Interior Lighting Design
Lighting can lift a room from being average, to a place with atmosphere and variability. But it’s no easy task, so hiring professional help can be a good investment.
Lighting design is often seen as somewhat of a speciality service and the majority of people don’t know who the most appropriate professional may be to help them get the best result. It’s important to have someone planning all practicalities. You don’t necessarily need to plan driver locations, cable lengths and waterproof connections for external lighting and so on all by yourself, but you do need to make sure someone is covering it!
A good electrician will be able to advise on the functionality of any lights styles you’ve chosen and of course the technical side of the installation. They are generally not the person to ask about what style will go with your decorating scheme, or the subtitles of accentuating your art pieces. But your electrician should feel confident they have all the necessary information to turn a lighting brief into a reality. Your electrician and lighting designer will need to work together and communicate regularly for successful project.
Dedicated lighting designers can design a lighting scheme specifically for the room in question, or the whole house with lighting control systems. And will be able to guide you through choosing LED over halogen. Professional lighting designers will be able to deliver a practical pack with detailed drawings and wiring schedules and even demonstrate how an intricate scheme will work. They can design without a brief for new builds requiring Building Control.
However, to make the most of their services for a renovation project they will need an extensive brief about your home. This takes time and can be quite a costly exercise for something you may be doubling up on. To do a fully considered lighting design with personality and purpose, the room needs to be fully designed first.
An interior designer will design lighting specifically for the interiors they’re creating. If you’re employing an interior designer for a renovation project they will have already absorbed all your personal needs and style and will know what your home needs, almost more than you do. Lighting supports and complements the interior design and can take advantage of the properties features as well as all practicalities of task. Helping to plan ahead to minimise disruption within the rest of your home and improve your lighting by making the most of what you have now without complicated rewiring or systems.
Planning should always start early. The ideal time for designing a lighting scheme is before any build works start. The single biggest mistake people make when planning lighting is leaving it too late in the process. The temptation is to consider lighting as a first fix item, because that’s when the cabling goes in. However, first fix is the time to implement the lighting design, not start it.
An electrician can deliver an even coverage of light across all your space: but if you light everything evenly nothing is highlighted. Also, this is your home, not an office with regulatory lighting demands! So a plan for how you’re going to use the space and what you need the light for is the best way to start. A lighting designer should be able to give you great, shadow-free task lighting on your work surfaces, good ambient lighting, and interesting accent lighting to pick out focal points and areas of interest.
A good designer will be able to work at different budget levels and will also be able to tell you if what you’d like to achieve is realistic or not. If you and your designer have an open discussion on budget and you keep an eye on the scheme as the detail is developed, it will make for a much more productive relationship.
While natural daylight is a fantastic light source, you will want your scheme to work year round. Your designer will think about how a space is going to look and feel at 5pm on a November afternoon, making dark spaces feel warm and welcoming when there’s no natural daylight to support your artificial lighting sources.
Whether it’s a new build or a standalone project in an existing property, an interior designer should be able to visualise how the space is going to be used and the look and feel you’re trying to achieve, the more layered the options, the richer the lighting design can be.