In the 1990's and into the new millennium, "home sweet home" has become the place to be, according to a recent Roper Reports survey about the preferences of mainstream Americans. People are spending more time at home, using it to fulfill a greater number of individual and family needs.
Home is a place to socialize, with larger kitchens to accommodate resident and guest cooks, and great rooms for informal parties. More than ever, home is now a place for work: It is estimated that between 20 and 40 million people currently do some type of their work at home, whether in a separate room furnished as an office, or at a desk in the corner of the living room.
People also want "home" to mean a safe place, as well as one where they can enjoy the great outdoors in the evening after a hard day's work by extending entertaining to the patio and garden areas.
Throughout all these varied spaces, lighting is essential to making them both enjoyable and functional. Well-done lighting can transform a glare-filled, shadowy, annoying place into one that is comfortable and flexible, enhancing the occupants' feelings of well-being.
Advancements in technology have resulted in the development of specialized tools which simplify installation and help the lighting reveal the best aspects of the environments in which we dwell. The designer will learn how to use these cold, hard tools to visually shape a home to meet flesh-and-blood human needs.
Presented here is a valuable, detailed approach to lighting the home that is unique because it not only explains the how of lighting design, but also provides insights into the why behind design choices. Hand-in-hand with details on the technology of light is respect for aesthetics, and the overriding philosophy that lighting is for people.
The author, Randall Whitehead, has the advantage of being not only an experienced lighting designer, but a master communicator and teacher as well. Read on, and revel in bringing lighting to its full potential in the most important place in all of our lives -- the home.
Author of Designing With Light, The Best of Lighting Design and Lighting Exteriors & Landscapes.
Former Managing Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Lighting magazine.