top of page

Lighting design and planning 

By: Yaniv Solomon

Lighting design or planning is a very critical and important issue in interior design. Proper lighting design will on the one hand give an atmosphere and often some ambiance to the space and will greatly determine its design. It is also important for work lighting in areas where the focus is on work, such as the kitchen or office.


When I say lighting design, I do not mean the design of lampshades but the planning of the location of the lighting fixtures, the types of fixtures and their assimilation in a hidden way, or visible in the walls, ceilings and sometimes even in the furniture. In addition, the combination of the various bodies.


So what are the things to consider when it comes to designing lighting for a space:


1. Lighting intensity - how much light is needed to illuminate the space

Many times we encounter a problem that we do not know if the light fixture we bought will illuminate the space adequately. In addition, we have all sorts of numbers circulating about the packaging of the bodies that we have no idea what they say like Lux (lx) and Lumen (lm) while all our lives have been talking to us in Boats. So let's get things in order.


First we are completely disconnected from the term watt which has nothing to do with power supply and not lighting. We will start to get used to the right lighting terms: Lux or Lumen.


Lighting intensity is measured in a lighting unit called a LX. One lux is actually equal to 1 lumen (lumen = luminous flux) per square meter. That is, how much light flux the bulb will produce per square meter of space. This figure is indicated on the packaging of the lighting fixtures.


There are accepted data in lighting design that define the amount of lux that is recommended to be provided for different spaces. For example, for the kitchen it is recommended to design 500 lux (500 lumens per square meter). If the bulb is indicated in a package that is 500 lumens, it will illuminate (from a standard height) 1 square meter of kitchen in an ideal way. For a bedroom is asked to design 150-300 lux. If women one bulb with a power of 300 lumens it will illuminate 1 square meter of bedroom well.


Of course we need to design for spaces larger than 1 square meter and the calculation doubles itself. A kitchen with an area of 10 square meters will need a light fixture that will provide 5000 lumens (according to the 500 lux accepted for double kitchen lighting 10 square meters). Do not plan a single fixture that provides 5000 lumens in the house for the simple reason that it is very difficult to find one and it is too strong and therefore split into several lighting fixtures in different locations as long as we get about 500 lux per square meter. For a living room we will need a 3000 lumen bulb to illuminate a living room optimally.


Important Note: The above data is about strong lighting that does not provide atmosphere but optimal and maximum conditions for orientation and work in spaces of this type. At home.


2. Types of lighting

There are several types of lighting fixtures that are characterized by the way they distribute their light. We will focus on the main ones


Direct lighting

Direct lighting provides strong and efficient lighting and produces accentuated shadows. The light emanating from the bulb illuminates directly on the designated areas. Examples of direct lighting are ceiling-mounted LED and fluorescent fixtures or incandescent bulbs.


Indirect lighting

Indirect lighting provides a reflection of light into the space. The bulb illuminates but the light hits some surface, creating an indirect reflection of light into the space. The resulting lighting is softer ambient lighting with very subtle shadows if any. An example of direct lighting are appliance lighting fixtures. The light comes out of a recessed lamp in the body, radiates to the ceiling and the soft light returns to space.


Atmospheric lighting

Delicate lighting whose function is to provide a pleasant atmosphere to the space.

Spot lighting - focused lighting

Lighting derived from spot lighting. The variety of spots is huge and includes spots for different uses. Using the spots, it is possible to spot-illuminate areas that we want to illuminate, strengthen areas that do not receive enough lighting, or serve as central lighting through the planned scattering of the spots in space.


Types of spots:


Exterior spot - installed on a single base or on a ceiling-mounted or suspended busbar. A ceiling feeder should be designed for it. In the case of a spot with a single base, a separate feed must be planned for each such base. If it is a spot for an accrual line, a point for the accrual line must be planned at one of the ends of the line.


Recessed spot - a spot that can be invested in plaster or the concrete ceiling during the casting phase. If it is a concrete ceiling, feed and plan a concrete box for each spot in the ceiling before casting. If it is gypsum, one feed is enough for several spots (depending on the amount of ignitions you want - each ignition has its own feed).


Please note: Each spot comes with a bulb with lighting, power and beam angle characteristics. Some spots can come with bulbs of choice in terms of hue, intensity and beam angle.


3. Light scattering


Each luminaire has beam angles. There are lighting fixtures with wide lighting angles that scatter light to a large area such as LED strips and in contrast there are focused spots with narrow angles suitable to illuminate in a spot and create interest in certain objects such as furniture, decorative elements, etc.


Regarding spots: You can get spots with wide, medium and narrow beams. Spots with wide beams are used for washing and illuminating a wide area in a soft way, while narrow beams emphasize more strongly and create very bright areas next to dark areas. In apartments and houses it is common to use medium and wide angles for greater coverage and for illumination with a minimum of spots (a load of spots produces an unclean appearance and at low ceilings one should calm down with it). If you want to emphasize an image / item or create an extra atmosphere, add spots with a narrow beam. In stores the situation is different and the beams become narrower and therefore more users use spots whose job it is to emphasize the products being sold.

The higher the ceiling - it is advisable to use a more focused spot, ie with a narrow beam, because the wide beams will disperse and weaken even before you reach the area you intended to illuminate.  


4. Light hue

Light hue or more accurately the temperature of light is measured in units called Kelvin (K). A recommended shade for apartments and houses is the warm white which is set between 2700 and 3000 Kelvin while the 2700 is warmer and reminiscent of a shade of incandescent bulbs while the 3000 is slightly more neutral. For offices and work spaces such as kitchens, colder lighting is recommended, such as the natural white defined in the 4000K area. There are also colder shades but they are for use in factories, labs and the like.


Note that the warmer the light temperature, the weaker the light intensity, even if the amount of lumen is equal. That's why work lights like kitchens or makeup use cooler shades.


In conclusion

Designing lighting in the home space can be very simple if one understands the principle. There's a lot of physics here but these are things we know from everyday and it's pretty simple to understand.



In terms of design


It is advisable to take care of a number of lighting sources with the number of lights and take into account both the matter of orientation and work or stay in space and also the matter of atmosphere and design. If you have some interesting material that you have covered on the wall and you want to emphasize its texture and texture you need to design a light source focused on it. The same goes for furniture or other points of interest in the house. Combine diffused lighting with focused spots. Diffuse lighting will give you general light and spots will strengthen and emphasize materials and points of interest. daylight mainly for work areas like the kitchen or home office).  

Note that in order not to get a ceiling laden with fixtures, you must divide the amount of fixtures in different areas - ceiling, walls, standing lighting, recessed lighting, hidden lighting, etc ..  

Another recommendation that is indirectly related is to make an American putty knife in the space (in order to get a wall smooth from bumps and defects). This way the light is scattered smoothly on the wall otherwise those bumps protrude. If you can not make such a finish for walls, it is preferable to use more focused lighting on the work areas so that the walls receive less direct light that produces shadows and thus highlights bumps.


The above text is an opinion and a personal review from the studio's experience. All rights to the text and images on the site, including this page, are reserved to "Yaniv Solomon Interior Design". All or parts of it may not be quoted or published without permission. And for each space different data and the responsibility for the execution independently without personal intention is on the operation only.  

bottom of page