Lighting designs can completely change the atmosphere of a space, becoming a crucial tool for designers in delivering a distinct brief and design vision. Both the functional and influential elements of lighting are interlinked in ways that many take for granted.
A think tank led by Phillips Lighting compiled the thoughts and advice of three interior designers, asking for their reaction to the current state of lighting implementation.
One of the roundtable members, Phillips Lighting Malaysia general manager Vennila Rajamanickam, conveys the importance of creating a contextualised atmosphere through lighting, noting that “in this day and age, it is all about creating (the right) ambience.”
Rajamanickam admits that achieving the right mix of function and design is not a highly technical concept, but it is something that must be seriously considered due to the high impact nature of lighting and its importance to interiors.
“One does not need to be a ‘lighting expert’ to understand lighting. You just have to understand the concept behind it,” says Rajamanickam. “Lighting is not only about aesthetics but it is also about serving a function. It is an inevitable element of interior spaces. Both the functional and aesthetic aspects of a space are dependent on the right kind of illumination.”
According to the panel, understanding modern technology driven trends such as the use of LED lighting is an important factor in making the most of lighting potential.
“If you look at the connection between technology and the implementation of a good quality system, an intelligent design plan incorporating lighting in all the right areas can open up a lot of possibilities and also make a big difference in ensuring that a room looks large and airy while creating the right ambience for your client or yourself,” says Rajamanickam.
Fellow roundtable member Ramesh Seshan of Custom Design Group Sdn Bhd shares this notion.
“LED is fantastic and is quickly becoming the new industry standard for lighting,” he says.
The round table further advises that garish lighting is out, especially in the home or other spaces designed for comfort.
“Generally, we‘ve made a rule for ourselves that when we design a space, we try to ensure that the lighting remains as natural as possible,” Seshan says.
Flexibility, sustainability and low costs were also major factors in the roundtable discussion, with all three members looking towards LED lighting as the modern answer to all of these factors.
According to Sherlyna Pang, design manager of Design Spirits, a key ‘don’t’ is implementing lighting as a last-minute feature of interior design. Neglecting to consider lighting design in the early stages of interior planning is a recipe for mundane and unconsidered design, leaving potential for space to be left unmaximised.
“Lighting in fact, is considered a design element (especially) during the planning stage of any building (project). Without proper planning, we would not be able to achieve the optimal results that lighting can offer,” says Pang.
Designing in this means a number of major ‘donts’, including excessive lighting, expensive lighting and out-of-context lighting schemes – such as the disco ball in the lounge room scenario – can be easily avoided.
According to these three designers, lighting should, and can, be simple. There is a resounding nod to LEDs as a solution that offers this simplicity to a modern market, a sentiment that is reflected strongly in recent industry developments.