LIGHTING BY DESIGN
By: Dawn Hollingsworth, Principal, Darkhorse Lightworks, LLC
There are many choices when it comes to lighting design. The decision to hire an independent lighting designer is one of understanding the value of the expertise it brings to your project.
Architectural lighting designers typically work with architects who are experts at developing plans, organizing space, specifying materials and creating the vision for the aesthetic of the project. They create and lead a team of experts in their respective disciplines like mechanical and electrical engineers, landscape architects, structural engineers, audio visual designers and acousticians.
To get the most from your investment, trust a designer who is focused solely on blending the technical and artistic requirements to deliver a user-oriented system. Deciding on the right equipment for the right impact is an important consideration, but lighting designers also help the client manage costs. First and foremost, we are designers. These professionals are trained in the art and science of illumination engineering and also focus on the user experience once the space is occupied. More than simply providing for visual tasks, light reveals form, texture and space.
Independent lighting designers are not in the business of selling products and are not paid by manufacturers to promote or specify their products. Instead they operate as a fee-for-service business with a fiduciary responsibility to the owner.
Today, the proliferation of LED technology means there are more choices in equipment than ever before. Balancing color quality with the direction, intensity and distribution of light are just some of the elements to consider in the overall design.
Designers bring an ongoing education in physics, optics, electricity, environmental and energy codes, construction techniques and materials to balance the physical needs of the client and the budget to insure the most value is achieved for the system.
Many people think they don’t have the money to hire a lighting designer to be on the team, but in reality, the right designer can save the owner 100% of the cost of being on the project. The best lighting designers are advocates for the owner. “The best money I spent on the project was on that [lighting]” was an actual comment from an owner from a project our team worked on.
So while there are many experts in “lighting”, you should consider hiring a lighting designer if you value independent expertise on one of the most important aspects of your project.
Darkhorse Lightworks, LLC works with light as a medium for the creation of experiential environments, designing award-winning lighting solutions for Commercial, Hospitality, Retail, Mixed Use, Healthcare, Entertainment, and Education.