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Don't let bad light ruin your home
So you are excited about your impending renovation. You have met with your architect, chosen a contractor and are ready to begin… or are you? One professional who should be part of the team from the beginning is a lighting professional, which is not to be confused with an electrician. This often-forgotten professional is key to how you will live in your renovated home and, even more importantly, how you will feel in the space going forward.
Greg Chambers of Light The Store couldn’t agree more.
“I advise clients to do some homework, go through publications, magazines and the like and see how everything fits together. When they get a sense of what they want and what feeling they want to create in the space, consult with a lighting designer,” he says. “The one thing which changes a space the most is lighting and some people are very much affected by lighting so it is very critical to the success of the project.”
Delores Ginthner of the University of Minnesota has done research into the effect of lighting on how we feel and how we use space.
“Thinking about the layers of light and how light affects the users of a space on both a psychological and behavioural level will present you with a mental lighting design concept when someone asks how you light a certain space,” she says. “Lighting is a key factor in helping the space meet the intent of its owner and the needs of its users. Keep that in mind, and remember that often incorporating a lighting designer into the design team could be quite beneficial to the outcome.”
“It is a huge advantage when clients bring their plans or drawings into our showroom because we can review the lighting specifications and show how it will look in the space. This is the point where changes can be made if the client does not feel comfortable with the degree of light, the intensity, etc.,” Chambers says.
“We have the ability to put the client into the atmosphere which is hard to imagine just looking at drawings. It is much easier to change drawings than change lighting when the renovation is complete. Lighting is the hardest element to figure out because it is so individual. We can demonstrate how a halogen, a fluorescent or an LED is going to look, function and feel.”
We are beginning to see how important it is to get lighting right. How frustrating it would be to finish a renovation which looks fantastic but then realize there is nowhere for a big reader to snuggle down with a good book or a home chef to enjoy working in the kitchen.
Renovations are stressful enough and to end with a disappointment would be horrific. Take the time to seek out the right professionals; you’ll be glad you did.