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Lighting advice


Bad lighting can destroy beautiful spaces.

If good lighting is particularly important to you you might like to consider employing the services of a lighting designer.

Lighting designers understand the role that lighting plays in architecture and interior design. They have an unparalleled understanding and knowledge of lighting technology.

Lighting designers can:

  • Make sure the lighting meets the needs of all of the people using the space
  • Ensure your spaces are lit to optimum effect, enhancing the best features
  • Create a lighting scheme that achieves a perfect balance of function and aesthetics
  • Help you develop a budget
  • Help your project stay in budget
  • Help you choose the most cost effective and energy efficient products
  • Ensure all wiring and installation issues are resolved before they become a problem
  • Supply samples of fittings to help you choose the right one, and to help the builder understand the installation requirements in plenty of time

Lighting designers are not confined to particular manufacturers. A good lighting consultant will recommend the most appropriate product for cost and function irrespective of the supplier.

It is very easy to make mistakes when specifying your own lighting scheme by providing too little light, too much light, the wrong type of light, or badly positioned light sources. Lighting designers know how to achieve the optimum effect by ensuring light fittings are properly placed, in the correct quantity, and using the correct lamp. Technical details such as LOR (light output ratio), CRI (colour rendering index), and colour temperature are used by lighting designers to ensure exactly the right lamp and fitting are specified.

Lighting equipment, both fittings and controls, are developing so fast that it is hard to keep up with the changes. With the introduction of new technology bringing along a whole raft of compatibility issues one of the most important parts of the lighting designer's work is to ensure that the light fittings used are compatible with the control system used; whether it is a simple dimmer switch or a sophisticated lighting control system. There are currently, for example, many compatibility issues with LED lamps which mean you can no longer rely on a dimmer switch being able to control the lamp you use. Some dimmer switches will not work with any LED lamp and some dimmer switches will only work with some LED lamps. There are as yet no dimmer switches guaranteed to work with all lamps, or vice versa.

Common mistakes made in lighting schemes that have not been specified by a lighting consultant include:

  • Ceiling acne, where there are too many ceiling recessed downlights, spoiling the look of the ceiling
  • Badly positioned lights in kitchens leading to task lighting being masked
  • Wall lights that are purely decorative being used to provide functional light for a room
  • Inappropriate colour temperature of LED and fluorescent lamps
  • Missed opportunities to provide decorative lighting
  • False economies made on cheap light fittings
  • Dimmer switches not working with the chosen lights
  • No sparkle! No wow!

A lighting designer need not be very costly, and the value added by a lighting specialist usually far outweighs their fee. The cost will depend on how much help you need with your project. A good lighting designer will be able to work to even the most restricted of budgets and will provide advice, if that is all that is required, or create a fully specified lighting scheme, if that is preferred.

WowLighting aims to make the use of a lighting consultant affordable on all projects, no matter what the budget. Call us to discuss your needs and we will tailor our services accordingly. We even offer free advice over the phone!

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