Skip links

Architectural lighting designs

Architectural lighting designs are all about the aesthetics of the lighting pieces used within an interior or external space. Designs often include products such as Linear LED strip systems, recessed spot lights or more decorative light fittings such as pendants or flamboyant chandeliers.
Detail Lighting works with many architects and designers to help them achieve the impact for their clients from lighting schemes they are looking to specify.
Here we explain what architectural lighting design is with some examples and how to create beautiful advanced lighting designs.
Architectural Lighting Designs

What is architectural lighting design?

Architectural lighting design is transformational for physical environments and used to improve the user experience, whether this is for working, relaxing or taking part in activities. Used in both residential and commercial spaces, architectural lighting design.
As such, by considering both natural and artificial light, architectural lighting design is integrated into the architecture to provide a specific function. It could be used to illuminate a particular area of a room or object within it. It can create ambiance and add depth and warmth. Or lighting designs may simply be added for practical reasons such as for safety or task lighting.
Architectural lighting is such an integral part of the design of a building or interior space that in newbuild and refurbishment projects, it should be considered early on in the specification process.
Pictured right: We supplied a range of architectural lighting for an apartment block in Canary Wharf. We collaborated with Bowler James Brindley. Watch our architectural light fittings in the video below.

what is architectural lighting design?

Examples of architectural lighting designs

Hallways, stairwells and reception areas – low-level lighting on staircases is both practical and effective. Floor washing, which is shining light onto the floor at intervals, is also a contemporary architectural design feature for creating a warm welcome.

Living rooms and offices – architectural light fittings include accent lighting, spot lighting, lamps, wall lights, uplighting and downlighting.

Kitchens – under-cupboard lighting, worktop lighting, backlighting, spotlights, joinery lighting and coloured lighting are all popular examples of architectural lighting in kitchens.

Bathrooms – wall washing, mirror lighting, spotlights and accent lighting are practical and aesthetic architectural lighting ideas for bathrooms and restrooms.

Bedrooms – architectural lighting design creates an oasis of calm as well as practical lighting in wardrobes and dressing rooms and on mirrors and pictures. Reading lights are also popular in bedrooms.

architectural lighting designs in commercial spaces

How to create architectural lighting designs

The first consideration is how the interior or exterior space is used and how lighting can enhance the user experience. For example, it could be exterior lighting for garden spaces or internal lighting for commercial or residential interiors. From there, the next factor is the key design elements that should be enhanced, such as feature walls or artwork.

Of course, aesthetics also matter, so architectural design needs to consider mood, the intensity of illumination, colour and warmth.

Some techniques used to create architectural lighting design are:

Uplighting – used for focusing light on features, creating shadows or adding height.

Accent lighting – around three times as bright as the rest of the lighting in a room, accent lighting  highlights key features.

Linear lighting – used to create eye-catching effects on walls, ceilings and on key architectural features.

Sustainable lighting design 

Sustainable lighting design strives to save energy, reduce environmental impact, and create a healthy and comfortable interior atmosphere. The utilisation of efficient lighting fixtures, control systems, and natural lighting sources to create a well-lit and energy-efficient structure is what sustainable lighting entails. Detail Lighting, on the other hand, provides a wide range of sustainable lighting design solutions.  

The use of energy-efficient lighting fixtures, such as LED technology, can reduce energy usage and running expenses dramatically.  Natural light sources, like windows and skylights, can help to reduce the demand for artificial lighting during the day while also giving health advantages to its residents. You can alter the artificial lighting levels in response to the quantity of natural light available in a place by employing dimming controls. This can help to balance the light levels and save electricity.

Dimmers are classified into two types: leading-edge dimmers and trailing-edge dimmers. For some time, cutting-edge dimmers have been utilised to dim traditional, non-LED bulbs with wattages ranging from 250W to 1000W. LED-ready dimmers are trailing edge dimmers. They were created specifically to work with LED light bulbs that have a much lower wattage need.

Dimmable lighting can be an important aspect in lighting plans as it increases productivity in business settings, and it may also be utilised by homeowners to change the purpose of a room from an office to a place to unwind or make food.

Can we help?

For a no-obligation chat about your architectural lighting designs, please contact us using our online form, by email at, or by calling 01908 613256.

If you require lighting schemes for your project
get in touch with our team

Are you looking for sustainable lighting solutions for your project?
Call us
+44 (0)1908 613256
Email us