Lighting can define a space, making it feel snug and cozy or bright and expansive. Track lights can be used to call attention to framed pictures or a favorite painting; recessed lighting is subtler and can soften hard edges.
At a time when many of us are still stuck at home, a thoughtfully decorated and lighted room can help stave off cabin fever.
For Italian lighting designer Gabi Peretto, artificial lighting is a “basic necessity.” His collection of pendants and table lamps are inspired by Milan, Italy, in the 1950s and 1960s.
“In those years, Milan was the place for the reinterpretation of the Modern Movement but still with characters inherited from the ‘simplified monumental’ style,” Peretto explains on his website (gabiperetto.com).
“Until a few years ago, the trend was to illuminate as much as possible. This meant filling a room with light like filling a bathtub with water, and only one light source was used,” he told Lifestyle in an email interview.
Things have shifted since then. “The evolution of lighting is to illuminate less by using soft lights in warm white, and to consider darkness as a precious thing. We have discovered that darkness and shadows are a precious atmosphere. The future is to sculpt the dark, not just illuminate.”
Peretto suggests updating with new technologies like home automation where E27 bulbs are controlled by smartphone. (E27 is the most common type of Edison screw base; 27 refers to the diameter of the bulb).
“We design more and more products with only E27 lamp holders. Customers can then choose which home automation to use. It is also important to use dimmers.”
Those bulbs with fixed integrated LEDs at 6,000 Kelvin? Peretto says these are “forbidden” by good taste and evolution. “The ‘ice white’ or ‘stark white’ light of LEDs at 6,000 or 7,000 Kelvin are only used in hospitals and police stations. And that’s that.”
He shares a few tips for those who want to update their homes with thoughtful lighting.
For Peretto, the most important thing is dividing the lighting in a room into many points. “Create ambience with light; you don’t need to use a single light point. Prepare many table lamps in different spots, all independent and controlled by mobile phone. In this way, the house will have infinite scenarios that will change throughout the day.
“Do not always use white light but try to introduce color. If you have multiple light sources in a room with color and intensity adjustments, then the lighting will always be different.” For technical lighting, Peretto considers track lighting on the ceiling still the most flexible because one can easily add or move light sources because of the rail tracks. When it comes to decorative lighting, table lamps are always “magical” and easy to add or pair.
“Never exceed warm light at 3,000 Kelvin. In the most sophisticated projects in northern Europe, the maximum is 2,700 Kelvin, which is very warm and comfortable.”
He prefers pendant lamps over chandeliers as seen in his collection. Pendants, he said, can be seen as a hanging work of art.
“Chandeliers represent the past with their many bright points because back then they needed many candles to illuminate a space. In our time, no more candles are needed.”
Peretto has collaborated with local lighting store Ilaw Atbp. for their first designer series. Pieces from his collection are available at the store’s first Prestige branch in Plazuela de Molino in Bacoor, Cavite.
“We make bright ideas come to life by working with architects, designers and builders throughout the process of designing, manufacturing, and installation for our many clients,” said president and CEO Edwin Pimentel. INQ