Lighting - 5 Tips From An Expert

Choose Wisely

Decorative lighting is clearly a beautiful addition to a  designed space and a useful one.  It is often described as the jewelry of a room.  Choose wisely as it will be something that defines, elevates and illuminates a room for years to come.

Additionally, it is not easy to return light fixtures.  Sometimes they are custom made or the finishes are custom. As the hired "expert" the designer needs to make the right choices - along with her/his clients - to confirm the correct fixture will shine in its new home.

About the Expert

One Stop Lighting, Westlake Village, CA  is a busy, family owned lighting showroom.  They go the extra mile for their clients and ensure they are satisfied.  Dan Meyer is the Manager and he has always over delivered in his customer service, knowledge and product understanding.  

If there is something needed, send him an image.  Most often he will find it.  That is huge for a busy design firm.  It's that extended "team" I have referred to in past blog posts.  It's invaluable to create these relationships.  Add to it, at the end of the day it's about the people you work with and Dan is a terrific person.

5 Tips

1) Find out all specifications for the light fixture.  If there are any alterations, take that into account.  For instance a high ceiling with a hanging fixture.  Is there enough chain provided?  Does the manufacturer provide additional chain?  You most definitely want to order that at the same time.  How disappointing to wait for a gorgeous light fixture and not be able to hang it. Or worse, order the chain after the fact and have it not match.

Another example.  A pendant cluster.  We see them in magazines but will this require a larger ceiling plate and additional work by the lighting professional?  It's details like this that impact the price and also the installation.  You may have to reselect.  Choose wisely BEFORE you order.

2) Chandeliers typically are 36" above a surface such as a table.  Pendants should be hung between 36"-40".  But do ask your client what they prefer.  Provide the "standard" and then discuss what they are comfortable with

3) Remember that the actual dimension of the light is only part of the size, the weight and overall feel of the fixture will play a big difference in how the light fills the space.  Add to it, where it is going.  Make sure the weight can be supported.  Make sure the appropriate electrical has been added.  For instance, LED is required in most new construction.  There are some low voltage lighting fixtures and the transformer will need to be considered.  Some come with it but again, be totally informed before you make your choice.

4) Light fixtures and bulbs.  Do your research.  Ask your trusted sales representative on what is best for watts and style.  Filament bulbs work for a certain style but the glare might be a problem.  Take into account the use of the fixture and what will best highlight the fixture AND be functional without glare.

5) Sconces should be placed 5'4" above the floor.  This is especially important for bathroom vanity areas and again, the client will need to weigh in - but the designer needs to know the standard.  If the fixture is going to be in a wet with your representative to ensure the correct fixture.

"The experts are our extended team...utilize their expertise to elevate your business and provide excellent service"

Remember are as effective as the people you surround yourself with.

As a new designer wanting to know how to own your own design firm, or someone considering becoming an interior deisgner....Get guidance from experience.  Receive access and an ID Business Journey Boost plan.  

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Elizabeth Ribons, ASID, CID