Don’t forget to consider your lighting when selecting laminates. We give you 5 expert tips on this!

The concealed lights above and below this feature wall casts a soft glow on the Bianco Marmo Adriano laminate (DXP 1372XM) and visually lightens the look. Design and photo: Space Factor.

You’ve chosen the laminates for your home, but when they’re installed and the lights go on, something seems off. Perhaps you’ve forgotten to consider the lighting? The colour temperature of light (measured in kelvins) can affect our perception of colours and spaces; they can make a space feel warm or cold, or tint a white wall with colour. So it’s crucial to choose renovation materials such as laminates with the illumination of your space in mind. Learn more here, with these five tips from Dolly and Eric Tan, the husband-and-wife team behind interior design firm Space Factor.

Tip 1 – Choose your laminates in the right lighting

The soft white light in this bedroom mellows the grey of the stone-inspired Dario Ramblas (DXP 1329C) laminate (right) used without altering its rugged character. Design and photo: Space Factor.

Select laminates in the context of the lighting plan you’ve decided for your home. For example, if you intend to have warm or mood lighting in your living room, look at laminate swatches for that space under warm lights. At the Space Factor office, homeowners choose their laminates in a room fitted with lights which can be adjusted to reflect a spectrum of colour temperatures from warm light, to cool (or soft) white, to daylight (white light).

“It’s common for homes now to have lighting which can toggle between different colour temperatures. Most wood-look laminates look alright under different lighting, but a reddish wood-look laminate will look even more reddish under warm lighting. Cool solid colour laminates such as grey appear yellowish, and we find that blue-greens look strange in white light. The ‘safest’ lighting to use is cool white, which is similar to natural sunlight,” says Dolly.

This illustration shows how Lamitak’s Marmo Classico (DXP 1358XM) laminate looks like under the four different lighting conditions generated by the lightbox at the Studio.

To address the importance of lighting, we’ve equipped the Lamitak Studio with a lightbox for the use of our visitors. This lightbox is able to simulate four colour temperatures, such as Cool White, Cool Yellow, Warm White and Warm Yellow, to show users how their chosen laminate designs will look like under various lighting conditions.

Tip 2 – If in doubt, bring the laminate to site

“It’s good enough for our clients to select the laminates in our office, but we take the extra step and pass the laminate swatches to them so they can see how the designs look in daylight in the actual site, to ensure they make the right choice,” says Dolly. Eric adds that this gives the homeowners a sense of ownership and reduces the chance of any unexpected surprises when the laminate is installed.

At the site, clients can also take note of structures outside the home which can affect the light coming into their home. For example, their walls might take on a greenish tint if the sun reflects off a building outside painted green, into their home.

Tip 3 – Don’t choose laminates through photos on a screen

“The colour calibrations on different mobile phones and computer screens are not the same. Also, due to different lighting conditions, a photo of a laminate swatch might look very different from the actual laminate, so I wouldn’t suggest clients choose laminates from photos taken with the mobile phone or just from pictures they see online. Seeing the actual laminate sample is still the best option,” advises Eric. As large format laminate designs get more common and popular, the designers will also advise clients to visit the Lamitak Studio to see the full size laminate sheets, if necessary.

These full-size laminate sheets at the Lamitak Studio allow homeowners to get a clearer picture of the laminate design.

Tip 4 – Take note of glare on glossy laminates

Glossy laminates have reflective surfaces, so any object placed in front of them will be reflected and seen on the laminate surface. This is something to note if you plan to showcase a feature wall with spotlights, says Eric. On a glossy laminate wall, the light reflected off the surface will create spots of bright glare. Knowing this, adjust the position or angle of the lights or go for indirect lighting instead for an even glow.

When light hits a glossy laminate surface, the laminate tends to look ‘wavy’ when you see it from the side. If this is a no-no for you, it might be best to steer clear from glossy laminates and go for a laminate with a matte finish instead.

Tip 5 – Consider how sunlight and spotlights can affect laminates

The spotlights in this living room are angled to throw a soft warm glow on the stone-inspired Dario Ramblas (DXP 1329C) laminate to create a cosy feel. Design and photo: Space Factor

“When laminates are constantly exposed to sunlight, colour fading is more obvious on white rather than patterned laminates like woodgrains,” says Dolly. White laminates tend to turn yellowish with prolonged exposure to sunlight. It might be a while before you notice the change though, as it happens slowly. So take into account the levels of sunlight in a space and choose designs which stand up better to high levels of UV light in the long run.

Similarly, avoid having spotlights shine directly on the laminates, to prevent spots of uneven colour caused by the targeted exposure to light and heat from the bulb.

All project photos provided by Space Factor. Get inspired and view more projects on their Facebook and Instagram!

See the Lamitak laminates featured in this post at the Lamitak Studio at 114 Lavender Street, CT Hub 2 #01-61, Singapore 338729. For more information, contact the studio at 6592-5200 and; or drop by during the opening hours below:

Monday to Thursday: 10.30am–6.30pm
Friday: 11.30am–6.30pm
Saturday: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 12.30pm – 4.30pm
Click here for directions!

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