The role of lighting in interior design is not simply practical, but is affected with the intended users’ expectations and perceptions. The roman architectural writer ‘Vitruvius’ describes the business of architecture as ‘commodity, firmness and delight’. By commodity he meant the fitness of solution to its purpose, by firmness the design’s enduring strength and stability and by delight, the pleasure given to the maker and user. The same motto could stand for ‘lighting design’. A good design’s desirable qualities should be its sense of rightness, its technical validity as an installation and the comfort and enjoyment brought to those it lights.
Indoor lighting design goes hand in hand with interior design of any space. Primary challenge is to create adequate illumination by while achieving the necessary style. One of the interesting aspects in the development of the lighting industry is change of scale – fittings are smaller, lamps are smaller, transformers are smaller and the output & efficiency of lamps is increasing, which means we can achieve what architect Mies Van der Rohe stated ‘do more with less’.
A successful lighting design is therefore one which not only meets the needs of the brief, but beyond it into defining a space into which the users’ wider needs are also met. In deciding on appropriate light source for a space the designer needs to have certain considerations. Some of them relate to the practicality of the task such as output, efficiency and cost, some relate to the aesthetic appearance of the lit space such as light distribution, intensity and diffusion.