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Architectural Lighting Design Process

Architectural Lighting Design Process

lighting-design-process

When you’re taking on the services of any architectural lighting designer, you’ll want to know details of the lighting design process. And how does our remote lighting design service works? Here I’ll take you through the steps.

Local or remote lighting design process

When I start a lighting design project, in effect I will generally follow the same process whether the building is local or remote. Usually the lighting design will be done at the planning stage and there have been times when I’ve planned the lighting even before the previous property on the site has been knocked down to make way for the new build.

Benefits of planning architectural lighting design early

Firstly, you will want to have an idea of costs for the electrical work and architectural light fittings before starting the build or renovation work. Your electrical contractor won’t be able to quote correctly until he has the information to hand. If you have this planned early the process will be much smoother.

The process of talking through the lighting design means that you need to think through how you’re going to use the space which is a useful exercise in itself. Focusing your mind on aspects of the interior may throw light on other areas of the architectural planning that you need to address before the work starts.

My architectural lighting design process

  1. Initially it’s good to have a chat on the phone to get an idea of the extent of lighting advice and design you require, and for you to decide if you’re happy to take it further. I offer a flexible service so if you only want to have part of your property designed that’s fine; I’ll quote accordingly.
  2. After our discussion and, on sight of the plans, I’ll quote for the design work and then you can decide if you would like to proceed.
  3. If you wish to take things further, a time will be set for the design work to be carried out with a prior meeting arranged via Zoom or phone to go through your vision for the property, lifestyle etc and any elements of the build that might vary from the plan. An invoice for 50% of the design fee will be sent at this point.
  4. Turnaround is usually 7-10 days provided I have all the information to hand.
  5. The full design, including marked up plans with full details of circuits, schedule of proposed lighting and lighting design specification will be sent to you together with the balance invoice for the design work.
  6. At this stage it’s good to mull over the design for a few days and then decide on any changes you would like to make. Any alterations that are made within two weeks of submission are included in the design fee.

Please note: If you would like some general advice on how to enhance the lighting in your existing property, I offer a lighting consultancy service where I will visit to go through your options and give you details of products that could suit the project.

Fee: £150 for 1.5 hour consultation. No mileage is charged if within 20 miles of Truro. Travel charges will be advised for visits beyond this perimeter.

Tips:

Try and collect as much information on the property as possible, especially for renovations where certain elements of the building aren’t apparent on the plans.

It’s worth looking through Houzz and Pinterest to get ideas that will inspire your design process. If I know the broad style you are aiming to achieve it will help me to align the lighting design with your vision.

NB It’s easy to get carried away and like and save a wide range of design styles. They can all look so gorgeous! Try and focus on this particular project and what you envision for now.

If you’re smitten by one particular light fitting, then please let me know. The chances are I will recognise it or, if not, will know of a similar luminaire.

Even in the early stages it’s good to know the kitchen and bathroom layouts. These may not have been completely designed at this stage, but it helps me to know the layout and style predicted. I certainly need to have these before I start the lighting design.

If you’re bringing furniture that you already own into the property, it helps me to know where these special pieces are going to go before I start the design. This may well affect the positioning of the lighting.

Also, if you have artwork, or envisage collecting some pieces, it’s good to indicate where these will go. For example, lighting can be incorporated into joinery or reflected off walls of paintings. The more I know, the more streamlined the effect will be.

Did you know?

  • Colour Temperature and Colour Rendering will have an enormous effect on how your fabrics, wall and floor finishes will look. Get it wrong and the effect can be flat and dull.
  • Having lights too bright in the evening can impact the quality of your sleep. That’s why factoring in low mood and navigational lighting is so beneficial.
  • Lighting doesn’t need to be expensive. A single, narrow-beam downlight placed in the right place can have dramatic effects. The devil is in the detail.

To discuss my architectural lighting design process why not call me to chat further on 07796691435

Claire-Pendarves

Claire Pendarves is a lighting designer with over 20 years’ experience

Luxplan offers an online lighting design service ranging from one hour zoom consultancy – ‘Ask me Anything’ to full lighting design and specification. I design and spec; you buy independently

Meet the lighting designer

Bespoke Lighting – Don’t Shy Away

Bespoke Lighting – Don’t Shy Away

Bespoke Lighting Could be Just What you Need

Bespoke lighting

Around thirteen years ago a wealthy local landowner came into my showroom and drew a sketch of the type of wall lights he wanted for his courtyards and stable yard.

“Can you find me something like that, Claire?” he asked showing me with his hands a size around 450 mm high. They had to be low energy (we were talking fluorescent in those days rather than LED) and, because his mansion was large in every sense, they had to be big.

“Well,” I replied, it wouldn’t be easy. I hadn’t come across a fitting matching his description and suggested that it would have to bespoke.

No, no, no, was the reply, he didn’t want bespoke, far too expensive, so I kept on looking.

On one of my trips to the wonderful Tyson showroom in London I came across four beautiful French antique wall lights that met the description and I sent pictures to my client who approved.  There was only one slight problem – there were only four available and we needed fourteen!

Eventually my client relented and agreed that the bespoke route was going to be the best solution so we moved forward, basing the design on the proportions of the antique light fittings. It was agreed that copper was the best metal to use as it would withstand the maritime climate of Cornwall and we even incorporated the family emblem at the top of the fittings giving that final stamp of individuality. Once the craftsmen were selected and the drawings approved the whole process took around 13 weeks.

I can’t include photographs of the final fittings as my clients are very private but I have continued doing work for them over the years and every time I go back I see how the lights are faring. They have patinated gently and sit well against the high granite walls of the building- in fact they totally look as if they belong.

Were the lights expensive? Yes, quite. Luckily, the cost of the design was spread between the fourteen fittings so per unit it worked out less than having one or two individual fittings designed but the price was not horrendous and the result was wonderful.

Sometimes you need bespoke because it is just impossible to find anything that suits the situation and other times it is bespoke that will bring the drama and individuality that is needed in a space. For example, take the amazing Shoal installations by Scabetti 

Check out the website for their amazingly individuality.

If the budget won’t run to the truly bespoke there are many ways to incorporate individuality into the light fittings of an interior.

At a recent Decorex exhibition I was very impressed by a new range of light fittings byDavid Hunt

Take the Hyde Wall light for example – these come in a standard choice of four finishes but there is also a bespoke lighting option of ten beautiful colours.  David Hunt are also doing a wide range of shades in 23 different fabrics which will help to enhance any interior.

Jielde – one of my absolute favourite companies, although not advertised as bespoke supply their wonderful range of lighting in a total of 26 different colours that will bring individuality to any scheme.

Lampshades can do it.  If you’re good at drawing to scale, just work out the size of a lampshade you would like, choose the fabric and get it made by a company such as Iberian Lighting

I’ve used them in the past, such as where we needed three oversized stacked shades for a large hotel lobby.

Don’t want to go quite that far? Check out the range of lampshades by Heathfield  They come in a wide range of sizes and fabrics.

Or if you want lampshades that look truly individual and original check out Beauvamp

In fact I love their shades so much it’s almost worth creating a bespoke interior just to match!

Claire-Pendarves

Claire Pendarves is a lighting designer with over 20 years’ experience

Luxplan offers an online lighting design service ranging from one hour zoom consultancy – ‘Ask me Anything’ to full lighting design and specification. I design and spec; you buy independently