As construction professionals you know that good lighting is an important component of successful architecture, which is why pros such as yourselves are always on the lookout for cool, new products. We found seven brands for you to consider.
One of the hallmarks of good architecture is a space with lots of natural light. “The relationship between light and architecture is grounded in the principles of physics,” lighting designer Víctor Palacio writes. “It is about energy and matter, but in this particular case it also implies an emotional effect on people.”
But when the sun sets, it’s time for the artificial light to kick in. The beauty of light fixtures is that they serve an obvious purpose at night when they are in use, but they also have a job to do during the day: look good and support the interior architecture.
Lighting designers say good illumination has a dramatic effect on interior spaces, but they also say light affects mood, productivity, and health, says the International Association of Lighting Designers. And yet, designers say lighting is an oft-overlooked element. “There is little point in creating luxury surroundings if they cannot then be appreciated properly or if there is insufficient light to be able to carry out even the most basic of tasks.”
Getting the lighting in your homes right is vital, and it’s important to give buyers and clients the most energy-efficient and well-designed system you can.
There are all types of lighting on the market to satisfy all budgets, but the truth is that because it’s one of the last things to be installed during a build or a renovation, lighting often gets cut or scaled back as a project winds down. But there are ways to keep an eye on the budget and still make good choices.
“Everybody wants to get the most house for their money,” Oklahoma City, Okla.-based builder Turner and Son Homes writes on its blog. “One of the best (and least utilized) techniques to do that is pretty simple, and that's probably why it gets overlooked. The basic approach? Spend your money where it shows and not where it doesn't. It's simply a matter of prioritizing and focusing your resources where they'll have the most impact.”
For example, the builder explains, life a client has a $3,000 budget for light fixtures, they can spend all of it on lights, or they can try another approach.
“Here's the trick,” the builder continues. “Pick out all of your fixtures using your budget over the whole house. Now, go back through the selections and set aside the lights that go in secondary bedrooms and bathrooms, closets, hallways, laundry room, garage, and any other rooms that don't really need expensive fixtures. Find the least expensive fixture that provides adequate light, and swap it out for the more expensive one. When you're done, you'll have saved a significant amount of money.”
Architects have long been a proponent of this practice, but they also stress that the cheaper fixtures should still complementor match the design of the more expensive lights in the public spaces.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, hiring a skilled lighting professional is one way to help a project through a skinny lighting budget. A designer can make good decisions or apply creativity to squeeze as much out of a low budget as he/she can. They also could trick the eye into thinking that a project team spent much more lighting than it actually did.
United Kingdom-based lighting supplier Lights4Living says there is more to illumination than simply choosing a product. When choosing the right lighting for a particular room, there are things to consider.
Think of lights more merely the ceiling. Instead, consider wall lights, uplights, picture lights, and many others to bring spaces to life.
Remember color. Darker-painted rooms would benefit from brighter interior lighting, so consider larger ceiling lights–perhaps with directional spotlight bulbs, the supplier says. Lighter-colored rooms can afford something a little more subtle.
“The same principles apply to small rooms as they would to rooms painted in dark colors or lacking sunlight,” Lights4Living writes. “If a space is small and perhaps feels a little cluttered with furniture, ensuring light is evenly spread is key. Corner lamps and ceiling lights help spread light further, creating the illusion of more space.”
In larger rooms, ambient picture lights can make the space feel cosier and perhaps less intimidating, allowing for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Everyone may have their go-to lighting brands, but it always help to know different companies that offer stylish products. Here nine lightings that caught our eye and we think you should know:
Based in the Czech Republic, Brokis is known for producing high-concept modern lighting that combines hand-blown glass with other materials, such as wood and pressed metal. BIg One is a large-format light collection that consists of a glass bubble suspended within an outer glass sphere. The outer glass is available with glossy finish in transparent and smoke grey transparent, while the inner glass comes in matte colors triplex opal, smoke grey transparent, red transparent, and light pink transparent. It comes in two sizes.
Founded in 2012, Stickbulb is a New York-based American lighting brand that produces modern lights from reclaimed wooden beams, other sustainably harvested materials, and LED. Part of the X Collection, the Truss Chandelier is a linear configuration of four octagonal closed shapes. It’s available in sustainably sourced maple or walnut, reclaimed heart pine, ebonized oak, or reclaimed water tower redwood, and the hardware finish is polished cast brass.
The Italian brand iCone Lighting specializes in high-concept modern lights. The Spillo 6 features an adjustable brass downrod, and is available in various dimensions and power levels. It uses an LED micro-stri and is white varnish, black varnish, chrome, and gold.
Marset is a young Spanish brand that produces fun and exciting modern lights in sometimes bold huse. The Ledtube is a simple headboard lamp with a movable beam of light. When opened, it turns on automatically; when closed, it turns off and hides away in the wall. It comes in four finishes: matte black, matte white, aluminum, and bronze.
London-based Tala says it was founded on the premise that good design can help mitigate climate change. The Porcelain III Oak Ceiling Light combines matte white glass with the hardwood Oak knuckle pendants, creating a warm but modern look for any interior. It can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of arrangements.
Based in upstate New York, Niche Modern has been creating handmade light fixtures using skilled workers. Created by implementing the Venetian technique of fusing two separate entities of glass into one single piece, the Encalmo Grand Sconce measures 13 inches tall by 6.5 inches wide.
Tom Raffield is a contemporary lighting brand in the United Kingdom, and it specializes in steam-bent fixtures and other offerings. The Urchin line is made from 32 strips of wood that are shaped into tight curves that hide the bulb. It comes in ash, oak, or walnut and is available in a wall lamp.