04.10.20 — Journal

An Exercise in Flat Lighting

This year, most of us have spent a lot of time at home. With the strict lockdown which came into force in Madrid earlier this year, I have seen much more of my inside of my flat than ever before, and so have strived to make the place as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

If you’ve followed my blog in the past, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of lights – be it to illuminate a castle created by my dad, holding a karaoke disco in our car, or to decorate my university room with LED strips aplenty. Whenever I move into a space, I always adjust the lighting somewhat, as I find that I can’t relax without having the space properly lit.

This led me to install my current system of home lighting. For a while now, most of the lamps and other light fittings – oven hood included – have been connected to my phone via a combination of an IKEA Hub and Apple’s HomeKit, meaning I can adjust the brightness of most of the lights in my home at will, setting different “scenes” depending on the time of day and my mood.

Naturally, though, I couldn’t stop there, and so bought myself some coloured LED strips from IKEA to accompany a few that I brought over from England and which had once been installed in my university room. During quarantine, I set about designing and installing a comprehensive setup with these lights, such that the entire colour of my house can be changed with just a tap on my phone.

An important aspect of said setup, however, was that they should be completely invisible when not activated. I love the idea of being able to activate a host of coloured lighting to create different moods in my flat, but I didn’t want the inclusion of such a system to in any way compromise the clean and minimal look I have strived to create.

I thus designed a system which is completely inconspicuous when not activated, with the series of hidden LED strips providing full coverage throughout my house. Whether installed behind furniture, mounted along crevices in the architecture, or even inserted to blend in with the stalks of a plant, the activation of the coloured lights is as shockingly unexpected as it is aesthetically pleasing.

This all leads me to the series of photos below, which document some of my favourite corners of the flat as they are bathed in shades of red, pink, purple, and blue. Of course the colours can be changed, and I’ll definitely take more photos at some point exploring this, but for now do enjoy some snaps of this palette that I’ve been using so often as of recent…

Now it’s time to see if I add any more, as I’m currently setting up a new desk and computer setup in my living room now that remote working is becoming a bit part of the new normal. For that, and to see the place lit up in various other colours, be sure to stay tuned!