Take a look at how we’ve worked with lighting in homes and workspaces.
At Cat Lighting, we work on all sorts of properties and spaces. Each project requires an individual approach – Clare loves coming up with ideas and turning these into a reality. Here are some examples of our improvements and lighting projects.
As kitchens become increasingly multi-functional, taking professional advice on how to light your kitchen has probably never been more important. We need to think about what light is needed for each different activity – cooking, eating, sitting, family life, entertaining – and how to ensure it’s functional, attractive and just where and how you need it.
“Layering lights on dimmer switches with spectacular results.”
A new kitchen/dining area was created in this large family room and the owner was keen to create the right lighting. A lot of thought went into how different moods could be made and we designed the lights in a series of ‘layers’ on different dimmable circuits with really exciting results.
A special feature was created by backlighting the big clock, complemented by underlighting the breakfast bar, and fluted glass pendants brought in texture and style. Discreet mini-downlights were angled tactically towards cupboards and essential workspaces.
The flexibility of the lighting scheme extended sophistication to the whole space, which the owner has now happily described as ‘the room of my dreams’.
Bathroom lighting has seen some of the biggest developments in the past few years, largely due to fittings becoming smaller and more waterproof which allow much more imaginative lighting design. Like any other room it’s important to think of a bathroom as a series of ‘zones,’ each needing their own lighting treatments according to their function – shower, WC, shaving/makeup, towel drying, hooks to hang things on and if space, sitting.
“Cool and stylish with ‘invisible’ switches.”
This bathroom is part of the Cat Lighting show house where you can see many of the ideas I talk about in my lighting stories.
I was keen in this bathroom to avoid having the light switch outside the bathroom and also not to have a pull-cord light inside it.
After much research and experiment I found a clever little device which allows you to put a sensor pad behind a tile or similar, so that the lights are controlled by a wave of the hand or a light touch. The sensors were wired into 3 separate circuits so that lights come on in different areas of the bathroom, creating both mood and practicality.
The need for good hall lighting is easy to ignore on the basis that you won’t be spending much time in there, but actually it’s really important in affecting how you feel when you arrive home. It’s not unusual to stagger in and fumble for a light switch that brings on a dull overhead pendant light that doesn’t help much in leading you in, or a raft of over-bright downlights that make your eyes wince as you enter – but beautiful hall lighting can be a really worthwhile investment.
“Accent lighting is all important for highlighting interesting features.
The Cat Lighting show house, known as Woodmill Arches, has an entrance hall designed to make an impact with its lighting. In this 5x5m space there are 17 different light fittings controlled on 4 separate dimmable circuits, so the hall lighting can be set to a number of different brightnesses, moods and functions within the space.
It works in ‘layers’ of light with accent lighting picking out various features – a vase in the corner, a rather unusual and striking sculpture of a bottom with 2 arrows sticking out of it, a hat stand, a stone arch outlined with light, a picture, and a quirky orange clock. Other lights provide bright overhead lighting for when it’s needed, and alcove lights in the windows which look great inside and out.
Country House Hallway
“Uplighting a two-storey window”
A beautifully lit two-storey window can make a stunning impact in any hall or high ceilinged room. This arched window was illuminated with a single uplight positioned in the middle of the window sill which caught the astragals on the way up and met the light coming down from tiny star-lights inserted into the coved ceiling at the top.
To enhance the effect, a full flower arrangement was lit from below using 3 additional uplighters to make it a real stand out feature.
“Lighting to bring people to life.”
When I was asked by clients to help with lighting some family portraits they had recently acquired, I was …. Rather specially two of the portraits had come together for the first time for decades, reuniting a couple and their past stories. When I first saw them, the only lighting was from a dim ceiling light that left the pictures literally hanging in the dark with no sense of family or celebration; but what we managed to achieve was so dramatic and exciting that it’s been one of my favourite projects. We chose to use discreet mini ceiling downlights to spotlight the pictures, which were barely visible in the ceiling but targeted the light beautifully. The fittings had well recessed bulbs to minimise any glare and the light quality and beam angle were carefully considered to achieve the best effect.
The moment the lights went on the colour and warmth of the personalities revealed in the pictures was stunning. An additional effect was the change to the look and feel of the whole room achieved by creating (a previously lacking) focal feature. Apart from the success of the project in lighting terms, the immense joy and pleasure of the family was hugely rewarding and from there we went on to upgrade the rest of the lighting in the room to match the style and quality of the portrait lighting.
“Never hunch in the dark over a laptop.”
As more of us work from home, home office lighting is a top priority for many people. Office lighting needs to be balanced, functional and enjoyed, so a well designed lighting scheme is essential.
For this project, I lit this drawing table with a linear overhead light to provide a good spread of working light, enhanced with a bright directional task light. Elsewhere in the room are downlights angled towards the walls to provide general ambient light, an LED strip running along the back of the computer screen to reduce glare and a floor lamp to provide sociability and decoration.
Architectural lighting may sound like something quite big and technical (e.g. lighting up massive columns or arches on a cathedral or stately home), but it’s basically the term for using light to highlight or enhance features or shapes in a room or space. The aim is to hide the light source so you just see the effect, and done well makes people feel there’s something special about the room without really knowing why.
As part of Woodmill Arches, we’ve used architectural lighting in all sorts of ways, for example running an LED strip along a set of shelves, uplighting a small window alcove and showing off a beamed ceiling. Different types of light were used for each project according to the light requirement and scale of the architecture.
“Bring in a designer to achieve the best effect.”
With high ceilings and a lot of glass, conservatories can sometimes be awkward to light. You need to ensure there’s enough of the right kind of light for both mood and function, while minimising glare.
In this conservatory we made a feature of the main apex window, using tiny uplighters installed into the windowsill to really stunning effect. Elsewhere, an LED strip was used to send a glow of light up to the ceiling and create a ‘passage of light’ towards a striking decorative lamp as a focal point.
Behind the scenes there was plenty going on in the planning of light levels, transformers, beam angles, dimming and ‘dot intensity’ of the LED strip, which all added up to creating a truly special room and delighted customers.