February 16, 2005
5:06 AM   Subscribe

I've always been fascinated with the way lighting can change the mood of a room, so when we built our house, we wanted to do our own lighting design (although neither of us had any experience) but didn't know where to start.

I called Lightolier to request a catalog and was shocked when they wanted to charge me money (about $20, I think) but they explained that it included a lighting design guide and two videos, so we bit.

Boy, are we ever glad we did! The videos were very good (I think one was a general overview of lighting design techniques, and the other was a case study of a real couple's house, before and after) and the design guide was a solid backup for the videos.

We ended up buying a couple thousand dollars' worth of Lightolier hi-hats, sconces and pendants as well as other lights from Justice, Seagull and Arroyo Craftsmen, and a couple of dimmer systems from Lutron, and we are very happy with the results.
posted by kcds at 6:21 AM on February 16, 2005

Yes! Just the other day I wishing that I knew more about lighting techniques, shadow control, etc. Seriously, this post couldn't have come at a more appropriate time. Thanks!
posted by foot at 8:09 AM on February 16, 2005

You might want to have a look at the lighting software section of the wiki, foot. ReLux and DIALux are (or were, last time I checked) free, powerful calculation/simulation tools. A lot of manufactures provide photometric data that plugs right in.
posted by nthdegx at 8:22 AM on February 16, 2005

Great links! My wife was a lighting maven a few years back, and she found one of the benefits of working in a lighting showroom is it tends to lift one's mood.

Also, because of my wife's experience I've come to appreciate the benefits of full spectrum lights, mostly for more accurate color rendition.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:56 AM on February 16, 2005

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