What are the functional applications of lighting?
Light performs four functions: Decorative, Task, Accent, and Ambient
refers to fixtures such as
chandeliers and exterior lanterns that add
visual sparkle to a space. Task
is work-related lighting, such as lighting under the
cabinets in the kitchen, or a light for reading
next to a chair. Accent
is light used to
highlight objects in a room to create
depth and dimension. Ambient
is the gentle
fill light for a space that softens shadows on
people's faces and creates the feeling of a
glowing fire. Unfortunately, ambient lighting is most likely to be overlooked.
An effective lighting design
layers these four functions together to create a
cohesive overall design.
What does lighting do for design?
My job as a lighting designer is to make what the interior designers, architects,
and landscape designers do come to life at night. I call it painting with
How do you define drama in an interior design?
Dramatic lighting makes a statement, sets a mood and creates visual excitement.
This is not the type of lighting that people can function in on a day-to-day
basis - it's for entertaining. My lighting designs offer different levels and
layers of light so that clients have a great variety of lighting scenes for
working, playing, cleaning and socializing.
How does the lighting you use create drama in a room?
Accent lighting punches out art objects to give a visual show that draws a
visitor's eyes around the room. Wall sconces can create a secondary ceiling line
that helps humanize the scale of a very large room. The sconces can also act like glowing
torches to lead guests down passageways. Decorative fixtures
definitely play a role in adding drama to a space, for example, when a perforated
metal star-shaped fixture in an entry throws a wonderful pattern of light
across the ceiling and walls. The warm color of incandescent light provides
a dynamic contrast against a twilight blue sky seen through the windows as dusk
What recent lighting trend have you noticed?
The biggest trend is the increased interest in landscape lighting. People want to
create outdoor rooms for entertaining at night. Also, lighting outside visually
expands interior spaces beyond the "black mirror" effect at night - when you see your
own reflection in the window instead of the view beyond.