We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Fundamentals of Lighting Design?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The fundamentals of lighting design include both form and function. In other words, the look of lighting must suit the space, but its function as a source of light must also be appropriate for the activities and tasks done in an area. For example, rows of pendant lights not only look attractive over a kitchen island work space, they also focus needed light onto the work area. Each room or portion of outdoor space should be carefully assessed in terms of what types and styles of lighting would be the most suitable.

For instance, many people prefer dimmer switches in dining rooms so that the lighting can be bright for occasions such as a children's birthday party or dim for gatherings such as an adults' dinner party. A dimmer switch allows the level of light to be controlled in a room. In outdoor lighting design, lights on automatic sensors can be mounted on buildings so the lights turn on when they detect motion. Garden lights can be installed to provide practical and attractive lighting for pathways and patios.

Many different styles of outdoor lighting are available to suit any type of garden decor. While garden wall sconces give off a soft romantic light, ground lighting provides up-lighting to illuminate landscapes of plants and flowers. Spotlights such as those around a fountain can showcase outdoor water features.

Natural light plays a role in lighting design for indoor spaces. The amount of natural light that a room gets depends on the direction it faces as well as the time of day. If a room such as an office doesn’t get adequate natural light for working during the day, desk lighting should be added as a standard ceiling light may not be effective enough for working at a desk. If work will be done at night, then extra task lightening such as adjustable desk lamps should be incorporated into the room’s design.

Reading lamps are an important part of bedroom lighting design since many people like to read in bed. Ceiling lights are not usually bright enough for reading and bedside lamps are more convenient as they can be turned off and on from the bed area. Beside lamps range from small lights mounted near the headboard to table lamps. A bedroom light may also be a floor lamp or a pendant style lamp.

A fundamental part of lighting design that relates to function is the practicality of the placement of lights. For example, a pendant lamp can be very stylish hanging from a metal rod low into the room. However, if pendant lighting is placed low over a foot traffic area where people could walk into it, the design makes no sense.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.