An Understandable Guide to Spectacular Lighting Design

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Life in Southern California is split between the interiors of our homes and the exterior. Blessed with sunshine and blue skies, warm days and cool breezes, our homes becoming living breathing entities of our lives. As you look up into the hills of LA each night or down from the airplane window as you land at LAX, take a moment to see the lights coming from all the homes and stop to take it all in. Los Angeles appreciates great architecture, great design, and great environments—but there is one element in design that we often forget about—electric lighting and lighting design. Lighting design is apart of our everyday movements and it is crucial to curating great design. 

Custom designed railing by RJI. Built and installed by Swaim Metal INC. It was quite a beast to install, but smiles all around. Thanks Swaim Metal INC for seeing our design into reality!

Lighting Lesson #3: Principles of Good Lighting Design

Play of Brilliants

It is exactly what you’re thinking— it’s the sparkle and the shine of the lighting world. The principle we are talking about is the light that moves your eyes around the room as it flickers off surfaces and objects. Play of Brilliance is the lighting that we all love; it’s the glitz and the glam of a design. The type of lighting fixtures we are talking about here are the focal pieces; the chandeliers, the sconces, the extra “wow” factor lighting that really brings a design full circle.

How to use Play of Brilliants to create the WOW Factor:

To start, all other factors should be present in the lighting design. Without good ambient lighting, focal glow, and task lighting, plays of brilliants are not as effective in the overall design of the space. One of the most important aspects to good lighting design is to create levels and changes in electric lighting—play of brilliants should be the final layer of light that plays up on the foundation layers and pulls the entire design together. Choose a space in the design that acts as a special zone, be it a chandelier over a large dining room table or a pendant fixture over a seating area and light it up! For a truly effective play of brilliants you need to create shadows on objects and walls, so having various textured surfaces is key (i.e. a built in book shelf, framed artwork, mirrors, chest of drawers, etc.). The goal with this final layer is to add that WOW Factor to a space and create continual interest to the eye.

AUTHOR - Rebecca Johnston

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