Category: SoapBox

Feature / Statement Lighting to Enjoy

I have been thinking about this post for some time. Occasionally I see some post / article in one of my feeds that attempts to codify the ‘best’ feature or statement lighting fixtures ever. If you’re interested in lighting, you’ve probably seen similar articles. I tend to finish reading with some sense of disappointment. Though I’ve come to realize this is all quite subjective and varies through the eyes of the beholder.
My own selections therefore will be just that – my own, not some definitive list that each reader will agree with or select from.

To begin, it might be best to discuss what I believe a Feature or Statement light fixture is…
By definition, Feature can mean ‘a distinctive attribute’, and Statement can mean a ‘clear expression of something’. Make sense so far?
Near the beginning of each design project, I ask my clients if they wish to feature a light somewhere. I explain this might be that fixture that makes one smile or feel joyful. It might be that special purchase made, or perhaps a stunning show piece or timeless classic. Maybe its something handed down & cherished. I want to find a way to properly incorporate that into the finished design for their space.

Here is one example of something special that qualifies as a feature: Clients had gotten two post lights from a favorite city park (that had been replaced / upgraded), we converted them to pendants and mounted them in the entrance hall to their new home. A feature unlike any other home.

So, a selection of my current favorites that I believe to be special:

Buoyant Airon Glow – so elegant.

Moooi Paper chandelier – a classic form, immediately recognizable, yet modernized.

Umage Eos – I love that this feathery creature can be cleaned by turning a blow-dryer on to it if it gets a bit dusty.

Vibia Halley – like the comet streaking overhead!

Foscarini Solar – outdoor fun.

Vibia Meridano – versatile outdoor series for seating, table, and sconce.

LZF Swirl & Link & Orbit – various wood veneers / colors are available.

StudioItaliaDesign Thor – wall or ceiling lighting, we love adjustable lighting!

Serge Mouille – an iconic French classic.

Ochre Arctic Pear – shear glass perfection available in round / oval / wave forms.

Flos Arco – classic and timeless.

Poulsen PH5 – one of many unique lights to come from the mid-century modern era. Truly a classic design.

Mayice Studio Filamento – a unique sculptural art piece.

Each time I have the opportunity to suggest / install one of these (and other unique items I find) into a finished design, I get to do a little dance knowing I’ve created something special!
What are your own favorites to feature, fixtures you consider special, something that makes a statement? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights.
One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”

During the climax, Diwali revellers illuminate the interior & exterior of their homes with oil lamps or candles, worship to Lakshmi (the goddess of prosperity and wealth), light fireworks, and partake in family feasts where sweets & gifts are shared.

We could all use more of that. Just sayin’!

What Makes Good Lighting?

I begin with a caveat – This is an opinion piece.

First, I’d like to define what I mean when discussing ‘Good Lighting’.
Good Lighting is timeless and long-lasting, it’s innovative, it’s unobtrusive, and it’s environmentally friendly.
Good Lighting provides joy, safety, wellness, personal expression, unique character, and highlights detail in our spaces and in our lives.
Good Lighting creates a positive visceral response.

Before proceeding to work on any lighting design, the program (or concept) of the project is required for an understanding of the well-defined wants and needs of our clients.
Good Lighting Design issues that then need to be considered include: What are we lighting and where to place light; What type luminaire (fixture) and lamp (bulb) to use; How to control it. 

Ok. What makes Good Lighting? 
There are a few key elements that will apply no matter what style is chosen and no matter the size or budget of a project. 
• Create layers of light. Spaces are used in a variety of ways, the lighting should be flexible to allow that. Mixed sources will allow selections to be set to changes in mood or use.
• Use direct & indirect light. Work areas want quantities of task light directed to the surfaces. Ambient light gets washed or bounced off various materials.
• Incorporate shadow & asymmetric pattern. These are needed to provide contrast in a space. With that, we can appreciate the features, textures, and decoration.
• Hide the light source. Glare is the nemesis of good lighting. The trend to using bare bulbs is over-rated, and old-tyme-y edison bulbs do not provide enough quantity of lumens to be useful. 
More about this in a future post.
• Utilize advanced controls. In the simplest form, a dimmer instead of a switch. Perhaps add control of certain lamps via a smartphone app. A fully programmable & integrated system in a more extreme sense.
• Include a ‘feature’. This can be that fixture that makes our client smile or feel joyful. It might be a special purchase or a cherished hand-me-down or show piece luminaire.

Got ideas of your own about what makes Good Lighting? Please let me know, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.