The technique i'm now using, is to use multiple lights with different purposes, some only for single objects, to hopefully give a bit more of a soft and believable feel. The current stage i'm at is below, hopefully with some further advice from Alan, it will be close to final. The plan is to complete this half by Sunday, and then delve into the workshop / machinery area which I'm hoping to have some fun with, in terms of props, lighting and animated pieces.
Images below are older versions.
Over the last few days I've been working on the study area of my environment, pushing the lighting and starting to get final textures on objects. There is still a lot of clutter to model and place, and Im not too sure about the wallpaper, but I'm hoping to have this small area completed in the next few days, so I'm ready to push on with the more industrial side of the laboratory.
I've tweaked the lighting after fixing some problems with my monitor calibration, it is now a bit closer to how I want it, but still needs some stronger highlights I think.