I’m Adriana and I work as an architect at Kennedy Nolan. I often get the pleasure in my work to translate an overall architectural design spatially and aesthetically to create a lighting plan. Electrical lighting is not only completely functional and necessary, but it can significantly enhance a space aesthetically.
Lighting is often overlooked in domestic applications, and there are often missed opportunities, for instance the downlight is usually the only light source through an entire house. And most disappointing when installed in a systematic grid over a ceiling with no consideration of the spaces’ function or user!
Here’s some of what I have learnt about lighting along the way.
Downlights are really for task lighting, there is no use for them in a living room or bedroom where ambience is key. Ambient lighting is best achieved using lamps or pendants, and is where the real fun begins.
Selecting lamps and freestanding lights gives you the chance to select something sculptural yet functional, which ties in with the aesthetic of your personal space. Lamps can be incredibly personal pieces that give you daily gratification.
When selecting lamps I often search for something that is uniquely tactile, and is either handmade or created using an interesting fabrication method. Something that isn’t easily replicated and celebrates craftsmanship.
Then, on the other hand, I always consider a lamp’s function and what space it will be lighting. For instance, a living room ideally needs to be lit evenly, so something that emits light at 360 degrees and can reflect light off a ceiling or a wall is suitable, whereas in a dining room, you only need to light a table, so a 180 degree beam spread is sufficient.
To Dim or Not to Dim?
Always dim! When it comes to non-task related areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and hallways I would always dim. In these spaces lighting has a dual role, it needs to act as both general background lighting and ambient lighting. The most sustainable way to achieve this is by minimising the amount of lights, and adding a dimmer for flexibility.