When it comes to lighting design, a professional lighting designer can bring a lot to the table. Let’s face it, most of us don’t even know how to install lighting, let alone how to arrange it so it looks good. Lighting is an important part of ambiance; people don’t realize how lighting affects the way a space feels, so lighting can easily be one of the most important elements of a room. Whether it’s your home, an art gallery, a coffee house or a business showroom, lighting can make the difference between a so-so space and a fabulous space. So, when it comes to doing a lighting layout, it’s best to go with a professional.
Professional lighting designers are hired to illuminate all different type of spaces: residential apartments, high end real estate, public spaces, commercial high rises, art galleries, office spaces, lobbies, just to name a few. Lighting designers generally work within the design community, so you’ll most likely have to hire them separately if you’re newly constructing or re-designing a space; although some architects have a lighting designer on staff or may regularly work with a particular lighting design firm. A lighting designer will know their field inside out and assist you in figuring out the overall design and feel you’re looking to achieve within the space. They may also have valuable ideas or advice about how to construct a certain architectural detail in order to achieve a particular lighting effect.
One of the benefits of using a lighting professional is that they’re not going to try and sell you the most expensive lighting system. They’re more about the artistic, creative side of things rather than the sales side, and will typically ask you what budget you’re trying to stay within. Designers are more concerned with taking their knowledge of design theory, developing a lighting plan and implementing it into your space; rather than over selling you. Along the way, they bring professional input and evaluation using their knowledge of lighting design as well as their experience with different lighting manufacturers you would most likely not otherwise be aware of. The lighting designer will already have a good idea of what type or style of lighting you’ll need to turn the concept plan into reality; and also make solid recommendations based on experience.
Lighting designers will work with you every step of the way in order to achieve your vision of what the space should be. You may not think it wise to bring another professional on board– or maybe you just don’t want to for fear it will be another strain on your budget; however there are some important points to consider. Some designers will absolutely work with you and your budget; hiring a professional lighting designer won’t necessarily break the bank, and better yet, may head off some unforeseen headaches as well as generate additional profit in the long run. Hiring a professional saves you from spending considerable time and effort doing research into types, styles and manufacturers; as well as relieving you from doing the design layout process yourself. The amount of money you may spend on a professional can easily pay for itself by constructively spending your money on lighting you know will generate the desired effect. Otherwise, you have to hope you can correctly calculate your layout, recognize any code issues and if an issue does arise, you are able to return or purchase new lighting should the layout or design be undesirable or incompliant.
A lighting designer will fit in with your team as well, having had experience working on previous projects in a team environment. Having a “lighting person” will ultimately speed everything along and get your project closer to completion. Finding a good professional lighting designer can be difficult, but adding them to your team won’t be. They’ll discuss payment terms and possibly contract details for you. Some may go on an hourly scale; others may opt for a fixed rate proposal. You know the old saying, though, “…you get what you pay for…” In the end, you’ll most likely find a space laid out by a professional lighting designer makes a major impact on the space as a whole, compared to a space that had lighting ‘thrown in”. End result, when you’ve got a dedicated and talented designer on board, your project will run smoother and turn out how you want; additionally saving you from the pitfalls, hassles and headaches of lighting design.