Friday, January 3, 2014


It may seem like an odd post, like why is she going to talk about lights?  Well, I'll tell you they are one of the most forgotten about, yet used the most, products in design.  Lighting can change the whole mood of a room.  If you think about the function of light, the ability to task all times of the day, you will respect the large roll it plays in design.

As a designer, it's important to create spaces for clients that not only look beautiful, but first and foremost to create a space that is functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and that are aesthetically attractive.  Through creative and technical solutions a space comes to life, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied and produce an interior space that fulfills the projects goals.

The purpose of lighting is multi-faceted, beginning with light used to carry out tasks or work.  Think of your favorite reading chair and the lamp next to it.  Or, a desk lamp used to cary out the task of paying bills.  To create an area of comfort or amenity either by daylight, artificial light or direct sunlight.  To create effects for aesthetics, like displaying artwork, family photos or shadows definition.  Lastly, to ensure safety.  

Lighting solutions are not only used in commercial building, but also in residential building.  Our lives have become more complex and more and more people continually add more tasks that their home must accommodate.  It used to be that a home was a single room where one slept, but aside from that not much time was spent inside.  There were chores to do, animals to feed, a garden to tend too and by the time the work was all done it was time for bed.  However our lives have evolved and the home has become more than just a place to lay our heads.  Therefore, interior lighting plays an important roll in the function of a home.  
I have been working on our farm house lighting plan for months now.   It has evolved as the design plans have evolved.  When we add another task to a room, we must alter or modify the lighting.  

There are a few guidelines I follow when creating a lighting plan for a home.   Light, both natural and artificial is what brings life to a room.  

1. Layer light, Combine task and ambient light to provide flexibility and add a measure of warmth.   (Create lighting opportunities for each time of the day.  The amount of light you need changes throughout the day and with each task the room must accommodate.  I propose a combination of natural light, recessed lighting, task light i.e. lamps, direct light for display or focus.  Also, consider dimmer switches, and three way switches, they provide flexibility.)

2. Task, Task, Task!  (Make a list of all the tasks that your room will contain.  For example, a kitchen serves for cooking, but could also be a place where homework is done.  Know each task that will take place so that you can plan for the light you need.)

3. Lights can be pretty too! (Yes the purpose of light is to illuminate an area, but function does not mean you have to forgo beauty.)

4.  Outside lights  (Lights serve a purpose outside the home too.  Consider lighting for a basketball court.  Games don't just have to be played during the day.  Or try landscape lighting to highlight a walkway or an ornamental tree.)

An example of outside lighting to inspire you:

Here are some functional and beautiful lights I have found.  I hope you can draw some inspiration for your lighting project.

Layered light.  Recessed and accent pendant lights.
Function and Beauty

Recycled lamp shades and yarn.  

Exterior Lighting.  These lights are referred to as dark sky lights. They cast light down instead of into the sky, preserving the starry night.  

Think outside the box when lighting a vanity.  Sconces are pretty and functional, while still providing a soft glow for makeup application.  Sconces would most likely not be enough light in a bathroom so remember to layer.  

Task lamp.  Task lighting goes beyond the traditional table lamp. 

Industrial vibe task light.  

Light your world!


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