Lighting Design Basics
There is so much to know about lighting design. By focusing on a few points the great look you desire can be achieved.
Balance – The best way to find balance in lighting is to triangulate fixtures in a room. If you have recessed lighting but still want seating level lighting, add lamps in key areas and visualize a triangle. A floor lamp next to a comfortable chair and table lamps on side tables or night stands make this easy.
Mood – Make sure that lighting isn’t too bright by adding dimmer switches for chandeliers and recessed lighting. This inexpensive feature gives you many options for setting the mood in a room. Under, over and in cabinet lighting are other great ways to accent and enhance the beauty of fine furniture and accessories in a room.
Efficiency – Today’s efforts to light a space without consuming too much energy are important, and there are several ways to achieve this. Following are just a couple of energy-saving ideas on how to light a space:
- Use lighting controls such as dimmers and occupancy sensors. Dimming a light fixture by 25 percent uses less energy and adds to the life span of the fixture. Occupancy sensors that turn the lights on or off when you enter or exit a room can save up to 20 percent in energy use as well.
- Use fixtures which consume less energy such as LED’s. LED lights can greatly reduce the amount of watts used without reducing the quality of light produced. These types of lights are more expensive but are virtually maintenance free with 50,000-100,000 hour life spans. They can be dimmed and come in very attractive recessed trims. Well worth the investment.
- California energy code now requires that 50% of lighting must be ‘green,’ which is comprised of LED, halogen and/or fluorescent, with the remainder being incandescent.
A professional interior designer can provide advice on lighting and typically has a licensed electrician or specialized lighting designer as part of her/his team.
Contributed by Julie Gerns, CAPID