Lighting is Serious Business
Big things happening here at Waldron Designs!
Have you seen the "about" page on our website lately? At first, it may seem as though very little to nothing has changed. However, to read more about our team there is now the addition of a design team page! What solo-preneur would have a design team page, you ask? One with an architect on the team and two interns, that's who!
Wait, what? An architect? Why would an interior designer have an architect? Well, because
Waldron Designs is now a HOME DESIGN firm. With interior design, interior decorating, and architecture!!
Please, take a minute to peek in at our services to see the amazing range of services we offer that you may have never known interior designers (and architects!!) provide.
Waldron Designs just signed a lease for a brick and mortar office space. We will be moving into a studio space behind Giraffe's where homeowners can schedule appointments to come in and shop our trade-exclusive resources with no design fee! Appointments may also be scheduled to have a no-cost initial consultation. We are moving in December 1st, and it may take some time to get the space dressed up the way we'd like it, but please feel free to poke in and take a look! Photos and address information to follow!
I met with a furniture restorer (is that the appropriate title?) last week, and this guy's work is something you don't want to miss. Most of the work he shows is painting the pieces and giving them a new "flavor", but he will also restore and will work to create the piece per your (or my) specifications. Take a look at his Facebook Page: Raven's Nest Furniture
Lighten up these shorter days!
I love lighting and think it may just be the most important aspect of design. That said, I am not a lighting specialist. I use a consultant for my difficult projects and even on the ones I'm pretty comfortable with, just to have that extra set of experienced and knowledgeable eyes.
I took a lighting course in college. We learned to measure foot candles with light meters. We learned about the "cone of light" and how important the placement height of the fixture is in relation to the surface it is meant to light. We learned that lighting needs to be placed in FRONT of the user in a task-oriented situation so that shadows aren't cast by us standing in front of the light. After all that, I have to be honest, I realized that I could major in lighting alone to truly understand how to design with light.
What I do know is that color temperature and lumens are WAY more important that wattage. All the wattage will tell you is the amount of energy that particular bulb is using. So, throw out everything you ever thought you knew about lighting, and let's grace the surface together.
Lumens describe the brightness of the light (yup, what we always thought watts were). A general rule of thumb is:
Floors: 20 lumens/square foot
Tables & Counters: 30 lumens/square foot
Desks: 50 lumens/square foot
So, let's imagine that we have a living room that is 200 square feet. In this hypothetical living room, we have two tables with lamps on either side of a sofa, a floor lamp, and a ceiling fixture. We'll want 4,000 lumens from the ceiling fixture (20 lumens x 200 square feet). We'll want about 200 lumens to cover 4 square feet of lighting at each end of the sofa (50 lumens x 4 square feet). Note that this is a task area, not a "table". The floor lamp will give us another 200 lumens. Now, let's head into the dining room and look at the size of the table. A 3' x 6' table would require 540 lumens (30 lumens x 18 square feet).
So, we have the rule of thumb for brightness, but what about temperature? This ultimately depends on the function and placement of the fixture. Most of us prefer warmer color temperatures, and I tend to err on the cooler side of warm, aiming for a temperature of 3500K in the general lighting (recessed and in kitchen and bath ceiling fixtures). I like to bump it up to 4000K in office spaces and in kitchen task areas. Another tricky thing I like to do is to choose a few lamps throughout my home (floor lamps and up lighting work particularly well for this) and add the 4000K bulbs in these. I use these lamps at dusk or on grey days when the dark seems to be creeping in and I find myself wanting a flashlight next to the window! I find that these lamps also help me transition from daylight hours to the evening hours. Right about dusk, I flick them on. As the sun sets, I'll add in the warmer lamps and eventually turn off the cool ones.
Knowing that, take inventory of all your light fixtures, your spaces, and hit up the local lighting store (shop local!!) and update your fixtures to provide optimal lighting in your home! Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions along the way