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Tips for illuminating interior spaces for children

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When talking about lighting, many people think that the subject is reduced to decoration and the different types of luminaires. However, a good lighting design can improve the comfort of interior spaces, adding enormous aesthetic, functional and environmental value. In addition, the correct choice of each system and its types of bulbs also contributes to electricity savings and the efficiency of the building or house as a whole.

As for children’s needs, it is essential to pay attention to the quantity, quality and type of lamp for each specific purpose of the environment: sleeping, playing and learning. Below, we will better explain each of their specifications.

Location of lighting

Obviously, designing the exact place where each luminaire will be installed is as important as knowing the quantity and color of the bulb. In bedrooms, the ideal is to always maintain a direct central illumination, with a warm color tone. Depending on the size of the room, the number of lamps that will be needed should be calculated. In addition, it is important to direct the luminaires for specific (indirect) use, since, for example, unlike adult sleep (which requires maximum darkness for better rest), children have different requirements:

  • A soft light always on to reduce insecurity or fear of the dark.

  • A dedicated light near the changing area to aid hygiene care at night (in the case of small children).

  • A soft light to assist the parent or caregiver during nighttime feedings.

  • Indirect lighting that allows for a healthy sleep routine (such as reading before bedtime, for example) without waking the child at the wrong times.

  • Spot lighting, in a white tone, can promote concentration at the desk or study table.

  • Wall outbreaks in stairways, corridors or ‘unsafe’ travel areas’.

© Mike Schwartz. Image Kids Science Labs 02 / Woodhouse Tinucci Architects

Type of bulbs

The same indications for common lighting projects apply to environments intended for children. Sleeping areas should be cozy and the recommended lighting should be warm in color. For learning environments that require attention and concentration, cool tones are recommended. Play areas (where children are likely to spend most of the day) should have good ventilation and natural light.

© Janez Marolt . Image Podgorje TimeShare Kindergarten and School / Arhitektura Jure Kotnik

About fixtures and lighting systems

Special care should be taken in those luminaires that will be located at the child’s height, such as lamps or floor level spotlights. It is essential to pay attention and choose those that are made with natural materials such as wood or those that are painted with non-toxic products or varnishes. Some options include:

1. Adjustable rails

2. Pendants

3. At floor level

4. LED

Extra tips

  • As a safety measure, it is recommended to avoid hanging lamps over cribs or beds.

  • When it is not possible to make major changes to add new luminaires, it is possible to include LED strip or spot lighting.

  • As these are children dealing with electricity, special care must be taken to ensure the quality and safety of the products specified.

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