Nothing impresses potential buyers or renters like light. Everyone wants bright, airy rooms, but also atmospheric evening settings. Tim Harrison reports
We take light for granted. But achieving well-balanced lighting schemes in our homes is as skilled an art as decorating and furnishing.
Which is why many top-end properties boast electronics that would have made early Moon mission scientists drool.
Charlie Willis, partner at Strutt & Parker’s Knightsbridge office (020 7235 9959), believes lighting is an area which home owners and landlords are now taking seriously.
“Developers in particular are spending more and more on the latest technology,” he said. “There are new advances every year, with high-spec systems that can create very advanced mood lighting.”
The leader is Lutron, which specialises in customised control-operated systems to conjure up ideal settings – bright to read your copy of MoveTo, dim to check your emails. It can also automatically adjust blinds to protect your Hockney print from sunlight, or create cinema darkness when you snuggle down to watch Groundhog Day again. And you can set it to change at times of your choosing.
In the kitchen, good under-cabinet lights can make preparing food easier, while the luxury of plunging the bedroom into darkness and even closing the curtains without getting out from under the duvet is no longer just for superstars.
“In homes where natural light is not in abundance (such as basement flats) this kind of technology can really make the difference in selling a home,” said Charlie. “I have seen basement flats that look like they have endless large natural windows with light streaming in… the tricks of the trade create really authentic atmospheres that are absolutely essential when coming to sell these spaces.”
But there’s another aspect to lighting that is often overlooked. Poor light can compromise health. You might not realise you’ve got bad lighting but you’ll be familiar with symptoms such as headaches and sore eyes, or frustration in the kitchen at not being able to read Mary Berry’s small print… or rows in the bedroom over whose turn it is to get up to switch off the light.
“By adding the feeling of space and light, homes instantly become more desirable as life is brought into the home and it becomes more welcoming,” said Charlie. “While the lighting is not absolutely essential to sell a house, it certainly should not be overlooked, especially in homes that are already kitted out to a good specification. Buyers looking at the top end of the market at renovated homes will expect good lighting and will be willing to pay for the technology.”
Good lighting can make your home feel spacious, clean and welcoming, with the key being flexibility to transform daytime living into romantic evening dining.
Strutt & Parker is marketing this stunning home in one of Knightsbridge’s controlled-access mews behind Harrods, giving exclusivity, security and privacy… at a price.
Incredible lighting technology has been fitted at this three-bedroom house in Pont Street Mews, with fake windows in the basement area, backlit to give the impression of natural light. The asking price? A cool £10,750,000.
You also get nearly 3,500sqft of space, with three reception rooms, three bathrooms, private parking and a lift.
Not everyone can buy a £10m all-singing, all-dancing home, but everyone has the opportunity to use their imagination to create affordable lighting schemes with a wow factor.
A Lutron wallpad 16-programme lighting system (with ‘occupancy simulation’ for security) starts at under £400.
And dimmed lights can save up to half the electricity of a full-on bulb, as well as potentially extending lamp life.
Picture: Top-notch lighting in a £10m mews home being sold by Strutt & Parker For further details click here
By Tim Harrison