Why Involving a Lighting Professional is a Must for Your Next Design Project

Residential Lighting Designlighting design layout plans

In residential projects, paint, lighting, and window treatments are usually considered last. This makes sense logically, as they are typically the final steps in the construction process. However, these three elements can have a dramatic effect on the functionality and feeling of a space. Wall colors and furnishing finishes should be enhanced by the light, and ought to be chosen with light source in mind.

A properly specified layout and controlled lighting system can have a dramatically positive impact on one’s experience within a space. Involving a lighting professional early on in a project means you will have appropriate light levels, sources, and control in each space.

In many cases, a lighting professional is brought in at the end of the project, after the project has gone over budget and weeks or even months beyond the projected date of completion. Also, at this point, junction boxes have often already been located and recessed housings have been installed.

Although there are typically multiple options for each recessed housing, they are not infinite; you will be limited to each manufacturer’s particular series of housing. Often the only options are between different static colors of white, with no options for beam angle or light intensity.

handwritten lighting design notes

Lighting Location

The location of architectural lighting needs to be informed both by the structure of a space and the program of the space. The appropriate luminaire will be determined by the plenum space available and, most importantly, the height of the space. An economy recessed light designed to be used in a space with an 8’ ceiling height will underwhelm when applied to a 14’ ceiling. There are innumerable options when it comes to architectural lighting, all of which are becoming more and more customizable to meet the demand created by design professionals for flexible, powerful, and reliable lighting options.

Planning for Lighting

When lighting is discussed early on, it can be woven into the fabric of a project’s overall design, emphasizing and enhancing key elements, both decorative and architectural. Small details like control locations should be worked into the design, as opposed to being an afterthought, in order to ensure desired mood, feel, and aesthetic cohesion.