The Art of Lighting Design
Lighting design is an art that can affect the look and feel of your home as much as the paint you choose, the window treatments you hang and the furniture you buy. Film and television directors know the importance of lighting design to create a mood and to complement bodies and faces. And today’s best new homes – including those from Crystal Valley’s trio of top home builders – always aim to integrate great lighting design into the architectural phase of construction.
We asked Certified Lighting Designer Malia Chapman, whose clients live from Castle Rock to California, a few basic questions about how lighting design can enhance our living spaces.
Why is lighting design important?
“Nothing has a greater impact on a space than lighting,” Malia says. “It has the power to not only illuminate what we see, but influences how we see it.”
Lighting affects a person’s moods and emotions, both of which are triggered by light, according to the Lighting Research Center. Research suggests home lighting should be comfortable, easily controlled and energy-efficient.
“Good lighting design can transform a room filled with glare and shadows into one that is flexible, enjoyable and a pleasure to be in,” says Malia.
Homeowners can customize a space by layering light to augment task lighting in kitchens and bathrooms (see Lightology’s DIY examples) or to add accent lighting to showcase beloved artwork — even to save money!
Are there common lighting mistakes?
Malia says homeowners tend to gravitate toward a fixture they fall in love with and bring it home without knowing the type of light it will emit.
“Let’s say you move in and want to jazz up the dining room and put your personality there with a new chandelier. So, you head to a lighting showroom and find a killer fixture and install it, only to find out you don’t have the light you need over your dining room table!” says Malia.
“It’s important to consider the size, the shape and the number of sockets in a fixture so you know it will facilitate the light that you need where you need it,” Malia says.
Are dimming controls just for dining rooms?
“I like to put every light switch on a dimmer – even the closets. I don’t leave switches anywhere except the garbage disposal!” Malia says. “They’re not as efficient, effective and don’t serve.”
“The goal is to create multiple layers of light so you can add dimension and flexibility,” she says. And, using a dimmer, even at full capacity, can save 15 percent of the energy (costs) needed to power the bulb!
What about adding skylights?
“I love skylights. Lots of ambient light and blue sky, you feel one with nature – during the day. But at night? Not so much,” she says. “Unless you have a white ceiling that reflects the light, you end up with black holes which make the room darker.”
Malia says skylights were more popular in the 70s and 80s. “Nowadays if people have or want skylights they can add a linear strip of light for nighttime, but it’s not my favorite.”
For more tips, check out Malia’s website with advice about specific rooms. Malia works with homeowners who want to do “a little lighting design” or a want an entire makeover to decorate with light. “I’m passionate about lighting design and helping people understand what it can do,” Malia says. “I love doing consults and offering ideas and information so if a homeowner wants to, they can just run with it when I leave!”
Naturally Light in Crystal Valley!
Nothing was left to chance in the development of Crystal Valley. With a variety of ranch and two-story designs from which to choose, each new home in this natural setting is ready for its owner’s personal style and signature. Have you visited this amazing Castle Rock master-planned community? If not, spring’s the best time to tour the models from D.R. Horton, Kauffman Homes and Richmond American Homes, priced from the $300s. Stop by the next time you’re out and about!