Interior Lighting Plan

I’ve been thinking about interior lighting.  Our builders have included one light and one power outlet per room. We also have a $10,000 allowance for extra lighting and power outlets.  Sounds hefty, doesn’t it?  However, I suspect by the time we allow for enough extra power outlets to keep an iFamily happy, a good amount of that will be accounted for.

Our builders, Webb and Brown-Neaves, recommended we draw up our likely furniture arrangement to help guide lighting and powerpoint locations.  And, my friends at HomeOne Forum have an ever growing list of “Things you forget” (when building) that includes sections on lighting and electrical.  Between all these hot tips and suggestions from Lighting City I hope not to forget anything and still be within budget. When I emailed Lighting City to initiate the lighting plan, I asked them to include provision for a few pendant lights and for the majority of the lighting to be LED.  Of course, I have my usual problem to deal with – that is, my eyes are bigger than my wallet.

Here is what I have in mind:

1.  Two or three (?) pendant lights above the kitchen island like one of these:

Picture sources (L to R): 1. & 3. Dunlin, 2. Anthropologie, 4. Archiproducts.

2.  One beautiful pendant centred over the dining table such as this one:

Coco flip pendant from:  .  Black or white are both beautiful.

Handcrafted Victorian Ash Coco pendant by Coco Flip. Black or white are both beautiful.  $1500, 60cm diameter.  Also available in 40cm.

3.  One oversized pendant to fill the void above the living area.  (This pendant is top-secret, but I have something different in mind.)

4.  The same oversized pendant to fill the void over the alfresco area.

5.  A long, dangly pendant, or several, for the void above the front entry.

Picture sources: (Top) Ross Gardam, (L to R)  Viesso, Dunlin, Onefortythree.

Aside from these feature lights, any other fancy lighting can be in the form of floor or table lamps.

Now to the practical side of things.  Here is the lighting plan (first draft) by Lighting City:





I think they are pretty clever with the plan, but there are a few things I’ve already thought to ask about:

  • Extra lighting for the scullery over the sink.  There is nothing worse than dirty dishes after a wash.
  • Ceiling fan/light combo for the master bedroom, if not all bedrooms.
  • Ditching the 3 “oyster lights” that I think are located in the laundry, cellar and walk-in-robe.  I know they are low traffic areas, but I’ve never liked oyster lights.  Replace with down lights?
  • Adding an interior switch for the lights that will be installed to our pool and deck areas by our landscaping company.
  • The best way to accommodate a plug-in pendant light that is a souvenir from Seoul.

Can you think of anything I should add to my list?


21 thoughts on “Interior Lighting Plan

  1. donnaw39 says:

    One item that I highly recommend is a timer switch on the bathroom fan. They are available in 5 and 10 minute intervals, up to about 60 minutes. It is great to know it will automatically turn off, no need to follow up after children, deaf elderly, or just forgetful self.

    I started shopping Ikea for furniture when building my small cottage, and found I was quite impressed with their lighting. Good prices on LED bulbs, nice under-cabinet lights. I don’t think the pendant styles are to your taste, but it never hurts to browse online.

    Wiring besides electrical: have you decided about a set-up for your home theater? My electrician ran a co-axial cable into my house and set up outlets, but only a few months later, the service provider is using ethernet cable. If you are going with a wireless network, make sure it will reach the whole house, or plan for wiring an extender to reach weak spots. I’ve been researching how to extend internet access to a separate studio building.

    • Hi Donna, The timer for the exhaust fan is a great idea, especially for the upstairs bathrooms that I’m likely to forget about. I’ll add it to my list to ask about. As for the wiring, I’m afraid you lost me at “…co-axial cable..”! But I’ll pass it on to the Chief in Charge of all things wired/wireless or with a remote control. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Kaye says:

    Hey Jo, We have ceiling fans in every room and use them a lot. However we recently changed some of ours out from metal to wood. Living on the water with salty air all the time caused the fan blades to rust along the edges. Some of our light fittings have also been replaced over the years. ( ever the pragmatist.. I know) . The fans with lights are great in the bedrooms and stop that flicking from ceiling lights with a fan hanging below them.

  3. May says:

    Hi Jo…Ceiling fans in bedrooms are a great idea. For the lights, I think the wood or glass ones would be best being close to water. Over time the edges of the metal ones being to rust, even though powder coated/enamelled. And at the very start install several power points in every room. You will need and use it and never regret it. It costs more to get the electrician in later to add power points, this I know from experience. Cheers…

    • Thanks May. I hadn’t thought about about lights rusting. Maybe I’ll need a light-buying trip to NYC to visit Anthropologie! (Don’t tell Igor they deliver to Australia!)
      Do you find that the down light “surrounds” (I don’t know the proper word) even rust?

  4. Miranda says:

    Those are some gorgeous pendants! I love them all. It’s a pity those beautiful Ross Gardam pendants are so expensive…

    A couple of things we’ve recently learned about lighting:
    – Are you sure you can install lights that are wired for the US here? We’ve had conflicting advice about that. If you do it, you might like to start with the cheaper ones and only order the expensive ones later.
    – When we looked at lights like your wood veneered pendants, we were told that they don’t actually give enough light to be lights on they’re own, they’re more decorative. But if you have a few, and it’s just for your entry, that should be fine. Just don’t expect too much from them 🙂
    – I’m with you: I don’t like oyster lights either. I looked and looked for something better-looking but gave up as it’s not worth spending hundreds of dollars on a light for those areas. So then we had a few conversations with our lighting consultant and she eventually convinced me to leave the oyster lights in our plan (WIR, study, pantry, laundry) because of the different type of light they give. I think they give a more diffused light, whereas downlights make more shadows.

    You might like to think about putting some more of your lights on two way switches, such as the master bedroom and library. That way you can turn off the library light once you reach your room after coming upstairs, and be able to turn off your bedroom light when you’re in bed.

    • Damn. No trip to NYC to buy lights after all….. That was a fleeting idea. Thanks for all the tips. I suspect that when I ask about the oyster lights the consultant at Lighting City is going to have “deja vu”!

  5. trixee says:

    I love the Dunlin pendants!
    I’m not sure if it will make sense for your floorplan, but have you considered putting some lights on automatic sensors e.g. stairwell, storage areas?

  6. Kathryn says:

    Hi Jo, The pendants are lovely! Are you going for LED down lights?
    I have also been told to be careful if buying lights on line through oversees websites. You need to make sure that they conform to Australian standards.

  7. E and M says:

    Great to see the feature lighting you are considering. So many people get the bog standard lighting. But for us, good light fixtures will make the house. Some great comments above. I agree, some of the lights we’ve looked at don’t really light up much area. A few of our favorite fittings would have us eating in darkness. Inspiring post with lots of research and ideas.

    • Thanks E and M. I am trying my best to avoid “bog standard”! Beautiful lights will be a talking point. I must check that the one pendant I have for the dining room is not too dark. I like to see my food too.

  8. Simbug says:

    We are starting to build as well and at our first prestart, our builder changed the light switch from the interior wall to the outside for the WIR in the master. I thought he made a good point which I never would have thought of, to have a light switch on the entrance to WIR to avoid fumbling in the dark for it.

    Lovely choices and colours!

  9. Hope it’s not too late… ceiling fan for outdoor area above outdoor dining. keeps flies away and some lovely air movement on a still, hot, Aussie day! A non negotiable feature in my mind. Has made a huge difference at Mum and Dads this Christmas. xxx

  10. Tara says:

    As we too are an ifamily our electrician suggested a power socket that included 2 USB points for our kitchen. It’s brilliant! No more searching for chargers. I will certainly add more in our house.

  11. I am probably a bit late adding this now but as we are in the process of going through our lighting and electrical plan for the umpteenth time I thought I might just add to this thread.
    We’ve put dimmers on main ensuite, kitchen and kitchen pendants, family, dining and alfresco. Might be a bit of overkill but like to have the flexibility.
    Also including timers on fans.
    Lots of lights in kitchen and scullery including over sinks and in overhead cabinets.
    2 way switch on main bedroom lights.
    Provision for outdoor/garden lighting and pool lighting.
    Love the pendants – I’m still searching!

    • Thanks Deb, I’m on to it! We are only having a few dimmers, but I have a few table lamps – the old fashioned version of dimmer switches! You could always put in a basic cheapie from Ikea or Freedom and change it out when you’ve found your perfect lights. I’m thinking about doing that for a few of mine because I’m planning to DIY a couple of our pendants, so at least we have light when we first move in. Some of the Freedom pendants aren’t too bad. Did you check my lighting folder in Pinterest? (Though I think I like my lights a bit chunkier than you do.)

  12. A good idea. I had a quick look in Freedom the other day at their new Autumn range – lots of yellows and oranges which I’m looking for. They did have some nice ‘stuff’.
    I will check out your pinterest. I can ‘waste’ hours on that site these days! One of the lighting shops has ordered a couple of pendants in for me to look at so just waiting for those to arrive.
    Table lamps are a good idea too – something else to add to my ever increasing list!

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