|Illumination is a key element of interior design.|
Choosing Indoor and outdoor lighting
By Dee McMath
The final touches to your home decoration often make the difference between average and spectacular results. This is particularly true of lighting. In Andalusia, where the natural light gives your home the 'wow factor' by day, you will also want to pay special attention to lighting up your home and garden by night.
An integral part of interior decoration is the lighting. Clever use of wall lights, concealed lighting and table lamps can change the ambience of a room literally at the flick of a switch. Each room of the house needs special consideration when it comes to illumination. Dimmer switches in main rooms, bedrooms and hallways offer flexibility and access to a change of mood with minimum effort and maximum impact. Kitchens and bathrooms require particular attention when it comes to choosing lighting, since it not only needs to look good, but must also be functional.
Outdoor garden & Patio lights
Most people, who come from colder climates to settle in Andalusia, enjoy the extended hours throughout the year spent outdoors. The terrace, patio or garden is an extension of the indoor space and can be transformed from a non-descript dark area, into a magical place to be. If the idea of outside lighting is new to you, or you are just looking for new ideas, pay attention the next time you are dining out in the open patio of a bar or restaurant. Up-lighting into garden shrubs, plants and trees or lights sunk into the terrace floor are just two ways of creating depth and often a sense of tranquillity in an outside area in the late evening.
Leaving your home unattended and in darkness has long since been considered a security risk. Most people prefer to leave some lights on while they are away or during the night when they are sleeping. A popular choice of outside security light is the type which automatically switches when a sensor is activated if someone walks within range of it. The big advantage of this system is that you don't waste energy, since it only comes on in the dark hours and only when approached. Be careful, however, where you install this type of light. If you have it within close range of branches of a tree, it could annoy you by flashing off and on during a windy night. Also if it is at a point where many cats pass by, they too could set off the light, making you imagine it's an intruder. Another practical option is fixing a timer to lights inside and outside the house, so that, even if you are away for long periods of time, lights go off and on at given times, suggesting that someone is in the property. A possible draw back with this is that in the case of a power cut in your absence, the timer would have to be reset. Ask for advice when buying the lights.
Whatever your lighting needs, there are many good lighting stockists in Andalusia. The large department store, El Corte Ingles has dedicated lighting departments and there are many other excellent home decoration shops in the main shopping malls (look out for signs for Centro Comercial), especially along the length of the Costa del Sol.