How Important is Lighting in the Design Process?

By April 25, 20192019, Articles
Specialist lighting spa design

Lighting can strongly influence the way you perceive a space as it impacts on the mood and atmosphere created.

Although visible light is electromagnetic radiation, light is still a material to be added to the design scheme. Light fixtures have to be considered also from their size and installation requirements, as recessed depths are required in a ceiling for the installation of downlights and backlit walls need a light box depth for the installation of the LED modules behind the translucent material to illuminate the space from the vertical surface.

These are basic examples, but often lighting is brought on as an afterthought in the design process where the space dimensions, materials and details are already determined before the lighting scheme is done. This usually means abortive work for the other teams as they need to revise their layouts to accommodate the changes required for the integration of the light fixtures or – worst case scenario – the lighting scheme cannot be implemented due to project constraints.

Fortunately in Dubai we see many high quality of projects with good design briefs that require the input of a specialist lighting consultant from the start of the project.

Working closely with the architecture, interior design, landscape, signage and MEP teams allow the lighting to be well integrated and coordinated with all disciplines. From a dedicated architectural reveal to create a light feature at a façade, to interior ceiling coves and lighting integrated in joinery details, illuminated floor-recessed linear lines or lit floor tiles in a landscape area, or the coordination of light fixtures in the RCP with the location of AC grills, these are examples of how these disciplines can be intertwined with each other.

But more than that, it is an enriching experience to create new lighting atmospheres in collaboration with the other disciplines. We add value to the design process by workshopping the spaces to achieve exciting solutions and by coordinating each one’s requirements to avoid clashes at a later design stage or on site. This collaboration helps the lighting into the design vision from the early stage adding and enriching the end result.

by Regina Santos, Associate – Lighting Designer