In our last blog, we talked about how carefully planned lighting can totally transform your outdoor space this summer. But what about autumn and winter, when the weather gets darker, and we’re spending more of our evenings indoors? If you’re lucky enough to own a conservatory, you’ll know they’re a perfect way to continue enjoying your garden without having to leave the house, but lighting a space that’s enclosed by so much glass can have its challenges. After all, a conservatory that’s designed to be flooded with light during the day can quickly turn into a pitch-black claustrophobic goldfish bowl after night falls.
With that in mind, we wanted to share a few lighting ideas to make your conservatory more inviting and maximise your enjoyment of this valuable space. With a little bit of know-how and a pinch of Oliver Lamps magic, it’s easy to make your conservatory a place you’ll enjoy all year long!
What’s your conservatory design theme?
A lot of people make the mistake of turning their conservatory into a room where they ‘just hang out when it’s sunny.’ They’ll put a few pieces of furniture in there, maybe throw a rug down on the floor, and then wonder why they don’t use the conservatory so much after the summer’s finished.
The answer’s simple. Like any other room in your house, you need to give your conservatory its own identity. Make it a place you’ll want to be in all year round, and think carefully about how your choice of lighting can make that happen. For example, because most conservatories tend to be very bright, white, open-plan spaces, it feels logical to choose lighting that’s more modern or retro. But did you know that conservatories were first ‘invented’ back in the 16th Century when wealthy landowners used them as greenhouses to grow exotic fruits and plants inside the house? They called these greenhouses ‘orangeries’, and it wasn’t until the 19th Century when people cut down on the horticulture and started using them as living spaces.
With that in mind, there’s no reason you can’t turn your conservatory into anything you want! Modern lighting could look fantastic, but something a little more traditional might be amazing too. Take a closer look at the space, decide on a theme, and then visit Oliver Lamps to discover all the exciting ways we could make your vision a reality!
Keep it subtle
Your conservatory was built to harness natural light, so don’t overwhelm the space with lots of different types of interior lighting. Ideally, you only want to use interior lighting in the evening or on those days when the weather’s overcast and the visibility is low.
Ceiling lights/pendant lights are a terrific way to illuminate a conservatory, especially if the roof is covered and you can’t see the sky. However, if you’ve got a transparent roof that lets you look up at the stars, you probably won’t want a ceiling light getting in your way! One solution could be a chandelier-type ceiling light with clear crystals that will help to reflect any natural light that’s still streaming into the room, but it might still hamper your favourite view of the universe.
So, instead of a ceiling light, let’s think of other less obstructive ways to keep your conservatory illuminated. You could use spotlights and clusters to illuminate from the top-down without blocking too much of your view, or you could subtly define the space with one or two well-placed table lamps, or use picture and poster lights to highlight particular objects or artwork. If you’ve got a large planted pot in the room, you might even use an uplight to add some drama to it when everything gets dark outside.
Also, don’t forget about wall lights. The beauty of wall lights is that they’re a fantastic source of warm, ambient light and they won’t clutter up your floor space. If you choose adjustable wall lights, you can also alter the direction of the beam to point at whatever you’re doing.
Want something even more understated? LED string lights are a brilliant way to decorate a solid-coloured wall, and are especially attractive later in the evening when you want to keep the vibe in your conservatory sleepy and low-key.
Go with the flow
Just because it’s dark outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy your garden. However, if it’s dark outside and light inside, you’re effectively staring into a one-way mirror. One way to avoid that (and get your view of the garden back) is by keeping the lights low inside the conservatory and then mount some outward-facing lights on the exterior of your conservatory pointing towards your garden. Alternatively, you could use some of the outdoor lighting tips we mentioned in our last blog to keep certain parts of your garden illuminated, so those areas are always visible while you’re sitting snugly in the warm. Smart LED lights are perfect for keeping a balance between internal and external light because you can adjust them without leaving the comfort of your armchair and never lose sight of the outside world as night falls.
Even better, if you carefully combine lighting colours, so the theme of your indoor lighting is the same as your outdoor lighting, you can create the effect that your conservatory and garden are both flowing into one.
How can we help?
Summer is the perfect time to get your conservatory lighting ready for autumn, and you’ll love the wide range of lighting and lighting accessories we’ve got waiting for you at Oliver Lamps. From LED bulbs to ceiling lights, wall lights to table lights, string lights to nightlights, and lighting systems and smart tech that will brighten up your day and make your whole life more comfortable, you’ll find everything you need to turn your tired or neglected conservatory into a scintillating sanctuary you’ll never want to leave!
All you have to do is call into our shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, or give our friendly team a call on 01328 855028. You’ll also find a lot of useful ideas and information (including our current opening hours) on our brand-new website/online store. However, we’ve still got a lot of products to add to the website so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, give us a ring or drop us an email at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help.