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By: Keith Osborne
Light fittings are not often included as standard on new homes, so they're one of the first things that you are likely to have on your shopping list. There are some amazing lights to choose from. Apart from the usual fabric shades, or the chrome and brass styles, are lots of really exciting shapes and colours. There are chandeliers, picture lights, wall washers, downlighters, uplighters, table lamps, floor lamps...yet how many people rely on just "the big light" to do everything in a room!

General Lighting

This might well be "the big light"- the main ceiling light that gets used when you have dropped a contact lens, need to clean a spill or have a family party. It may get switched on very rarely, but it is still there, in the centre of the room and certainly the centre of attention. At best, it will be an attractive fitting, the right scale and shape for the room and hopefully on a dimmer. At worst, it will be an old-fashioned "coolie" paper shade with an energy saving lightbulb hanging down.

Some funky coloured lights (top left in picture) from John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com) will add that splash of colour to a minimal coloured room, or look great over the kitchen table. Or what about a fruity style (top right of picture) from Italian Lighting Centre (www.italian-lighting-centre-co.uk)? Nothing dull or boring about these lights.

Task Lighting

Reading and table lamps come into this category. They could also be the lights either side of your bathroom mirror or the bendy reading light by your child's headboard. Of course practical doesn't need to mean boring. The Laia airplane children's range is one of many available from Castlegate Lights (www.castlegatelights.co.uk), and great fun (bottom right of picture). Eglo, who manufacture this range, has an excellent range of light fittings to view online too (www.eglo.com).

Mood Lighting

Candles and tealights are what most people would consider to be mood lighting. Why not consider a beautiful table lamp or two to replace the main ceiling light and create a softer ambiance? Wall washers also come in many styles from the inexpensive plaster moulds from B&Q (www.diy.com) that can be painted, to the modern glass designs (bottom left of picture) from Endon (www.endon.co.uk). Line up 3 in different colours to create what appears to be a stunning work of modern art.


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http://www.whathouse.co.uk is the web portal for new homes in the UK, the online face of What House?, promoting the best of new homes in Britain for over 100 years. Our site features details of hundreds of new-build homes in the UK as well as news, articles, expert advice, opinion and comment. We also organise the What House? Awards, dubbed the 'Oscars' of the UK housebuiilding industry, which rewards the very best new homes in Britain.
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