The average cost of a lighting designer is between the range of $5000 – $6120 which is no small sum. It might be tempting to skip the lighting design, but when it comes to the interior, lighting is one of the most important factors that will make or break a space.
How do you create depth and warmth in a room? Where should you place lighting to really bring a space to life? What types of lighting are there and where do they fit in an interior?
If you’re curious as to how the pros do it, then read on for some practical lighting tips that form the basis of lighting design. By the end of the article not only will you have the knowledge to craft your own lighting plan, but you’ll save yourself a fortune in rewiring and decorating costs from getting it wrong.
On a basic level, there are three factors that you need to take into account when choosing a light bulb. These are color temperature, the angle or beam angle, and the number of lumens emitted from the light source. Knowing the characteristics will help you to decide whether a light fixture is right or wrong for a space.
What is color temperature? Do you notice that some light bulbs give out a more yellow tone while some appear to be more white and cold? This is what we describe as color temperature.
It’s a way to illustrate how warm or cool a light source is. You’ll often find an infographic on the side of lightbulb packaging which describes the color temperature in kelvin degrees.
For example, 3200K on the Kelvin scale is considered a warm white. Lighting that is on this part of the spectrum is most suitable for rooms like living areas, bedrooms, and dining rooms. Use lighting on this end of the scale for areas where you want to create a feeling of warmth and intimacy.
Natural daylight is around the 4000K mark on the Kelvin scale. It’s best for workspaces like the kitchen area and bathroom – natural white light is uplifting and bright but not too clinical.
Commercial spaces generally use lights that are on the cooler end of the scale ranging from around 5500K to 6000K. Offices and workplaces tend to use this type of lighting as it is clean and makes a space feel more energizing.
The beam angle of a light source is how much the light hits an area or how it’s distributed. Another way to view the beam angle is how narrow or wide the light is when emitted from the bulb.
For instance, if you want to highlight an object on a wall then you can use lighting that has a smaller angle to focus on the area. Need to light up a bigger area? Then you’ll want a light source that has a much wider beam to cover a bigger space.
The brightness of a light bulb is measured in lumens. So the higher the lumen rating then the brighter a light is i.e. 230 lumens or 25w is dimmer in comparison to 800 lumens or 60w. Before choosing a light source, remember to think about the area where you plan to place it and the types of activities you’ll be doing in the space.
Lighting Design in Layers
Now that you know the basic characteristics of any light source, it’s time to put it all together. In order to light a space harmoniously, you need to learn how select different types of lighting and combine them together in layers. Here are the basics of layering that are used by all lighting design professionals:
This is the foundation layer of any room and serves to illuminate the whole area. Its purpose is to allow anyone entering a space to see clearly and move comfortably through a room.
Ambient light should cover a large area and is more or less uniform. It sets the overall mood of the interior space, so you want to avoid anything too harsh. Think of diffused light that’s gentle and soft from pendant lights or hidden LED strips tucked into ceiling alcoves – all ideal for use as ambient lighting.
Use accent lighting to highlight stand-alone objects or focal points that you want to draw attention to. Architectural details or artwork can really stand out with accent lighting and will give the room some extra drama. When you add accent lighting to a space, it creates depth in the form of light and shadows.
You’ll often find that rooms without accent lighting can appear bland, or they might give you a feeling that something is missing. This is what accent lighting does, it’s like the accessories that give a room an extra sparkle.
Accent lights are three times as bright compared to ambient lighting. Add mood and atmosphere to areas like hallways, living spaces, and bedrooms with spotlights or directional lighting.
The bedroom might be a place of rest, but there’s no reason you can’t make a feature of the bed with some accent lighting – artwork or a beautiful photo suspended above will really stand out.
Another essential type of lighting – task lighting is needed for things like cooking, reading, or working. It reduces eye strain and ensures that you’re able to perform tasks easily and comfortably.
This type of functional lighting is much brighter than the ambient light in a room. Think table lamps, floor lamps, and built-in lighting in kitchens.
Lighting Design Style
Although it’s important to consider the different aspects of lighting design covered here, don’t forget the importance of picking a lighting fixture that matches the interior style. A well-designed lighting plan should incorporate both the functional aspects and good aesthetics.
Are you ready to transform your space? Then go ahead and browse our gorgeous range of lights available in our online store. You’ll find modern designs that are both perfect for homes and commercial spaces.