When creating your perfect interior space the lighting is such an important factor. That is why lighting designs from professional lighting designers can be the element of a design that makes or breaks the space.
Correct lighting design and positioning can help create the right ambience for a room as well as help you use lights in the right places, reducing the tendency we have to use too many lights.
Here at IQ Furniture we have been working with expert lighting designers, Lighting by Plum, to help clients create beautifully sculpted interiors bathed in light. One of the questions we get asked very often is on the use of Decorative Fittings within a larger lighting design scheme.
Can they be useful? How should they be placed? Are they worth it?
We sat down with Mike, lighting designer at Lighting by Plum, to answer some of our most frequently asked questions and help you to select the right Decorative Fitting for your space.
First of all, for those not as well versed in the world of lighting design and designer lighting; what is a Decorative Fitting?
"A decorative fitting is the industry term for a statement light or decorative light. It is the phrase that lighting designers like ourselves would use as well as interior designers and any other types to describe that type of statement piece within a lighting design."
When considering a Decorative Fitting as part of a lighting design what should we consider before purchasing?
"Whenever we start looking to source a decorative piece for a room, one of the first questions we ask ourselves, and our clients, is what do you want this light to do?
Is it a feature piece to create a 'wow' factor? Do we want to create a feeling of succession in a space with light movement? What types of lights do you want to use? What is the function of this light?
As lighting designers, we don't just think about what the light fitting itself will look like. We also think about how the light emitted from that decorative fitting will look and how that will affect the feel of a space.
Will the light create patterns on the walls or surfaces?
What is the surface it is reflecting off?
How will the light be suspended and what from?
Where will the light from the piece be projected?
It's these elements of a Decorative Fitting that will contribute towards the lighting design of a space."
So it doesn't matter what the light looks like?
"Of course, from an interior design perspective, it does. Yes. But also, from a lighting design angle; the materials you choose will have an effect on the type of light that is emitted from the decorative fitting which will, therefore, affect the lighting design of the space. A light that is made from glass or mirror will have a different lighting effect to a light fixture made from concrete or metal and will emit a different amount of light. We would take these elements into account when creating a lighting scheme for a room.
The appearance of a focal light will be a personal choice or a choice to be made in conjunction with the interior designer to suit the interiors scheme."
Do you ever recommend including a Decorative Fitting into a scheme?
"Decorative fittings can be used to centralise a space which may not have an obvious centre. They can also formalise a space, create a 'wow' feature, and can often be used as a piece of art. When used correctly they can add decoration and character to an entire scheme."
What 'types' of lights make the best statement piece?
"Pendant lights make the best statement pieces. There are many variations on a pendant light that can be used very effectively in numerous areas of a scheme:
Dining Table Light - this light needs to penetrate enough light downwards to light the table and can formalise the room through the material choice, such as a crystal or glass hanging pendant.
Central Living Room Light - this light is used to centralise a wide open space. You need to ensure that it is not too low to interfere with TV viewing or walkways. The light from these pieces is often soft glowing, perhaps utilising a translucent fabric.
Stairwell Multi-Cluster Drop - often the drop length needs to be long enough to drop down over multiple floors. This type of light generally does not need to create practical light just act as an artwork for the stairwell. Glass balls, crystal or metal fittings that create shadows on the surrounding surfaces are great choices."
Is there any other advice that you would want to offer to someone considering a Decorative Fitting?
"The best lighting designs are considered in conjunction with a furniture layout or plan so it is great if you have considered the furniture placement before you start thinking about lights.
For instance, if you are fitting a light over a dining table the reflection from the surface of the table could give off enough light that no other downlights would be needed in the room, reducing the cost of the lighting package.
It is little details like this that really offer value to customers looking to employ a specialist lighting designer on their project."
If you would like to get some more information about lighting designs or want to arrange a free lighting design consultation, you can contact Lighting by Plum on 01494 258 738 or visit their website www.lightingbyplum.co.uk for more information.
Come along to the IQ Furniture Showroom in Amersham where we have the largest collection of designer lights on show outside of London. Contact us on 01494 722 880 to arrange your personal consultation with one of our furniture consultants.