The modern commercial environment is driven by appearance which means that lighting design has become much more than just ticking a few lux level boxes. In fact, lighting design is now an essential part of the commercial design process and the contemporary approach to lighting design has never been so exciting.
No longer is office lighting simply one-level luminance. You can’t just fill every area with a typical ‘General Area’ 500 lux. Restaurants and bars can no longer bask in lowlight until closing time. Instead, these environments need to distinguish themselves with cool layered luminaires that highlight all of the architectural and design features of the room.
Bringing your vision to life will involve supporting the aspirations and values of your client’s business and brand with the well-thought-out method embracing the full array of interior lighting on offer. Here are 5 great lighting design tips for interior designers to help you create magical atmospheres.
1) Lighting reflectance
Lighting is everything in interior design! It improves the aesthetic appeal and creates the mood and ambience of any environment. Colour psychology is the study of colour as a determinant of human behaviour. It has shown that we subconsciously react to various colours and that it can directly influence behaviour, emotion and state of being.
For offices, this is great for workplace productivity but in bars/restaurants/hotels it’s just as important for perceptions from visitors. To make sure your lighting is making the most of your colour scheme, you need to actively be looking for LRV.
Light Reflectance Values (LRV) are a measurable percentage of visible and usable light that are reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source. LRV is measured on a scale that ranges from zero (absolute black, absorbing all light and heat) to 100 percent (pure white, reflecting all light).
The reason LRV is a big deal is that lighting can change the way a colour looks and the values of a colour help lighting designers like those at Mount Lighting to calculate the number and type of light fixtures needed to provide a certain amount of light for interior spaces.
Colour temperature, brightness, lumen output and CRI (Colour Rendering Index) all affect the way a colour feels. LED lighting is great for all colours and can be used across the whole spectrum.
2) Ceiling height is important
Height has a big impact on the efficiency and appearance of lighting. In a commercial environment, being able to complete tasks and activities is a key function of lighting and all types of lighting can change the way surfaces and task areas are illuminated.
For higher ceilings, some types of luminaires won’t achieve suitable coverage but suspended lighting can not only be adjusted/selected to illuminate work planes, surfaces and task areas but the inclusion of levelled lighting is great for aesthetic design.
At Jotun Paints, we provided a solution for high-level lighting with our suspended Halo pendants in sizes from 650mm–1250mm. The result was consistent illumination throughout and an impressive visual with all the different suspension heights and sizes of the Halo pendants.
For lower ceilings, recessed luminaires can successfully create the appearance of added space due to their unobtrusive, smooth finish into the surface.
Our recessed trimless system is ideal for creating slim, clean and seamlessly bright linear runs of lighting. With our unique plaster-in trim, there’s always a clean finish against the surface for that polished look.
3) LED Linear with downlights
If you are looking for a more modern way to light a commercial space, having downlights is an ideal choice. Downlights help to improve the light quality in every area they are installed and are effectual additions for lots of applications.
Downlights are best used for task lighting and ambient lighting when used with a dimming switch. When well-placed, they can create a big impact. The number of downlights that you require is determined by the size of your room and the illuminance you want but with LED linear downlights, achieving consistent and uninterrupted continuous lighting is simple.
At Mount Lighting, we encourage interior designers and architects to look beyond the ‘straight-cut’ design of LED linear light and get imaginative. Even if a bespoke linear lighting solution (a great way to create a striking feature piece in a reception or lobby) isn’t what you want, LED linear lights are available in suspended, recessed and wall-mounted options so that you can still incorporate them into your space in lots of different ways.
With products such as Mount Lighting’s M-Line linear LED lighting, you can bring designs to life without compromise. Straight profiles are subtler but by installing linear lighting in creative ways (e.g. zig zags, at fixed angles, in geometric shapes) you can create dynamic lighting for any application.
4) Shorter Linear is cool
Carrying on from using LED linear lighting in a creative way, another top tip to remember is that the size of your lights is also a great design tool. Long runs of LED lighting are perfect for consistent lighting but shorter linear lighting, either interweaved or as a stand-alone pendant, is a great way to make a statement or achieve better coverage as part of a layered lighting design.
LED linear lighting definitely makes a commercial environment look more contemporary and the subtle inclusion of shorter runs of LED lighting in stairways or showcasing areas can really strengthen the aesthetic of a room.
You can see this contemporary look in action at Fountain House in Reading. We supplied custom linear lighting lengths for the company’s walls and ceilings. These runs of light were installed in an intriguing design, creating a totally unique feature that clients and employees would see the moment they entered the space.
This fresh and modern use of the M-Line linear lighting filled the space with warm light while highlighting the clean-cut interior full of bright colours.
5) Up to date technology
Technology is changing the world around us every day and the world of interior design is no exception. Sure, it was a little bit of a late bloomer to the modern world but using technology to support and boost the interior design process has revitalised the industry.
Augmented reality, 3D printing and digital collages are all commonly used for interior design and it helps designers and clients alike to understand products, layouts and outcomes. After all, this is important for finalising concepts and helping everything to run smoothly.
Lighting technology is also constantly changing and developing. At Mount Lighting, we’re always looking for ways to improve our luminaires and the way we operate. From creating luminaires with the most up-to-date LEDs to providing in-built lighting technology that gives clients full control over their lights, we provide solutions that are great for the present and the future.
Bring your designs to life with our lighting design service
Our team of experienced lighting designers have a passion for bringing our clients projects to life. Our ability to analyse the project from the design to installation perspective is second to none and we are focused on making the process simple and easy for you.
We work in lots of areas of the commercial industry including CAT A & B office spaces, educational establishments and hospitality/leisure facilities and have a wealth of experience in designing and supplying solutions for different applications.