Lighting Designer "Secret Sauce" – Part Two of Four

a guest post by Lisa J. Reed, Lighting Designer

One of the important secret ingredients in any secret sauce is the spice. A little spice is also good for a lighting design recipe. Here, the operative word is “design.” Art. Art pushes boundaries. It innovates. To find just the right balance, we design spaces that respect tradition while including enough edginess to keep things interesting.

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

– Winston Churchill   

The innovation (or spice) in a lighting design doesn’t have to be expensive, just unexpected.

Lighting Blog Stairwell

For example:

  • Turn a wall sconce upside-down so that it illuminates the ceiling instead of the floor,
  • Use pops of color,
  • Cluster small pendants to create your own chandelier,
  • Hang a decorative fixture in the closet,
  • Or mount a ceiling light to the wall.

At an office where I once worked, industrial fluorescent strips were mounted upside-down to serve as super inexpensive indirect light fixtures. It was a creative way to provide interesting lighting for minimal investment.

The possibilities are endless. The only requirement is that it can’t be “the way we’ve always done it.” Variety is the spice!

What have you done to spice up the lighting in your space?


Lisa J Reed photo - Lighting Blog

Lisa J. Reed has been attracted to lighting (like a moth to a flame) for 20+ years. She is the Founding Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC in St. Louis, where she designs, teaches, and writes about architectural lighting.


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