Home conservatories, otherwise known as greenhouses, are wonderful pieces of modern architecture. Made predominantly of glass, these rooms or buildings are constructed to give the owner the proper amount of shelter while allowing them to enjoy the beauty of nature. However, if you have one of these rooms yourself, you might notice it’s hard to get much use out of them once the sun goes down. Read about the importance of lighting in your conservatory and some crucial things to keep in mind as you undergo this installation.
In the past, conservatories were traditionally used to house all of a residence’s plant life, whether they were ferns, flowers, crops, or even small fruit trees. These spaces allowed a homeowner to enjoy these things indoors while providing the plants with the necessary resources they needed to thrive. But as we’ve moved into the modern era, it’s become more common for individuals to uses these places as entertainment halls. Now, rather than being stacked wall-to-wall with plants, conservatories often include tables and sitting areas as well. This has made them more useful for the everyday functioning of a home—with one major setback.
Before now, conservatories never needed artificial lighting because only the plants needed natural sunlight during the day. However, if you wish to entertain in this space, extra lighting is essential to be able to see when it gets dark outside. So, depending on your use for your conservatory, proper lighting is very important to your ability to use this room—even if Mother Nature disagrees. Having just the right amount of illumination in your conservatory also diversifies what you can use it for. In fact, with the addition of some task lighting, you can even make it a great office space, if that’s what you want.
Now that we’ve established the overall importance of lighting in your conservatory, it’s vital that you know how to illuminate this space effectively. Since these rooms are still mostly composed of glass panes, the sun will be your dominant light source during the daytime hours. However, several different factors can affect the brightness and saturation of this light. By familiarizing yourself with these factors, you can get a better understanding of which areas would benefit most from artificial lighting. These are a few crucial things to keep in mind:
As we briefly mentioned before, the overall function of your conservatory will greatly affect how much light you need within it. If you want to use the space as a way to unwind and read a book, you might not need much more than a reading lamp. But, if you want to perform any other kinds of activities in this room or have guests over, it’s vital that you have a bit more illumination. Take some time to properly determine your conservatory’s overall purpose before you start searching for lighting fixtures.
The shape of your conservatory’s roof can also affect how much artificial light you’ll need as well as what types of lighting fixtures you’ll be able to use. With a roof that’s irregular in shape, sunlight can get in from certain angles, but not from others. This not only makes it difficult to light certain parts of the room but also prevents you from installing overhead ceiling fixtures. Because of this, conservatories with these types of roofs are often limited to wall sconces or freestanding floor lamps. Rooms with symmetrical roofs give you a lot more freedom to add overhead ambient lighting.
Believe it or not, even the type of glass used for your conservatory’s construction can have a large effect on the room’s light levels. This is because glass can be infused with various colors, which change how light reflects through it. Darker tinted glass will allow less light to penetrate it, while unstained glass will allow more. Therefore, if your conservatory uses colored glass in any way, the chances are greater that you’ll need more artificial light inside the room.
Ultimately, the largest influence on the light in your conservatory is its placement and overall direction. Just as certain sides of a home receive more sunlight than others during the day, the specific location of your conservatory will affect the sun’s ability to reach it. For this reason, you could still find yourself with little light in this space despite having done everything right. For reference, the south-facing side of a room will typically receive the most sun—as long as something isn’t blocking it. North-facing rooms will more often need additional lighting sources.
With all that said, it’s time to get a few ideas in regard to your specific needs. Take some time to assess all the above factors and map out where you’ll need light the most. As we mentioned, this could be something as large as overhead ambient lighting or as small as a single directed lamp. Either way, thinking about each of the contributing factors will help you narrow down your options. Some fixture models that are often effective in conservatories include pendant lights, wire installations, and floor lamps.
If you want to add more elegant light fixtures to this space, you can also use chandeliers and wall sconces. No matter which types of fixtures you decide to use, remember that placement and direction will be key in determining their effectiveness in your conservatory. Without these elements, you risk the room appearing unbalanced.
If you’re looking for more advice on how you can properly light your conservatory, reach out to Bicycle Glass Co. We carry hundreds of different lighting fixtures for you to browse, and our experienced, knowledgeable staff members are ready to answer whatever questions you may have. From our sophisticated recycled glass chandeliers to our homey pendant lights, we’re confident we have just the products you’re looking for. Feel free to search our site, or give us a call to learn more about our inventory.
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