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  • Writer's pictureNick Sunderland

Lighting in Interior Design

How important is lighting in Interior Design projects?



Lighting is indeed a crucial element in interior design, as it plays a significant role in creating the atmosphere, functionality, and aesthetics of a space. I always include lighting design at the beginning of the project to ensure they work across all important sectors. Clients don’t always see this and can delay choices as an almost end-of-project concept for them. I encourage it from the start to make the overall design work from concept.

In residential, I source from a great many suppliers and it can be daunting, but equally inspiring if the client is open to something bold such as the Illuminati crystal lights. With commercial design, I choose carefully and go to the experts such as Kevin Swart and Donna Gridley who created the stunning lights for the VIP suite at the Independent Hotel Show.



Here are some reasons why lighting is important in interior design:


Aesthetic Appeal: Properly chosen lighting fixtures and arrangements can enhance the visual appeal of a room. Different lighting styles, such as chandeliers, pendant lights, sconces, or recessed lighting, can add character and style to a space, complementing the overall design scheme.


Mood and Ambiance: Lighting can set the mood and atmosphere of a room. Bright, well-lit spaces are often associated with energy and productivity, while softer, dimmer lighting can create a cosy and intimate atmosphere. The colour temperature of light (warm or cool) also influences the mood.



Functionality: Lighting is essential for making a space functional. It ensures that you can perform tasks effectively and safely. In the kitchen, for example, under-cabinet lighting can provide task lighting for food preparation, while in the living room, reading lamps can enhance the functionality of a seating area.


Highlighting Features: Lighting can be used to draw attention to specific architectural features, artwork, or decorative elements within a room. Accent lighting, such as track or spotlighting, is commonly used for this purpose.



Spatial Perception: Well-designed lighting can alter the perception of space. Properly placed lighting can make a room appear larger or cosier, depending on the desired effect. For instance, up lighting can make a high ceiling feel more intimate, while recessed lighting can make a small space appear larger.


Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient lighting options, such as LED bulbs, not only reduce energy consumption but also have a longer lifespan, making them a sustainable choice for interior design. They can also be dimmed or programmed for different lighting scenes, adding to their versatility.



Safety: Adequate lighting is essential for safety within a space. Properly lit hallways, staircases, and outdoor pathways prevent accidents and provide a sense of security.


Daylight Integration: Maximizing natural light through well-placed windows and skylights is also a crucial aspect of interior design. It can reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day and create a more comfortable and inviting environment.


Colour Rendering: The quality of light can affect how colours appear in a room. A good lighting design takes into consideration colour rendering properties to ensure that the colours of walls, furnishings, and décor are accurately represented.


Adaptability: Modern interior lighting systems can be adaptable and controllable, allowing residents to adjust lighting levels and scenes according to their needs and preferences. Smart lighting systems can be programmed and controlled remotely through smartphones or voice commands.


In summary, lighting is an integral part of interior design, as it influences the overall look and feel of a space, its functionality, and the comfort and safety of its occupants. A well-thought-out lighting plan should consider the purpose of the space, the desired ambience, energy efficiency, and the aesthetics of the fixtures themselves to create a harmonious and inviting environment.


Get in touch if you need help on a project, residential, commercial or development. Interior design makes a difference you can't ignore.


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