Category: SoapBox

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.