Perhaps the most common and biggest mistake people make with lighting is to over-light a room. This counteracts the atmosphere and effectiveness of layered lighting and creates spaces lacking in depth and character.
When planning lighting, think about how to light the walls, rather than the floors. An example of this would be rather than follow the standard grid format often used with downlights, instead to light the perimeter of the room, by placing downlights around 15cm from the walls and directing them at the walls, cupboards or features rather than downwards. The light will then naturally bounce from the walls back into the room, preventing the feeling of an overhead glare and making the room look bigger.
Use dimmers to remain in control of the mood of the room, the more lights that are controlled with a dimmer the better, particularly in the main communal areas. The same applies for lighting circuits, if possible, have multiple lighting circuits, rather than just a single circuit, this will allow the different sections of lighting within a space to be adaptable and controlled independently to one another, enabling the end users to easily influence the room’s atmosphere.
Consider low-level lighting to bring a relaxing atmospheric glow to spaces when other lighting sources would feel too much. Be sure to consider the big picture and space as a whole; embrace the contrast of spaces that stay in the shadows and appreciate the coziness these areas of darkness can offer to the overall lighting effect.