The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Custom Interior Lighting Designer

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Custom Interior Lighting Designer

Lighting
Interior Design
By Mateos Glen Hayes September 15, 2022

When we think about lighting for interior design, this detail can often seem like an afterthought. Sure, you need light, but it’s probably not something that needs that much thought, right? Just stick some lights to the ceiling, wire them up, and we’re good to go. Lighting was once like this, especially in older buildings that were built to a cost. Nobody was all that worried about how the lighting accentuated the interior design of a low-cost post-WWII apartment building.

However, things have evolved hugely since then and the idea of lighting interior design is no longer the preserve of mansions and palaces. It is now a central design aspect of everyday homes that are being designed and built in cities around the world. Today, an interior design drafted without a lighting designer involved is about as useful as a car without wheels. Good lighting design is instrumental for a number of reasons. It adds depth and character to an interior, enhances an artful balance of light and shade, and makes what might have been a dingy space into something much more livable. 

This is why a room or whole-house renovation is a great opportunity for totally reimaging your interior lighting design situation. If you feel that your home is dark, or that the actual designs of the lighting fixtures themselves just don’t look good, it’s worthwhile to consider hiring an architectural lighting designer. There are of course pros and cons to this, but it is nonetheless something that we recommend for maximizing the beauty and impact of any space. 

What an Interior Lighting Designer Does

Lighting designers bring their expert hand to your interior lighting design.

Lighting designers bring their expert hand to your interior lighting design.

What Is an Interior Lighting Designer?

These lighting experts work with architects and other interior designers to ensure that your lighting designs are beautiful and effective without clashing with other aspects of your home design. Their job, in other words, is to transform the feel of your space so that the lighting works in concert with your new design to make it have a stronger impact. 

The interior lighting designer will make sure that the lights are easy to operate and that the lights are not so far out of reach that you cannot replace the bulbs. The bulbs used are also common bulbs that you can find in any store (though they will encourage the use of energy-saving bulbs). They have a keen eye for natural light versus artificial lighting and will place both fixed and movable lighting sources where appropriate and in relation to skylights and windows in your home.

Balance is Key

A key element of an interior lighting designer's job is to master the balancing act of having well-designed yet functional lighting fixtures. This means that lights must also be easy to use and maintain as well as be beautifully placed and designed. For example, a lighting strip highlighting your wall of paintings is no good if it is hard to maintain or prone to failing. 

Interior light designers also take into account various factors when drafting designs such as the climate of your region and how much natural light enters your home. This ensures that your lighting is as effective as possible in all seasons and all times of the day.  

Hiring an Interior Lighting Designer 

Hiring an interior lighting designer means taking your interior lighting to a whole new level.

Hiring an interior lighting designer means taking your interior lighting to a whole new level.

Doing Your Research

You can find a good lighting designer by asking family, friends, neighbors or even hardware stores for names and numbers of ones that they recommend. When considering an architectural lighting designer we highly recommend seeking out previous clients so that you can get references. 

This will give you an idea of what to expect and whether you should hire the designer in question. Be sure that they have good references and photo examples of their past work, and that they take account of different factors such as how natural light enters your home. 

Your lighting designer will do their best to bring your lighting wishes to fruition.

Your lighting designer will do their best to bring your lighting wishes to fruition.

When Should I Hire a Lighting Designer? 

The best time to hire a lighting consultant is when you have already drafted a plan with an architect or interior designer that accounts for the placement of fixtures and furniture. This helps lay the groundwork by creating designs for all aspects of your home from entryways lightings to bedrooms.  

Cooperation between the lighting consultant and other interior designers is crucial for project success since it allows for better integration of the design. When you hire a good interior lighting designer, you will be able to show them a room and discuss the mode and tone you would like to create. From there, the designer will begin to talk to you about lighting options, such as how bright the lighting should be or the design of the fixture used. 

They will also be able to provide you with sketches and/or samples to show you the ideas that they have. A good lighting designer will not make you feel fearful of bringing up your own design ideas and will support your input. He or she will not try to talk you into their vision. Rather, they will be trying to realize your vision.

Pros of Hiring an Interior Lighting Designer 

There is an abundance of benefits to hiring an interior lighting designer.

There is an abundance of benefits to hiring an interior lighting designer.

As you might expect there are of course a lot of good benefits to hiring a professional to design your lighting for you. In general, it makes things a lot easier and ensures that your vision comes true. 

You Decide 

The job of any lighting expert you hire is to do their best to translate what you want into practical designs and construction. This is of course a huge plus of hiring professional interior lighting designers because they know just how to work with lighting to get the results that you want.

An interior lighting designer considers how your lighting will work in all sessions and during different times of the day.

An interior lighting designer considers how your lighting will work in all sessions and during different times of the day.

Avoid Delays

If your lighting installations are low quality or poorly designed, this can cause some unexpected problems that both delay your project and make it more expensive. Naturally, if lights are not good quality or are not safely installed they can break and this will require costly replacements or maybe even a redesign.

If lighting fixtures are poorly designed, they can clash with other elements of your interior design, reducing their effectiveness and making said lighting difficult to use and maintain. This can again lead to costly replacements.   

An Expert’s Hand

Of course, a general interior design can also work on your lighting design. You can also figure out how to do things like increase natural light in your house without an interior light designer. However, neither you nor a general interior designer is always going to have the same specific expertise.

They also may not have access to the same lighting options that an interior lighting designer will. A lighting consultant will of course work exclusively in this field, and therefore will know everything there is to know about lighting for interior design. A specialized skill set is sometimes a huge asset, and this is one great example of that principle. 

Cons of Hiring an Interior Lighting Designer 

Considering the pros and cons together enables you to make the most informed decision possible.

Considering the pros and cons together enables you to make the most informed decision possible.

Any approach during a renovation can have its downsides, and these are good to consider along with the benefits so that you can make a more informed choice. Renovating your home or reimagining a major room in your house is a big step, and will have a long-term effect on your home, so it only makes sense to consider all variables.

Cost 

While hiring a lighting designer can help you avoid unexpected costs, it can still be costly. The average cost for an interior lighting design is between $5,000 and $6,100, but this can be significantly less or more depending on the experience of your lighting designer as well as the size of your project.

A complete redesign of your entire home’s interior lighting is not going to be an affordable project. Having said that, that money is going towards ensuring your interior lighting is well designed, and this is a very important detail for your project’s success.

Some unique lighting fixtures may be in short supply owing to worldwide logistical issues.

Some unique lighting fixtures may be in short supply owing to worldwide logistical issues.

Logistics 

Because of ongoing logistical issues around the world, it may be difficult for your interior lighting designer to source certain lighting fixtures, especially if these are in high demand or are especially complex. If you are big in the renovation game you probably already know this since these shipping issues affect many different items you might need. Fortunately, this is becoming less and less of an issue as world commerce gradually revs up again.

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

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