You may have put careful consideration into the exact location of your kitchen island or sketched out the exact dimensions of your bathroom storage closet. But when it comes to lighting or electrical, many home owners don’t consider it or plan for it, until it’s too late. Here are some tips to help you plan.
First. Consider your lighting objectives. Lighting designers consider 3 different layers of light when designing a space. They are:
Ambient: General illumination of the entire room to minimize shadows. This includes ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, or sky lights.
Task: Lighting with intention. This relates to lighting a specific spot like a desk or wall art. This includes desk lamps or LED track lights (for those interested in energy efficient LED Lighting).
Accent: Used to set the mood by lighting architectural features or accessories. Ex. Cove Lighting.
Second. Set your budget and timeline. Lighting should be one of the initial parts of any construction plan.
Budget: Rule of thumb. 20%-30% of your total budget should be devoted to lighting.
Planning: Three months before work begins, visit a lighting showroom to reviews specifications, create a plan, and order fixtures. There is usually an extended lead-time for high-end, built-to-order fixtures.
Execution: Two months before construction, share your lighting plan with all trade professionals on your job to make sure all specialty work is completed.
Remember, there are lots of ways to light a space. Browsing a lighting website or visiting a lighting showroom can help you narrow your options according to your preferences, and help you choose fixtures that compliment your other decorating choices.
David Hakimi is a lighting consultant and co-founder of Alcon Lighting. The UCLA graduate works to achieve energy-efficient lighting, enabling architects, designers and lighting engineers to upgrade from outmoded lighting. David takes particular pride in Alcon’s design, energy and building knowledge, tracing his and Alcon’s commitment to quality, innovation, accountability and value to lessons learned from his father, a Southern California lighting salesman and consultant for more than two decades. Passionate about protecting the environment, David is especially adept in assuring that each client and customer meets both rapidly-changing building codes and project goals.
The science of measuring light, photometry, specifically applies to light in a space. Photometrics gauges how humans perceive light — its coverage area, where light cuts off and the intensity of light in relation to distance from the light source. In practical terms, photometrics shows whether a lighting plan meets the qualitative and quantitative lighting requirements for a project.
Products can demand attention with the help of proper lighting. This means an open floor plan with tactical attention to lighting fixture placement, brightness, color temperature, and CRI. The ability of LED Lighting to meet these technical requirements is what makes it the #1 choice of lighting designers and architects.
If the work of lighting design was just left to services engineers to meet regulation-determined illuminance criteria per application, then interior and exterior architectural spaces would become soulless environments. Using qualitative measurements, architects and lighting designers can make sure the architectural intention and aesthetic character of a space is not compromised.
At Alcon Lighting’s LA headquarters, co-founder David Hakimi adopted a 12 year-old dog named Nano and decided to bring him into the office every day. Let’s just say it garnered some attention. It quickly became clear that Nano, who’s now 14 years old, relishes a long nap. Nano likes to hop and curl up in an easy chair, resting his head on the arm, drifting into slumber. In fact, David says this is Nano’s favorite activity.
“98% of what gets built today is sh**. There’s no sense of design nor respect for humanity or anything. They’re bad buildings and that’s it.” – Frank Gehry. Fun fact: One of Frank Gehry’s most famous works as an architect is his own private Santa Monica residence.