Lessons in Lighting


Different modern streamlined mirror copper chandeliers. Bubble metal copper shade pendant

Photo: Getty Images

New language of lighting

  •  lumens instead of watts
  •  color temperature
  • CRI color rendering index

The way we perceive color

  • Color is a perception, not an absolute
  • colors change when they get close to other colors
  • colors change based on the qualities of light
  • colors change based on the amount of light - rods and cones

The worst lighting issue - glare

  • uncomfortable reaction in our iris
  • reason why the Louis Paulsen PH5 pendant, designed by Paul Henningsen in 1958 is famous and $1000

Two kinds of lights - hidden fixtures (all about the light, not the source) and design fixtures (light and source)

Also two kinds of bulbs - hidden and design

  • multi-color options
  • flicker - led flame
  • candelabra

New ways of controlling lights

  • creating 3 way circuits from Lutron Casetta
  • WiFi smart bulbs with apps or voice assistant control
  • the magic and convenience of scenes

Dimmers - your best lighting tool

Lighting with purpose

  • Don’t just light a room. Light things in a room.
  • Don’t remove all shadow
  • Don’t light people from directly overhead
  • Light diffuser - the ceiling
Family before going to bed mother reads to her child son book near a lamp in the evening

Photo: Getty Images

Recessed lighting principles

  • 1st principle - not to draw attention
  • Wall washing
  • Proper countertop lighting
  • lining them up on the ceiling is only a bonus, not the necessity
  • glare

Types of recessed trims

  • lenses - water areas
  • gimbals - external and internal
    •  lighting angle
    • strafing for texture
    • experiment with a flashlight - flood or spot, best angle

LED strips (hidden fixture)

  • all sorts of accent uses - back lighting, edge lighting
  • top of cabinet
  • Over counter
  •  cabinet kick

Lamps - design fixture

  • reading light
  • Down light
  • up light
  • half hot receptacles and 3way switches to control room lamps without using the lamp switch itself

Chandeliers - design fixture

  • height in entries and open floor space
  • height over tables

Avoid surface mount fixtures in low ceiling areas


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