Smart conservatory lighting ideas will allow you to use the space at any time of the day. Conservatories offer that sweet spot between indoors and outdoors – a glass extension that fills a room with natural light. But when the sun goes down, you still need to be able to use the extra living space.
For a room that is naturally filled with light during the day it can be difficult to get the right balance for lighting. You want to make the glass space useable for all hours throughout the day, no matter the season.
Conservatory lighting ideas
‘The beauty of a glazed extension is the natural light that permeates the room below,’ says Karen Bell, Creative Director at David Salisbury. ‘A glass roof will of course illuminate a space and significantly reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. But come evening time you’ll want to think about additional lighting options which complement your room.’
‘Essentially, there are a number of possibilities, and combinations when it comes to lighting your conservatory. The key is to consider this early on in your plans, and talk it through with your designer. If not you’ll be left with cumbersome wires and plug sockets that will hamper the aesthetics of your new extension.’
We’ve selected a range of smart, stylish lighting options for all of your conservatory ideas.
1. Create a focal point
‘If your conservatory is simply somewhere to relax and unwind with friends or family, then you may consider a statement feature light such as a chandelier or pendant lighting,’ suggests says Karen Bell, Creative Director at David Salisbury. The statement overhead light, ‘can create a warm glow and real focal point to your room’.
2. Utilise walls for light placement
A foundation wall provides the most practical solution to run electrics to power your garden room or conservatory lighting ideas. Installing wall lights around the outer edge frames the room from within.
These wall sconce lights are the perfect way to filter light up and down the exterior brick walls, reflecting just enough of a warm glow from the glass ceiling above. Choosing down-lighters, instead of shaded wall lights, helps increase the light but avoids any reflections from surrounding glass.
3. Make a statement in a porch
Whether your conservatory or orangery is an extension at the front or back of your home, make a statement with the lighting for a good impression on entry to the house.
An elegant central light fitting commands such attention, striking the perfect balance between functional and fantastically decorative. A central overhead light illuminates the floor below to make a focal point of the entrance.
Add to the lighting scheme with wall lights on the exterior walls that support the glass structure, especially in larger rooms that would benefit from extra lighting.
4. Evenly distribute lighting throughout the room
‘LED spotlight strips are a great way to provide ambient lighting that’s well distributed around your extension and can actually highlight some of the roof’s features and create interesting shadow effects,’ says Karen.
‘These are usually used in combination with other sources of direct light for when specific tasks require a more localised or brighter option.’
5. Create cosy corners with spotlights
Use directional spotlight lamps to create cosy corners to curl up with a good book or a glass of wine after dinner. Lamps of all sizes are a gift in a conservatory interior, where you may have fewer options for wired in electrics due to the glass structure. You can balance the light levels with a mix of floor lamps in corners and table lamps on top of key conservatory furniture pieces.
Concealing extension leads means you can have lamps in any corner. You’re not restricted by the electric socket layout within the room.
6. Place pendants over a dining table
Determine a conservatory dining room idea around where the lights are placed. Suspend pendants over a dining table to set the scene for the room’s purpose. Drop the pendants lower to create a more intimate dining arrangement, using the light to illuminate the table as the focal point of the space.
7. Sink spotlights into the framework
Ceiling spotlights are a great way to add a balanced level of lighting to any room. Trickier in a conservatory because of the nature of a glass roof, but manageable in more of an orangery idea where a secondary roof panel can be built to accommodate sunken spotlights.
Given the structure of any glass space this option will purely be to light the edges of the room, framing the space with down lighting.
8. Add low level lighting
‘Clever lighting can create dramatic effects and give the room different ‘moods’,’ explains Lisa Morton at Vale Garden Houses.
‘At night, you need to take ‘reflection’ into account, as without blinds, any light inside will be mirrored back into the room. Low-level lighting minimises this problem. Also down-lights can be installed around the outer edge to frame the room from within.’
9. Balance lighting solutions
Mix mediums to ensure you have the right light to suit the purpose of the room as you choose to use it. Seek a floor lamp to create a reading nook in a corner for some quiet time.
Sink spotlights around the perimeter to illuminate the doorways and frame the space. Choose a lower level lamp to create an ambient low light when using the room for hosting dinner parties.
10. Zone different areas in an open-plan layout
The right lighting can help to dedicate zones within an open-plan kitchen, such as this example from Viva Folio. Hang pendant lighting directly over a dining table within an open-plan layout to zone a dedicated area for eating and socialising.
‘The type of lighting you need will be largely dictated by what you use your conservatory for,’ Karen advises. ‘For example, if you’re planning a kitchen extension, functionality may sway decision-making more than design alone.’
11. Cast directional lighting on a desk area
In addition to overhead lights be sure to place low level lights to highlight areas of dedicated work space. This small home office idea in the conservatory is fine by day, but by night a task light is required to ensure the darkness doesn’t take over and impair the job at hand.
12. Consider task lighting in a kitchen conservatory
If your conservatory is an extension of your kitchen space apply the same kitchen lighting ideas that make the most of its function. Opt for lighting concealed beneath units to provide task lighting while using the worktops. Opt for over head pendants for more ambient lighting where the roof structure allows.
13. Add a functional fan light
Karen says: ‘Adding in a conservatory fan light can have an impact and is also a good way to tackle air flow and lighting at the same time. Plus it’s a creative way to work around the restrictions of a glass roof.’
14. Ensure the lighting scheme is level
When planning your conservatory lighting ideas be sure to take into consideration different height levels. Light the overall room from a centrally placed ceiling light, chandelier or pendant. Then think about different heights to cascade light to different levels.
For secondary lighting consider a taller floor lamp to illuminate a corner or behind an armchair adding a highlight. Or a table lamp to add a gentle glow at a mid-height within the room.
What is the best lighting for a conservatory?
‘For a Conservatory you can install motion sensors, which trigger your smart lights to turn on whenever you enter the room,’ suggests Andrew Baxter, Philips Hue Product Marketeer for the UK.
‘Additionally, for the winter months, you can create the perfect garden night scene in your surroundings while still residing in the warmth of your conservatory,’ Andrew adds.
‘Explore our white and colour ambiance outdoor range and how the lighting of your garden can light up your conservatory at night. Our outdoor range can also be controlled (turned on/off, dimmed and colour changed) through the Philip’s Hue app, through Amazon Alexa, Google Nest and Apple Home Kit.’
‘The right lighting can transform your conservatory into a space to be enjoyed from day through to night,’ says Niki Wright, founder of Lightsandlamps.com.
‘Mood lighting is imperative for creating the perfect ambience. Instead of relying on one ceiling light, to occupy the whole space, incorporating a mixture of table and floor lamps will allow you to create different levels of light. Softly illuminating the space and adding warmth and atmosphere to the conservatory.’
‘As a space which generally doesn’t need lighting in the day, turning your attention to trend-driven pieces will add design features when your lights are off,’ He adds.