Claire, the ‘illumina’ lighting expert

Yesterday I had a site visit by Claire Pendarves from Illumina ( to look over the room sizes etc. to refine her lighting ideas and suggestions.

It’s crazy, I expect to go out and buy a light that fits my taste. The more I read up and spoke to others about lighting, the more I realised it would transform or potentially waste all the amazing work to date (and planned).

Claire dives straight into considering every space, the different planned uses, the links between areas, the circuits, the lighting limitations (eg size of ceiling voids, or exposed coastal location for outside lighting) and used my lighting scrap book to show me installed work she’s done, photos of lights and a plethora of fittings from her Tardis car boot.

Even though Claire arrived at 10am, and left at 3:30pm, I think she let me off lightly in terms of toning down the talk of lumen’s, the level of white and a bunch of other technical considerations that are second nature to her.

Have a look at her Websites for work she’s done for others:

Lights in cross beams (if have cross beams)

Looking at this project on Houzz

I thought that if the proposed Glulam beams are going to drop below the ceiling height, then the way they have done the lights in between the beams looks great.

I think I’m biased to a clean line (no visible beams) though.

It, in part, works because they have lots of beams closely spaced to each other.


Appliance Energy Saving Tips

Siemens have recently brought out a miracle A+++ fridge; the KG36EAW40. It has the best energy rating on the market right now. Annually it costs you £18 a year to run, compared to a more modest A rated model, which costs you approximately £51. That’s a saving of £33.

Get a frost free freezer

Don’t leave cooking appliances such as your microwave on standby. It wastes approximately 7kW of energy per day – annually that’s a huge £84 per appliance.

An induction hob is the most efficient hob you can get: it’s 90% more efficient than gas or electric, mainly because the hob only heats up when it recognises the pan so no energy is wasted when the pan isn’t present.

Another good tip is to use halogen lighting in your oven as they’re 20% more efficient and 36% brighter than standard light.

The Bosch Logixx WAS32461GB washing machine, which has a function that measures the exact amount of water needed depending on the weight of your wash. It means you won’t waste any extra water or energy to get the load washed. It’ll only cost you £22.68 a year to run, which is minuscule compared to other machines.