary and conceptual lighting and technology controls, while still retaining an attachment for traditional lighting products,’’ says Jones
Other finishes popular with Hong Kong consumers include polished stainless steel, black nickel and gunmetal finish also known as black chrome. Hong Kong consumers looking to add a lighting ‘wow’ factor to their homes have been quick to embrace the ‘’Facet’’ lighting products originally designed by Tom Kirk, for an up market private residence in Belgravia, London. Hong Kong is also a growing market for bespoke modern lighting designs, such as Beads and Facet, which Jones describes as Innermost’s versions of ‘bling’, a term often used to describe brightly coloured eye-catching jewllery.