FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Why should I hire a lighting designer for my project?

If you value a well-illuminated space and want to ensure the lighting is designed, installed, and controlled properly, then you’ll want a lighting expert on your design team. We tailor the layers of light, fixture locations, fixture specifications, and type of lighting control based on the architectural aesthetic of the space and our clients’ specific lighting preferences. Lighting technology is evolving rapidly, and we are members of the IALD (International Association of Lighting Designers) and IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) so we can stay up-to-date on the latest industry advancements, product updates, and design solutions.


At what phase of my project should I call a lighting designer?

The earlier the better! When you have settled on a floor plan and furniture plan with your architect, interior designer, and/or builder, it’s a good time to bring in a lighting designer. We will work with your design team to integrate the architectural lighting into the overall design.


How do you charge?

We provide the client with an estimate based on the scope of work and then bill on an hourly basis for all of our residential projects. We can provide a fixed fee for commercial projects upon request.


Why don’t you provide a fixed fee for residential projects?

Based on our experience working on a wide variety of residential projects with diverse design teams, the needs of every project and client is unique. Depending on a number of factors such as the level of finish, the number of meetings requested, the project schedule, the number of design changes, and the amount of integrated lighting details, some projects require more hours of design and coordination than others. We believe it is fair to only charge for the actual time spent on the project.


Can you stay within my builder’s proposed lighting fixture budget?

Often times, a builder’s initial lighting fixture budget is extremely low, even for luxury new-construction residences. We will present you with a realistic lighting fixture budget based on your lighting preferences and your home’s level of finish. We stand behind our designs and our lighting fixture specifications and know that our clients will see the value good lighting brings to everyday life.


Who purchases the light fixtures?

For new construction and significant remodel projects, the electrician purchases the light fixtures and is therefore able to coordinate the fixture delivery and installation as the fixtures are needed at the site. We always review the fixture quote and/or fixture submittal package to ensure the fixtures are ordered properly. For smaller projects, we can request a light fixture quote from a local distributor and then send it to you to place the order and coordinate the delivery directly.


Who installs the light fixtures?

If a general contractor is on the project, their electrician installs the light fixtures. For smaller projects, we can recommend an electrician if you don't have one.


Do you work on projects outside of Chicago?

Yes, we have worked on a number of projects nationwide and in Mexico and are positioned to take on out-of-town projects upon request. Most of our work can be completed remotely so we typically only visit the job site twice during the course of a project. The first time is during construction to ensure the fixtures are located according to the lighting plan and that the electrician and general contractor fully understand the lighting plan, integrated lighting details, and installation requirements for each fixture type. The second time is at the very end of the project to aim the light fixtures and tweak the light levels on the lighting control system.


Do you earn commission on the products you select?

No, we do not. As an independent lighting design firm associated with the IALD (International Association of Lighting Designers), we do not receive compensation from fixture manufacturers or their affiliates and are therefore able to recommend unbiased lighting design solutions for every client.


What is the average light fixture lead time?

We specify specification-grade architectural lighting, which is often built to order and not stocked in stores or online. Lead times vary but are typically between 4-8 weeks.


Is your contract with the client or the designer?

For full-service lighting design projects and art lighting projects, our contract is typically directly with the client. On occasion, the client prefers that their contractor, architect, or interior designer manages all of their consultants’ contracts so we are open to that as well. For peer review services, our contract is typically with the architect or interior designer.


Do you speak at industry events?

Yes, if you’d like to learn more about our available speaking topics and to schedule a call to discuss your event, please reach out to us at info@hoilandstudios.com.


How do I get started?

You can either fill out the form on the CONTACT page or email us at info@hoilandstudios.com to set up an introductory call. We look forward to hearing from you!