When a home is sweet, warm and welcoming, you can feel it the moment you walk through the door.
And the beauty of that welcoming home lies in its lighting. With good lighting and illumination, you can determine the mood of a home. It can be cosy or warm or cold depending on the kind of lighting you choose.
Lighting is a key decorative component that transforms and raises the status of a home.
Nicholas Nzioki, who deals in lighting for homes, says good light fixtures can beautify a home and give it a scenic look.
“The decoration of the lighting can also spice up and add to the decoration of the house. Clients have different needs. Some want vintage lighting or contemporary (new lighting). For anyone going for contemporary lighting or the other, they should be uniform throughout the house,” said Mr Nzioki, who is the director of Mfalme MB Lighting.
Major firms dealing in light solutions include Lighting Solutions Ltd, Kenya Lighting Industries, Lampshade Agency Ltd, Legacy Lights Design and Installation, MasterTech Lighting, Lyn Interior among others.
According to Nzioki, “there has been lots of abuse of lighting as people throw different lights everywhere.”
He says lighting has to be uniform because “a home is like one unit and you can’t have different lights everywhere. “There is a certain type of beauty in uniformity,” he says.
According to Nzioki, most people often mistake lighting and bulbs. A bulb is just a component that emits the light while lighting is a fixture that holds a bulb.
“You need to have the right bulb for a certain light, for instance, candle bulbs are used more in vintage lighting. It is important to match the right bulb with the right lighting,” he said.
“If you are using a crystal chandelier in the dining room, you cannot go for a vintage or rustic kind of look in the dining room,” he says.
For the bedroom, people can use chandeliers though it is not the most preferred lighting. “Chandeliers have nice designs and are modern. Designers also keep coming up with new designs every day. For bedrooms, people can use pendants over chandeliers.”
Nzioki, who now is working to expand his business to cover interior and outdoor décor, says the living room lighting depends on the feeling, style and furniture. “Some clients prefer chandeliers, others want hanging lights, LED lights, ceiling lights, and pendants among others.”
For a kid’s bedroom, says Nzioki, “we can go for lights that are a bit playful. For corridors, hanging lights are suitable, and also ceiling lights. For the kitchen, the three in one is the most preferred way of lighting.”
The kitchen light should be bright.
According to Nzioki, the location of the house also determines the type of lighting used though not entirely. Wattage also determines the lighting being used.
“Some chandeliers take a lot of bulbs, to ensure that you are saving lighting, the type of lighting is key. It is advisable to put lighting that has fewer bulb holders if you are looking for minimal lighting. If you want something that is completely bright, go for a light with more bulb holders,” he explains.
A client’s budget also determines the type of lighting used in homes. “You can get lighting for as little as Sh1,000 with regular holders, pendants that go for about Sh2,500, all the way to Sh18,500. Some chandeliers go for Sh6,500 up to Sh75,000, half a million or Sh700,000.”
Nzioki says he encountered problems when solving lighting problems at the start of the business.
“I had to correct a lot of errors and culture around lighting. Kenyans are now becoming more aware of how to light homes,” he said noting that lack of knowledge concerning lighting is slowly dying away.
Nzioki says he was born with a ‘passion for lighting and interior design, giving solutions and lighting advice to clients.’
He attributes vast knowledge to his wide experience in travelling and meeting suppliers. He registered his business in 2018 and officially started operations in 2020.
“Lighting is capital intensive; it needs a good sum of money. I started in phases, it needed a lot of time, proper selection and allocation of time and money.”