Q I’m thinking about using a professional to help create a lighting plan for my timber home. How do I go about finding a reputable lighting expert? And what should I be thinking about when planning a lighting scheme for my home?
TIMBER HOMES OFFER lighting challenges such as vaulted ceilings, multiple viewing angles and the need to conceal light fixtures to reduce glare. Fortunately, a smart lighting expert or designer will help you overcome all these challenges.
A good lighting designer is involved with his or her industry, so you may be able to find one through organizations such as the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) or the American Lighting Association (ALA). You also can talk to your timber company as well as your design team to ask for recommendations. Because custom homes often require this kind of attention to detail when it comes to lighting, there’s a good chance they’ll have an idea of who would be a good fit for your project.
Once you have a lighting designer on board, it’s a smart idea to have them collaborate with the rest of your team as soon as possible. When the lighting designer is part of the team early in the process, they have the ability to help with integrating the lighting needs with the architectural development of the house. They will work with the architect to ensure the lighting is providing for not only the needs of tasks such as cooking in the kitchen or work in the home office, but also with the interior designer to keep a cohesive flow in how the interior spaces look overall, including finish selections, color and art. In a home with a timber frame, you’ll want to incorporate some kind of cross lighting for the overhead woodwork. This type of lighting pattern creates a glow that really showcases the timber frame. Keep in mind that many light fixtures aren’t suitable for timber homes, so researching various light fixtures beforehand is a smart plan. Again, your lighting expert can help with this.
Lastly, your designer should be able to meet with the electrical contractor and walk through placements, lighting controls, energy requirements and fixture selections. They should know the electrician and have a good communication path with them to ensure the design is fully understood.