What is Lighting Design?

What is Lighting Design?

Although the Lightmaster team are specialists in the field of residential, commercial and historical building lighting design, we have come to realise that surprisingly few people know what lighting design truly is, much less how to use it to its best effect in a property. Here, we take a look at the ins and outs of this important element that can change the feel, atmosphere and ambience of a space with just a single flick of a switch.

In this article we cover:

  • The Basics of Lighting Design
  • The Four Types of Lighting Design
  • What is a Lighting Design Plan?
  • Lighting Themes to Complement Your Space
  • The Impact on Your Wellbeing

The Basics Of Lighting Design

So, what is lighting design? Essentially, it is the key feature of any home, commercial premises or historical building that can change its atmosphere and appearance dramatically. With intelligent planning and the right choice of lighting solutions for every room or space in the property, it becomes possible to create the perfect ambience that adds both value and style.

Selecting the right kind of bulbs and lighting is a key aspect in designing a comfortable yet practical feature in every room. In lighting design, every space must be considered from different viewpoints – from the style of lighting to be chosen to the effects the light fitting can create.

When considering interior design, lighting design is a component that is all-too-often overlooked. However, if it is carefully considered and planned ahead, it is capable of adding enormous impact to the environment in question, whether that be a domestic home, a commercial store or office, or even a historical setting. It can enhance décor, provide atmosphere and warmth, and even identify and separate different zones.

The Four Types Of Lighting Design

Any lighting design will fall into four separate categories. Combining these four is essential to create an optimal lighting solution for any space.

The first of these is general lighting. Also know as ambient lighting, this is the type of lighting which is most widely used and best known. It serves the function of providing adequate illumination in a room and classic examples include main light fittings or primary wall lights. In terms of lighting design, general lighting is said to be the most vital category since it must be bright enough to illuminate the entire space so users can be safe and see properly whenever they enter it.

The second category of lighting design is task lighting. This is harnessed to illuminate certain areas where extra light is required as well as general lighting. As an example, desks require additional desk lamps or reading lamps so light can be aimed in key directions to see paperwork clearly without damaging the eyes. Standing lamps, lights on bathroom mirrors and lighting under kitchen cabinets are all good examples of task lighting that can be planned into a lighting design scheme.

The third category is accent lighting, and this category is interesting and creative. This type of lighting can be used to create specific moods or to highlight certain features like ornaments, feature plants or fireplaces. Low energy LED lights can be used to transform gloomy corners, creating a personal and unique touch in the space and turning dark areas into practical but interesting features. This is certainly the most imaginative element of any lighting design scheme.

Lastly there is effect lighting, this includes options such as colour changing, or using light to shape and highlight features. Using intentional and precise placement of light sources to give intricate effects such as wall washing, scalloping and grazing. This last effect is particularly attractive when the light source is located closely to a textured wall such as a beautiful Cotswold stone or a sleek raised tile, the light skims the surface highlighting the raised surfaces and creating striking contrasts.

What Is a Lighting Design Plan?

A lighting design plan is essential when creating an interior design scheme. With a well-thought-out lighting plan you can determine which kind of fittings you require at an early stage while also ensuring that your electrician knows where switches will be located and which type of fittings will be used.

To be successful and effective, a lighting design plan must take into account every possible use of the space as well as any features or items within it that should be highlighted and accented. Knowing who will use the space and which times of day the space will be used most are also key elements to bear in mind when drafting the plan.

Determining the amount of light needed in the space is something that a skilled lighting designer will take into account along with the amount of natural light that enters the room. Natural light has a vital role to play in the overall ambience and feel of a space and it should never be overlooked when designing a lighting plan. A talented designer such as those at Lightmaster know that that natural light sources are actually the best starting point when coming up with a scheme that will work perfectly to create the desired effects.

Lighting Themes To Complement Your Space

One further element of lighting design is to take into account themes that complement the space. Just as with interior décor, it’s important to bear in mind the style of the room. Whether industrial chic, Victorian elegance, modern minimalist or retro cool, the lighting design must work perfectly with the overall atmosphere and theming of the space so that the effect is cohesive and effective. Lightmaster’s talented team of designers can work with the theme of any domestic, commercial or historic space to create lighting effects with appropriate fittings that work well with the existing décor, furnishings and ambience.

The Impact on Your Well-Being

Lighting design has the power to improve your overall well-being. There have been studies carried out that have revealed that emotions can be experienced more intensely when lighting is harsh and bright, so finding the right lighting temperature for each space is paramount. All of this falls within the remit of the talented lighting designer. For example, soft white lights can create a cosy and warm feeling that helps you relax and calm down, while cool and bright lights create feelings of energy and motivation. Lightmaster’s skilled designers can take all of this into account when coming up with a lighting design plan for any space.

Now that you know what lighting design is, you will have a better idea of what it involves in your own space. Contact us today to find out more about how light can enhance your rooms.

Oct 28, 2020