Lighting Checklist for Making Lighting Design Decisions
Lighting checklists are great for making sure you don’t forget vital elements of design. With all the decisions you need to make when choosing and creating a lighting design, using a lighting checklist provides a useful tool to help you make the best design decisions possible. It is so easy to overlook something simple and when the project is finished you turn the lights on it stands out and is blatantly obvious that you have missed an essential type of lighting.
An common example of this is the kitchen. Where we live, the kitchen designer has created a lighting focal point in the center of the kitchen, great, but that is all the light there is, and this marvelous design only lights up the floor, the area we don’t use in the middle of the kitchen. When you are preparing food at the counter, it is dark, there is no amenity lighting and no task lighting. They we so focused on their focal point of design that they forgot about what the space was to be used for and when. They would have done well to use a lighting checklist.
Checklist or Prompt for Lighting Decisions
What is the room used for?
Does the lighting need to be versatile, constant or both.
Is the lighting to be direct, indirect, task, background?
Will there be enough light on all horizontal and vertical surfaces.
Will the lighting enhance or subdue the elements in the room e.g. create shadows around the drapery or bring out the color in the art or define the shape of the joinery.
And taking it further
Task lighting, identify rooms in which tasks are undertaken and identify the type of task lighting for each room.
Amenity lighting, confirm which rooms are occasionally used and those that are used all the time and should always be bright and cheerful. Identify the amount of natural light required and those that actually require direct sunlight.
Special lighting, confirm those areas that require lighting to produce a dramatic effect or create an illusion or to highlight and display an object.
Special lighting creating a dramatic effect with the timber ceiling.
Safety, ensure there is adequate lighting to circulation areas and emergency battery operated lighting to those areas if power fails. (This may not be necessary in domestic situations but it is well worth considering).
Above all, is the lighting doing the job it was designed for?
Written by Chris Brown