Lighting can "make or break" an interior. Lighting affects every aspect of design from how colors appear and how people respond to them, to the basic functionality of a space. Many trends are born out of unique light fixtures, and pave the way for lighting design as a cohesive, technical artform.
David Ellis, of Lux Lighting, located in the Pearl District, has been in the lighting business since 1978. I had a chance to talk with him about some of the fundamentals of good lighting design. First of all, I wanted to know what kinds of services Lux provides for their clients. Choosing lighting can be a very intimidating task if you don't have an expert helping you. Lux works on commercial and residential projects that range from one small signature piece to an entire lighting layout. They have wholesale and sell to the trade, and employ a staff of designers who are very knowledgeable in the basics and intricacies of lighting.
According to David, a particular local trend he sees is that people are becoming more educated about lighting, and are willing to spend a little more money getting a quality job done right. People are beginning also to understand that they don't understand, and are using architects and interior designers more and more. David feels that one of the most overlooked areas of lighting an interior is Accent and Display lighting. Many times a person will envision an elaborate chandelier brightly illuminating their dining room, when in reality, the chandelier was designed to be more of an art-piece and provide ambient light than to generally light the space. In such cases, you really must employ the use of supplemental task lighting in order to make the space functional.
Lighting plays a part in all parts of life, the daylight changes throughout the year and calls for more artificial light sources during the fall and winter seasons. Especially in Portland where we have a grey, rainy season, David says "table lights and desk lamps go way up". Whether you are aiming to create a dramatic effect of light and shadow, or just looking for an adequate light to read by, "Without light, you have nothing. It's extremely important to light a space correctly."
By Jaime Ausborn for PDXinteriors.com