How to illuminate an open space? Lawful question, affecting a wide and transversal catchment area. From private individuals to professionals, many are looking for answers to understand how to illuminate an “open space”. A request that, not surprisingly, we often receive from the contact form of our site. Let’s try to provide some ideas for choosing the right products and not making mistakes due to inexperience. Before starting, however, let’s take a minute to clarify the meaning, and therefore the peculiarities, of an open space.
The concept of open space was born following the reconfiguration of the offices: no longer single and independent rooms, but zones or areas communicating with each other within a single, large open space. From the success and consequent diffusion of this idea, the open space has also conquered private homes. Living room and kitchen merge, with the addition case by case of a mezzanine to take advantage of the height, but also of the stairs, a corner for children to play and so on. The main advantage of this solution is to optimize the available cubic capacity, eliminating walls, corridors and dividing elements.
The charm and practicality of an open space are remarkable, but be careful: for obvious reasons, such a choice ends up engulfing the experience of the house, and this, returning to our theme, involves the need for reasoned lighting, capable of satisfy a variety of different needs. A lighting consultant can give us state-of-the-art solutions, this does not mean that our initiative is essential to determine which direction to go. Let’s see, depending on the typical areas of an open space, how to study and think about lighting and above all the arrangement of multiple lighting fixtures. Let’s start with the functional light of the kitchen.
HOW TO ILLUMINATE THE OPEN SPACE KITCHEN AREA
Together with the dining room, the kitchen is undoubtedly the protagonist of an open space. The main peculiarity is that an open space kitchen, compared to the traditional kitchen, does not present major risks related to the concentration of humidity. The IP degree of the lamps, indicating a more or less high protection against dust and water, becomes less decisive, and this greatly enlarges the range of solutions to consider. Among the most popular lamp models, the most valid are those that provide functional lighting: the kitchen is an operating area and as such needs direct light, especially on the work surface.
Here it would be desirable to reach at least 250/300 lux, so LED strips and recessed indoor LED display spotlights represent two winning alternatives. Flexibility, ease of installation, small footprint, homogeneous light distribution (avoiding creating unaesthetic shaded areas) … all these are common strengths with LED strips and LED spotlights, of enormous help in the context of an “open” kitchen. Note also the contribution of natural light, which thanks to windows and skylights can reduce the use of artificial sources. It goes without saying that personal habits greatly affect the actual use of the kitchen (at what hours, how many times a day, for how many people) causing greater or lesser efficiency and functionality of the light.
The kitchen can also have a snack top, better known as an island: the presence of this furniture is not obvious, but it is clear that, if we have such a table, coherent lighting must be provided. The fan is also quite wide here and includes lights suspended from a black or colored cable, but also recessed LED spotlights such as the Outlook model , with fixing springs for false ceilings included in the package, excellent for more humid environments. In short, there is no shortage of choices, you have to evaluate the characteristics of the island well and best combine the lights of this area with those of the hob.
HOW TO ILLUMINATE THE STAY OF THE OPEN SPACE
The dining room, or living room, is the other great protagonist of the open space. In this area there is a table where you can eat, chairs, furniture and maybe some decorative objects (statues, paintings, design works). The table is obviously crucial, so suspension lighting is an almost mandatory proposal (as long as there are no problems with ceiling heights), capable of creating a comfortable and adequate atmosphere at the time of the meal. The suspension lamp must be positioned at a height of at least 70-80 cm from the table top, so as not to bang your head and get in the way of food preparation and service.
Anything else needs to be said for the lighting of the sofa area. Although we are always in the living room, it is obvious that this area requires a softer light, not insufficient but certainly less impactful. The best move is to opt for an indirect light, easy to obtain with wall or floor lamps, but also with spotlights and LED strips if inserted in a veil in the false ceiling. For a more original aesthetic result we can also install RGB LEDs (i.e. colored LEDs), setting up the control of the lights and their dimming (i.e. the modulation of the light intensity) via mobile devices or simply via a button. So we will adjust the brightness as needed of the moment and we will enjoy reading a newspaper, browsing the Internet on your tablet and any other moment of relaxation alone or in company!
HOW TO ILLUMINATE OTHER AREAS OF THE OPEN SPACE
The kitchen and living room together occupy almost all of the open space. Indeed, in some cases, the open space is formed exclusively of these two environments. However, there are also situations in which the open space provides one or more collateral areas, for example, a corner for meditation and yoga, or a desk for studying and working, or even a cocktail bar for guests and friends. Here the lighting will be assessed from time to time independently of the rest of the space, calculating the contribution of natural light as always. A valid system for lowering costs and limiting consumption could be to place a series of LED floor lamps in the open space, to be moved and used at will when it is time to use the most secluded area. If instead there are important furniture and furnishings, such as for the cocktail bar, then you can consider customizing them with high brightness and efficiency LED strips, to be applied directly on the profile of the counter or wall units.