You’re a what?
I’m a lighting designer.
So you design light fixtures?
No, not exactly.
Hmm. What does a lighting designer do then?
I’m so glad you asked!
We create drama
We draw your eye to what is important
We bring finishes to life
We accentuate textures
We enable you to chop vegetables, read a book, differentiate between a blue and black suit
We lead you to a destination
We stop your gaze
We affect how you feel
We control your voice level
We are master manipulators
We are… the best supporting actor to a well-designed space
Ok, ok. We’re not exactly superheroes, but when we see the effects of great lighting at the end of a project, we kind of feel like one! I think architectural lighting design is a niche of the design industry that is still somewhat undervalued. Anyone can throw lights on a plan and pick fixtures off a shelf, but how do you know it will create the atmosphere you want in the space? Or provide enough light to read? Or bring out the brush strokes in your oil painting?
Lighting designers think about spaces three-dimensionally and add layers of light to align with the function of the space and create drama whenever possible! We carefully select each architectural lighting fixture after thorough review. It's even better when we can mock up the actual fixture with the selected material, in the space, or on the artwork. We are involved throughout the design process to coordinate integrated fixture mounting details and solve problems that arise during construction. At the end of the project, we return to aim all of the adjustable fixtures on the art and furnishings to make sure the lighting design we designed in plan is fully realized.
Lighting may seem like a relatively small part of the design process, but it can make a huge impact on a space. I hope you'll check back often to learn more tips and tricks about lighting design!