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Remodeling 101: Hotel-Inspired Bedroom Lighting

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Dec 19, 2014 01:04 AM
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by Janet Hall last modified Dec 18, 2014

Stumped when it comes to figuring out the best lighting in your bedroom? Consider hotel rooms. That’s what lighting designer Thomas Paterson of Lux Populi suggests, and here's why. Above: Think of hotels as case studies in efficient and effective lighting, advises Paterson. At New York's  Marlton Hotel in Greenwich Village, the rooms are small but they feel just right thanks to artful lighting.  Why look to hotels for lighting ideas?  “Hotels sell one product above all others—sleep. But they also know all the other ways guests use the room and are expert at illuminating each, whether with atmospheric lighting or task lamps," says Paterson. "Think of hotels as lighting labs." The next time you check in to a place you admire, take a walk around your room and notice the way the lighting is carefully considered. It might be worth copying. Above: Designed by Neri & Hu, the  Waterhouse Hotel in Shanghai  demonstrates that lighting can be subtle and still effective.  But don’t hotels have huge lighting budgets?  If there’s one thing hotels know, it’s how to budget. Spending is carefully considered. “Hotels realize that every wiring point is expensive,” says Paterson. “Every extra dollar they shell out on a light fixture is $400 if they have 400 rooms.” One way that hotels look at planning the most effective and cost-conscious lighting is with a so-called “point strategy," a tally of how many lighting points are required in a space: one point means one light only, and so on. Two points is the bare minimum. Above: A bedroom at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. See LA Confidential: A Visit to the Newest Ace Hotel for a full tour. Photograph by Laure Joliet for Remodelista. What kind of point strategies are typical?  Hotel rooms vary dramatically. Here are the common lighting configurations: The Two-Point Strategy: This is the approach in budget motels: one ceiling light in the bedroom and a second ceiling light in the bathroom. The Five-Point Strategy: Still considered a budget solution, the arrangement offers a ceiling light in the bedroom and bath, two bedside lamps, and a downlight in the entry. Above: Paterson's sketch of the five-point strategy. The Seven-Point Strategy: This strategy typically combines an entry light, a ceiling light and mirror light in the bathroom, two bedside lights, a large floor lamp, and a desk lamp. “Business hotels find this cost effective, and it does serve the needs of most guests,” says Paterson. Above: An illustration of the seven-point strategy.   Above: The seven-point strategy used in a velvet-clad, extra-large room at the Soho House Berlin .  More and More Points: “Of course, a simple hotel room can have far more points than seven,” says Paterson. “W Hotels often have as many as 18 points, not to mention control systems and other perks.” Are more points better? “Sure, to an extent, but sometimes less is more.”   Above: Task lamps sit bedside in a room at the  High Road House  in London. How can I use the point strategy?  First, consider your space. Start with the most basic ambient lighting need as your first point of light, then follow with lighting focused on task-specific areas, such as a work space or reading area. Develop a point for each. Then look back to the hotel room model. What do they offer that you don't? Borrow the light, such as an illuminated magnifying mirror, that you wish you had.   Above: For kids, Paterson suggests a basic lighting strategy that's flexible enough to change over time. “Maybe just a center light in the ceiling, a bedside table lamp, a desk lamp, and you're done,” he says. Photograph via  Design Vox . For more bedroom lighting tips, see our posts  Bedside Lighting  and Bedroom Lighting Secrets . Looking for lighting in other rooms? Read our Remodeling 101  primers: How to Install Flattering Lighting in the Bathroom Lighting Your Home Office How to Choose an Overhead Light Fixture Afterglow: 10 Solutions for Romantic Lighting More Stories from Remodelista DIY: A David Stark–Designed Holiday Table Setting DIY: A Tabletop Garland of Mistletoe and Meyer Lemons The Simple Life: Best USB Charging Outlets






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