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The fundamentals of residential lighting design

Residential lighting design can transform homes. Whether it’s part of a renovation or build project, or there is an overhaul of lighting in an existing property, careful consideration needs to be given to what the lighting design needs to achieve.

At Detail Lighting, we specialise in the design and supply of LED lighting which is a popular choice of lighting for homeowners due to its form and function.

We work with architects, interior designers, electricians, developers and landscapers to create residential lighting design that makes homes unique, with concepts that are true to the client brief.
residential lighting design for the exterior

The lighting design process

For renovations or new builds, the fundamentals of lighting design need to be included at the very start of the project. Lighting is required for every part of the home, both inside and out, so it’s always much easier and options are far greater when lighting specialists like ourselves are involved from the outset to manage the lighting design process.

To begin the lighting design process, we consult the architectural drawings and get fully briefed on the proposed interior design and how each room and space will be used.

After preliminary conversations we participate in an initial design meeting where design concepts and aims of the project are discussed in more detail. This will include architecture, kitchen and bathroom designs, room layouts and garden or landscaping designs.

Once designs are confirmed we supply a range of quality light fittings that meet the specifications and send them to site, labelled with circuit information as per the electrician’s technical specification.

the fundamentals of residential lighting design

Benefits of lighting control systems

Lighting control systems are now one of the fundamentals of residential lighting design. Lighting control systems consist of components such as dimmers, sensors, timers and smart bulbs. The technology behind lighting control systems gives residential property owners control over the efficiencies and safety of their homes.


Control over residential lighting is at the fingertips of homeowners through the use of apps on their personal devices. Some systems are supplied with a separate remote control or wall mounted control pad. Today blue-tooth controls are increasingly popular as they are easy to retro-fit at a reasonable price point


When going on holiday lighting control systems can be programmed to be on at certain times of the day to make it appear as if someone is at home. Outside sensors will come on when triggered by someone outside the house which deters unwanted visitors.

Energy efficiency

Dimmers, sensors and timers all control how long lights are switched on for, so the lighting control system uses less energy. Smart lightbulbs are also significantly more efficient than standard bulbs.



When should I start planning my lighting?

Lighting should be planned early in the design process, ideally during the conceptual or schematic design phase. This ensures that lighting is taken into account in the overall design and that you have enough time to make any necessary changes prior to construction or installation.

Consider the intended use of the space, its size and shape, natural light sources, the desired mood or ambiance, and any specific lighting requirements for tasks or activities that will occur in the space.

How do I design lighting for an open plan living space?

First, identify the different zones of the space and the mood you want to create. Combine ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting to achieve the desired atmosphere. Ceiling lights, floor and table lamps, and dimmer switches can all be used to achieve the ideal balance of functionality and aesthetics. Don’t forget to use the natural light that comes in through the windows.

How do I calculate the number of LED lights I need for a space?

To begin, determine the total amount of light output required for a room, which is measured in lumens. You can do this by multiplying the square footage of the room by the recommended lumens per square foot for that type of room. A living room, for example, may require 10-20 foot-candles of light, which is equivalent to 10-20 lumens per square foot.

So, if your living room is 100 square feet, you’ll need 1,000-2,000 lumens to properly light it. A lighting design professional can assist you in developing a lighting plan that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

We are residential lighting design consultants based in London

As lighting design consultants based in London we work with a wide variety of clients. As members of a design team on residential property projects we can share our expertise and help designers and architects to create stunning homes.

We understand the technology and its capabilities so can help interior designers to understand the true potential and fundamentals of residential lighting design.

If you require any advice regarding residential lighting design, get in touch with the team of residential lighting design consultants at Detail Lighting, London.


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.

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