Let there be light!

There are many things to consider when designing your lighting floor plan. Its is not just about statement pendants (although we love these), its about ensuring your have the right light for the task, in the correct location to create the ambiance and feel you want in your home.

We chatted to Simon Waine from Light-Up Kingsford in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for his advice on how he approaches lighting design…

Lighting design process to create a lighting floor plan

How do you approach the lighting design process?

Traditionally Lighting Designers tend to divide up rooms “geometrically” which is fine, but I tend find this leads to underwhelming results.  

What do you mean by this?

Let me explain, let’s say you have a room is 3 x 3m. You would divide the room into thirds and where the lines intersect is where you would install the down lights. What this does is it projects light down into the room which is what you are trying to achieve right? Yes right, however, the way I like to approach it is to push the down lights out further toward the corners of the room.

And why would you do this?

how do you do a lighting design floor plan sydney

Well, I do this for two main reasons,

One, what you achieve is you create space for a ceiling fan centrally or a pendant. Now you may think to yourself that ceiling fans are a thing of the past as you have Air Con, but a ceiling fan can not only warm or cool your room for a fraction of the cost but it also great for aesthetics and can really bring a room to life. The same can of course be said about pendants which serve as great statement pieces!

Secondly, the light points which have now moved towards the corner of said rooms creates a hue of light on the wall (a pattern) which many find interesting and artistic as what this does is reflect the light out into the room creating an even spread of light throughout which makes the room “Moody & Ambient”

Do you use this type of lighting design plan across the whole house?

No, this is my principal lighting design formula for standard rooms all be it Bedroom, Lounge, Dining and Family Room to name a few, however for ‘special task areas’ I use a different approach.  

What do you consider special task areas for lighting design?

Special task areas are all work spaces / surfaces such as kitchen benches, desks, laundry counter tops and vanity mirrors.

These areas should be thought of as separate lighting areas from the rest of the room as everyone needs to see what they are doing when holding a knife in the kitchen or a razor when shaving, not to mention doing their make up!

How do you light-up these special task areas?

lighting plan design for homeFor these areas you need a light source that is positioned in either of two places – either directly above you, or in front of you. Therefore, the light source is between you and the surface you are in front of. This creates a lighting concept called “Fill” vs “Fall”.

At the end of the day when lighting anything which requires direct light onto its surface, the trick is to have the source at such an oblique angle (i.e directly above or slightly forward) so as to have it illuminate the required subject without creating glare. This gives rise to another term or concept which is referred to as “Low Glare” or Architectural lighting which then brings us to one of my main topics and passions

And what is that?

Light Selection!

Light selection is possibly one of the most important choices if not equal to layout and design because it’s all about the “Behaviour of Light” and how all this information ties into the overall ‘mood’ of the house!

I hope this helps you create something beautiful!

Thank you Simon & Light-Up Kingsford for your advice! 

Simon Waine is the owner of Light-Up Kingsford. He is a qualified electrician and spent 15 years in lighting production in the entertainment industry, 1 year as a lighting inspector for state government public works, 10 years as the in house design and installation for Space furniture and 4 years teaching nationally. He is also licensed as an Energy Efficiency Consultant by DECW.


If you would like more information on any of the above or would like to discuss your lighting design with Simon and his team, then please contact (02) 9663 1214 or check out their website here.

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