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Home How To How to approach a lighting design brief and top tips

How to approach a lighting design brief and top tips

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd

By Marketa Rypacek, Managing Director, Industville Ltd

  1. How do you first approach a lighting design brief? What are the key considerations when working on a lighting design brief?

All too often with interior design, the lighting is an afterthought, but it is important to do your research and invest in quality lighting.  The material the lights are made from makes a big difference, so avoid plastic finishes as these will devalue the whole look of the interior.  Choose handcrafted, high-quality fixtures that will bring an extra touch of luxury and add some texture to the space too.

To accomplish a warm, welcoming room, you need to embrace the whole range of lighting sources available, pendant lights, recessed lights, chandeliers, track lighting, tall floor lamps, small table lamps, wall sconces, under cabinet lighting, and other spot lighting. I always advise customers to vary the lighting in a room to create little pockets and pools of light. Consider task lighting such as a table lamp with a moveable head or an adjustable floor lamp to help with activities such as reading or working. Accent lighting can then be used to highlight a piece of artwork, plants or architectural features in the room.

Think about the function of the room and how you could enhance or compliment it. Would you like warm lighting to create a cosy environment in your bedroom, or a cooler gallery style lighting for kitchens and work rooms? Would you like the lighting to wash the wall in a decorative fashion or do you need focused task lighting over a countertop or desk space? In a kitchen for example, you will need to consider where you will be preparing food and cooking whereas in a bathroom, extra lighting for daily tasks such as applying makeup or shaving, will require additional thought.  Different functions will demand different types of lighting. If budget allows, I always advise to set the lighting controls to work independently of each other based on their task in one room.

  1. How has sustainability changed lighting design?

Socioeconomic factors continue to influence consumer choices and hence the buying process. Instead of buying constantly low priced and low-quality goods, customers are searching for products for their home that will last longer, which do not hurt the environment and that they are proud to own.

As a lighting designer and manufacturer, sustainability is at the core of what we do. We only use natural, raw metals for all of our lights (pewter, brass and copper), reducing the reliance on plastic and other chemicals.  Keeping to this simple but effective formula not only ensures easy mixing and matching across our entire range, but also allows us to have comprehensive control over quality and sustainability.

  1. Are you seeing a particular trend for any type of lighting products when working on a design?

Statement lighting is having a moment, with oversized pendant lights providing the focal point for wow factor interiors.  We are finding that customers are knowledgeable about interiors and what they want to achieve from the space in which they live. Customers want products that reflect their personality, and this is particularly true in their interior design choices. When considering the lighting within the home or commercial setting, customers want something that feels truly unique to them and to be involved in the design itself. I have noticed a particular trend for matt black lighting, either used alone or with a copper or brass combination for a hint of metallic luxe. The latest trend combines the raw and rustic, with the sleek and modern. This transition freshens up the signature industrial aesthetic, providing an excellent opportunity for creative expression. Matt black designs are ultra-versatile and can complement any interior style – classic, contemporary, Scandi, mid-century, industrial and everything in between; it’s like a piece of jewellery that enriches and blends seamlessly within any décor.

  1. What are your predictions for the next big trends in lighting design?

I believe the next big trend for 2022 is bold bespoke lighting. We’ve seen an increase in customers wanting to create statement pieces that reflect their own tastes and so it is likely that this will continue into 2022. Spending so much time at home during the pandemic inspired people to invest more in their own surroundings and gave them the opportunity to focus on their décor. I think the pandemic also made people think more about how much we waste bringing sustainability to the forefront of our minds, custom-made lighting pieces made from sustainable materials have a quality, handmade feel and are something we are likely to see more of. Minimalistic, Nordic style is also likely to be big in lighting next year. Lighting is key in creating an atmosphere and the Hygge look is all about creating a warm and welcoming space where you can feel restful and at peace. Sculptural lighting is likely to take centre stage with materials such as brass and clear glass being used to create a soft, warm glow or even a more playful atmosphere.