Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Lighting Baby & Kids Bedrooms

There are several factors to consider when lighting your baby’s room and taking note of these before selecting the light source for that room would be wise.

Lights to stimulate brain activity

Mobile lights splash soft colours and pictures onto a wall and are ideal for stimulating infant brains.  A white wall is boring and dull to look at, and babies need colour and movement to promote brain activity.

Rest is equally important for a baby’s brain, making it is a good idea to install a dimmer control switch on your main light, so that when you feed at night, or when your baby wakes up, you can encourage him or her to go back to sleep as quickly and easily as possible.

Bedtime stories

Bedtime reading has a dual purpose of educating your toddler, and helping him or her to sleep.  Consider installing an intense directional bedside lamp.  This will ensure that you can see what you’re reading, but won’t interfere with the little one falling asleep.

As your youngster begins growing up, he or she may want the comfort of a night light, which can be left on all night, or alternatively put a mobile battery-operated touch-lamp on the bedside table, which your toddler can push on and off at will.  Another option is to install a timer-controlled lamp that can be plugged into the wall, and will switch off after a pre-determined time.

Just for fun

Light up your child’s bedroom or playroom with a delightful Eglo or Disney light fitting (contact Eurolux for your closest retailer) that will add an element of fun, and allow decorators and parents to express their creativity.  You’ll find both age-appropriate fittings as well as ones that will be suitable for many years.  Innovative designs include a cloud, a clown, the sun, an elephant, an aeroplane, a bee, and more.

The right light improves concentration

Many kids’ bedrooms double as a study, and it is important to choose a study lamp best suited to your child’s needs.  These needs change as your child grows up – a young child needs a small light focused onto a single book, whereas an older child studying from several books such as a workbook, a maths book, a calculator, etc, needs a greater spread of light to aid concentration.  The spread of light needs to be where the child is working to keep his attention on his books.  In fact research shows that concentration levels increase when working in a well-lit area. If concentration is increased, understanding of the work is easier and the time spent studying is reduced.

Fluorescent desk and floor lamps are ideal for people working for long periods of time since they don’t produce a lot of heat.  If however, you are working on something intense such as studying from a textbook or writing an article, then a halogen lamp is more effective as its colour rendering is superior.

Safety hazards and children

Ever wondered what the world looks like from your child’s perspective?  Get down on your hands and knees and take a look around.
You might be surprised to see some of the following:
  • Electrical outlets are now at eye-level,
  • Cords that can be pulled or wrapped around necks
  • Table or floor lamps that can be knocked or pulled over
  • Sharp corners and edges on furniture
  • Thick pile carpets that can hide dirt and other small things that toddlers can put in their mouths
Electrical outlets or plug points that are not in use should be covered with special covers.  Remember that small fingers can be strong and nimble enough to pry things off, so be sure the plug covers are too big to swallow.

All cords, including those attached to lamps and other appliances, on blinds, and any other ties should be gathered securely and placed out of reach, or put into a cord corral, or tacked to the skirting board.  Remember that’s what’s behind the couch may not be visible to you, but certainly is to a child crawling around on the floor.  Young children like to put loose objects into their mouths, and electrical wire can be a great (but lethal) teething toy!

Consider securing wobbly table or floor lamps by using double-sided tape or Prestik (provided your furniture or floor can withstand this).  Here’s a tip if your lamp stand has a circular base – use three pieces of tape rather than four, to ensure better stability.

Avoid using glass lampshades if you have young children, as these can present a serious safety hazard if they break or shatter.

Use energy saver globes rather than incandescent globes because they don’t get as hot and you won’t run the risk of little fingers getting burnt.  Energy savers burn much cooler than an incandescent globe because they convert 80% of electricity into light and 20% into heat, whereas incandescents work the other way around, converting 80% of electricity into heat and only 20% into light.  That’s why energy savers remain cool and save money on your electricity bill.

And finally, how to arrange bedroom furniture - ensure that it does not provide a climbing toddler with opportunities to investigate new heights. Be especially careful that there is nothing under a window that a child could climb up on! For good ideas around children’s bedroom decorating, why not contact us, The Bed King or a bed retail specialist in your area.

Article written by The Bed King.

As published on: Beds Cape Town

Photo credit: My nephew’s room via photopin (license)

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