Light plays an important role in how we perceive & view the world around us. It helps us to interpret how we see the space we are in and also helps to determine how we behave in that space. Lighting can affect your performance, morale, mood, sense of safety/security, and even your decisions that you make. Once you begin to understand the role that lighting plays in any space you are in, you are ready to learn the basic strategies of light design. 

The Light Design Process

The very first step when beginning any light design project is to ask yourself; What is the space used for? This will help to determine everything from the quality of light to the brightness, color quality, and even direction of the lighting. From there you can approach light design in one of 3 ways depending on the project at hand. 

Simple Strategy: The light must provide ambient illumination for any basic tasks that must be performed in the space. Task illumination should be put in place for more demanding of tasks and lastly accent illumination to highlight any special objects or areas of interest.

Standard Strategy: The standard approach focuses on providing general/task illumination to provide uniform level light for the most general & basic of tasks/needs.

Sophisticated Strategy: Focusing mostly on task & accent illumination, this strategy also utilizes light as a form of art to help deliver the desired effect to anyone who is within that space.

How the lighting is controlled once the design is in place makes all the difference as well. Light design also utilizes control techniques such as:

  • Keylight
  • Fill Light
  • Silhouetting
  • Uplighting
  • Sparkle & Glitter Effect

These are just the very basics of light design with strategies & design implementation getting a little more advanced and complicated the deeper you get into it. One thing is for certain, however, light design when executed properly and with a strategic & measured effect can without a doubt transform a space & evoke a certain feeling or vibe to all its occupants.