When lighting a residence, it is important first to have a detailed plan of where each piece of furniture and art will be placed, along with accurate dimensions. In many cases, but not all, we are trying to light the room unevenly. We hope to highlight certain elements of the room and let others fall back into roles of less visual importance.
Our goal is to light the architecture as well as the furnishings. We must be mindful of how the occupants of the space will look as well. Cross lighting is important when lighting a mirror in a bathroom. No one wants to look 20 years older than they are due to heavy down lighting and insufficient cross lighting.
Aperture brightness and size are two other important considerations. We want the smallest sized openings in the ceiling that will allow for the effects we are trying to produce. We also want the finish on the aperture to not draw undue attention to it.
There are so many options now for high efficacy lighting. LED technology is starting to be broadly available and it is becoming more and more affordable. This is an outstanding choice for under cabinet lighting in a kitchen.
Ultimately, it is always best for the interior designer to work with a lighting consultant who will be up on all the latest products and have the most experience to draw on in creating solutions for your lighting needs.
The image above is from the Icons of Design Showcase, located in the Millennium Tower. We worked in conjunction with San Francisco based Randall Whitehead to develop the lighting design. You can read more about this project on his website: http://www.randallwhitehead.com/news/millenium.php
-MICHAEL M. MERRILL ASID, NKBA, CID