What is lighting design and how to design it?

lighting design

A designer, architect or visualizer needs to know how to professionally adjust lighting, know the physical properties of light, the purpose of lighting fixtures. Properly exposed light will emphasize the advantages, cleverly conceal the shortcomings of the interior. If the lighting is designed poorly, the most spectacular design project will be hopelessly spoiled and “lubricate” all the impression. Therefore, lighting design – one of the key stages in the development of the ideal interior. We will disassemble the basic principles of lighting design and tell you how to design lighting in 3Ds Max. Light design is especially important for the bathroom. Read more about bathroom design and bathroom light design.

Types of lighting

In the art of interior lighting design, there are three main types of lighting that affect the perception of space. Lighting designers also refer to these as “layers”:

1. Basic, or general lighting. Creates sufficient room illumination, saturates the room with light. Helps you see and appreciate your surroundings. The main light is provided by a powerful source: one or more. Usually it is an “overhead” light – suspended or built-in lights on the ceiling, spotlights, a central chandelier. Lighting should be uniform – not too blinding and contrasting, moderately bright. In general, the brightness, power, temperature of light depend on the purpose and area of the room. For example, the living room requires a maximum saturation – at least 20 watts per 1 sq.m. Relaxing and secluded bedroom can be achieved with dimmed light, which is 10W per 1sq.m.

2. Accent lighting. A combination of ways of lighting objects with the single aim of drawing attention to them. This light is always directed at objects. It emphasizes volume, texture, arrangement of objects, highlights the architectural features of the room. Such lighting is rarely static, it can be changed and moved to achieve the desired effect. Accent lighting in the interior plays the role of a spotlight, allows you to notice the smallest details and is often a decisive influence on the perception of the design project.

3. local lighting. This type of light performs a specific function. For example, it highlights an area needed for work, study or relaxation. Sources can be pendant lights, table lamps, sconces, floor lamps or spotlights with directional light. Local lighting allows you to zone the room. With its help, you can expand or narrow the space of the room, visually divide the room into separate sections. Lighting should be comfortable and not fatigue the eye.

The ability to masterfully combine all layers of lighting distinguishes a good light designer.

Types of light distribution

It is impossible to imagine interior design without a well-thought-out distribution of light. The flow of light shapes the visual perception of an environment. By combining light streams of different orientation, you can visually “extend” the walls, raise the ceiling, to create additional volume. There are three types of light distribution:

1. Direct light. The luminous flux comes from a single point and is directed strictly at the desired area. The most common direct light is overhead. For example, a chandelier on the ceiling or a pendant luminaire. Directional lighting is characteristic of spotlights, sconces, floor lamps. The main thing is that they can be turned in a certain direction.

2. Diffused light. This is a soft and even illumination. Such light is not bright, often even muted, so it helps to relax and creates an atmosphere of tranquility in the interior. Chandeliers, ceiling recessed lights, wall sconces are used as lighting fixtures. In projects, designers often use illumination of hinged furniture, skirting boards, cornices, LED strips. Diffused light in the interior expands the space, and mirrored and glossy surfaces help to enhance this effect.

3. reflected light. Another soft and comfortable option for the eyes. It is not directed to specific objects or zones, it is evenly distributed in the room. Indirect lighting is created by a combination of wall, ceiling and floor lighting fixtures. The light beams change depending on the color and structure of the surface to which they fall.

In the modern interior of any dwelling, all three types are used. For example, for the bedroom or children’s room will be appropriate diffused lighting. For the hallway, bathroom and living room will suit a saturated directed light flow.

Types of lighting in the interior

When designing the interior, take into account that the light is different and comes not only from fixtures. Daylight coming through the windows is no less important and requires control.

Let’s disclose the characteristics of the types of lighting in any interior:

1. Natural. The main and only sources are sunlight and the sky. The sun gives soft natural light, comfortable for visual perception. The task of the designer is to assess how the room will look at different times of day, how sunlight and artificial light will complement each other. Some rooms have areas where almost no sunlight penetrates. But if daylight is sufficient, it is better to use it to the maximum.

2. Artificial. Necessary when there is a lack of sunlight, as well as in the evening or at night. Sources are any lights – lamps, chandeliers, night lights, backlights, spotlights. The visualizer needs to adjust the artificial lighting so that there are no over highlights, and the frame looks harmonious. This is why brightness and warmth are adjusted individually for each luminaire.

3. Combined. A variant of a balanced combination of natural light and interior lights. Used to create a comfortable level of light in all corners of the dwelling.

When working on a scene in 3Ds Max, first comes the production of natural light, then – artificial light. We cover these nuances in detail at the 3D modeling and architectural visualization classes in the 3DsMAX.Archviz training block.

lighting design

The key rules of interior lighting design

A common mistake beginners make is that they don’t have a lighting scenario for an interior. The implication is that all light sources will simply be on, and it is enough to place them in any dark corners of the room. In fact, you need to create a lighting concept in advance, learn how to control and play with light.

Here are some rules to help develop a quality lighting design:

– When drawing up a lighting concept, consider the area of the room. The larger the room, the more light sources will be needed. Each will illuminate a separate functional area.

– The temperature of the light affects a person’s emotional background. Cold shades subconsciously adjust to the working mode, warm – to relax. Living spaces more often use warm or neutral light. Cold is appropriate in the office, bathroom or conservatory.

– The shape, color and style of lighting fixtures should fit into the overall stylistics of the interior. Agree, a floor lamp in the style of high-tech will look absurd in the room with the finish and the furniture under the “baroque.

– If the ceilings in the room are low, they visually raise the light stream directed upwards. If the ceiling will be glossy or mirror like, the effect will be greatly amplified.

– Backlighting every corner of the room will add volume and width to the room.

– The functional areas of the room (for studying, working, cooking, reading) should have local lighting that is not tiring for the eyes. Important: Poor lighting suppresses working activity.

Light fixtures that smoothly change brightness and color will also help to draw attention to the decor in the room.