3 Secret Ingredients to Professional Lighting Design
To a lot of people, lighting involves just putting in some downlights. Then learning to adapt to the light in their home. But, the difference that professional lighting design can make in a home is extraordinary. By using science and mathematics, it’s possible to create bright, and dynamic spaces. As well as completely transform your design – all without having to deal with wall and ceiling acne.
Let’s take a look at 3 secret ingredients to professional lighting design:
1. Plan A Structured Lighting Design Process
It may be tempting to start browsing online and picking out lighting which looks great. But, do you want to achieve the best step lighting installation possible? Then you need to avoid the urge to jump straight in.
Using a structured design process can help you to avoid making any mistakes. Designs which don’t plan their lighting are usually not as beautiful (or effective) as the ones who do.
Professional architectural lighting design doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Often simple and minimalistic lighting can be the most effective if it’s what the space needs.
What is the purpose of the lighting?
All lighting can fit into one of four different categories. They are visibility, mood, selective visibility, and modelling.
Visibility: is the most common reason to use lighting. To light an area well so that it is not dark.
Mood: What is the atmosphere or vibe you wish to have for the room? You can achieve it by experimenting with different combinations of colour. As well as intensity, and lighting angles.
Selective visibility: involves tasteful lighting and focussing on certain areas of your professional lighting design. Such as sculptures, stairs, and tree canopies. It can artistically enhance an architectural design creatively.
Modelling: is using lighting to light a focal point in a space, and make it stand out from the background. Or to make the space appear more visually appealing.
Which Lighting Method?
You also need to give thought to the type of lighting method to use. Will you use surface mounted, recessed, direct, or indirect light? Will you use up-lighting? Will it be colourful, soft light, or low brightness?
You should also try to use as much daylight as possible. Which aims to reduce the reliance on artificial lighting.
2. Use The Right Equipment
Choosing the right equipment is an essential part of professional lighting design. There are many factors which need to be analysed to select the right light source and luminaire for the space.
- Light output (lumens) & total input wattage
- Lumens per Watt (efficacy)
- The physical size
- The lifetime of the lights
- Glare/surface brightness
- Colour and electrical characteristics
- Compatibility with control gear and existing electrical system
- Sustainability and environmental impact
- light distribution
- Finish and appearance
- Ease of access for maintenance/repairs
- Luminaire efficiency
Choosing The Control System
A lighting system is only as effective as how well it integrates with a control system.
You should consider the following:
- Have multiple switches which can control the number of lights to turn on/off at any time. Using a single switch to control all the lights at once in a room is inefficient. It will also lead to a larger electricity bill.
- Have light switches positioned strategically at exit points in a room. Along with setting up two-way switching, it encourages people to turn off lights as they leave a room.
- For outdoor security lights use daylight controls, motion sensors, and timers. So that they turn on automatically. Use controls in multi-unit housing common areas such as stairwells, corridors, and hallways.
- Turn on and off lights automatically. Use smart light switches and fittings which have motion sensors. Make sure there is a built-in daylight sensor also, to stop them from unnecessarily turning on.
- Use solar powered lighting for security and garden lights.
- For incandescent lights and halogens, use a dimmer control. This can help to extend the life of the bulb.
Decide on Luminaire
When deciding on the luminaire, it’s important to consider the performance just as much as the cost. Over the long-term, a well made and designed luminaire will end up costing less than a cheaply made unit.
Good quality luminaire features:
- A durable finish with robust mechanical and electrical construction
- Sufficient screening of high luminance lamps. This minimises any discomfort and glare.
- Enough heat dissipation. Which will stop overheating of the lamp from happening. As well as protect the ancillary equipment and wiring.
- Easy to install, clean and maintain
- High light output ratio which also has suitable light distribution
3. Improve The Lighting Fundamentals
Blending lighting together is a mixture of art and science. It’s achieved by using architecture, many light sources, and the user’s needs and preferences. Done right and it can transform a room with lighting blending subtly into the background. But done poorly and the lighting will be the focal point.
With so many different variables, there are no magic instructions to follow for superb lighting. Instead, each space will need to be individually designed and tweaked.
But, there are some general guidelines you can follow. They will almost always improve the lighting quality in any space.
Add More Ceiling And Wall Lights
By increasing the brightness on the ceiling, it will make a space seem taller. Likewise, by adding more lights on a wall, it can make a space look bigger.
Improving the brightness of an area can also help to reduce any glare issues, which may lead to eye strain.
Who Will Use The Space?
- The age of people who will be using the space also has an impact on how much light is needed. As well as how much glare they can tolerate. As people get older, they need more light to be able to see as well as they did before.
- The purpose of the space also determines the amount of lighting. Is it a work area or a reading space? Areas, where visual tasks will be undertaken, need to be considered when deciding how and where to distribute the lighting.
Change From Magnetic Ballasts to Electronic
A magnetic ballast is used in fluorescent light systems. It monitors the voltage a fluorescent light receives. It also prevents the bulb from overheating and exploding. But, a side effect of magnetic ballasts is the very annoying flicker and hum. By switching to electronic ballasts, it eliminates these problems.
Light Artwork and Architectural Elements
Focus lighting on architectural design elements and feature artwork. It helps to add a sense of contrast, depth, and shadows in a space. Blending lighting also makes it visually more appealing, exciting and eye-catching.
These are some of the secret ingredients which professional lighting designers use. If you apply them to your projects, they can help take your designs from good to breathtaking.
Are you looking to enhance the aesthetics of your architectural design? Do you want to create dynamic spaces which are functional, and beautiful? Well, at LA Lounge we can help. Our professional lighting architects are ready to collaborate with you. We’re here to bring your vision to life. As well as add the perfect vibe to your architectural masterpiece.
For a free consultation, contact us by phone (02) 9999 4948 on or online.