Lighting Design Questions (FAQ)

Q: I am interested in using Cliffs design services. At what point in the job should I contact him?
Immediately! You should begin working with a lighting designer as soon you begin the planning stages of your lighting design. A lighting specialist will be able to offer valuable ideas that may be incorporated into the structural design of your home.

By having the lighting design included in your plans, you will be able to obtain more accurate bids. Although many homes have been successfully lit while in the framing and even wiring stages, the designer may be limited by time, structure or budget in the later phases of the project.
Q: How do I know if the lighting designer I contact will do a satisfactory job?
Professional design of any kind is extremely dependent upon personal taste. A design done for one person may not appeal to another.

Ask questions: What types of lighting projects have you done? What do I stand to gain from using your design? Will you work within my budget? Will you be around the job to assist the electrician, if need be? Will you meet with my interior decorator to coordinate my decor with my lighting? Will you be around to make adjustments if your lighting design leaves dark spots in my home?

It is your money and your home. You have the right to ask questions of anyone you consider hiring. Watch out for any designer who has all the right answers already without taking your needs and desires into consideration. In these cases, likely as not, your house will turn out just like the last one he/she designed, not the way you intended it.

Above all, you must be able to communicate with this person. Be sure your lighting designer can explain his/her ideas in terms you can understand.
Q: What technical lighting design aspects should I be aware of?
Thanks to modern technology, we have a vast array of lighting choices open to us which may make the project seem confusing. Don't become overwhelmed. This is why you hired a designer.

Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • A responsible designer will discuss your options with you, including pros and cons.
  • Natural light should be utilized whenever possible. Discuss energy-saving designs and ask for examples of the cost payback.
  • Ask about controls for the lights. Will the locations be convenient? Do they require unconventional wiring?
  • Obtain a good understanding of the difference between task and accent lighting.
  • One aspect of importance is the future flexibility of your lighting design, especially when accenting displays of items that are subject to rearrangement.

Q: How much does lighting design cost?
Lighting design costs vary. Some retail designers will include a lighting design consultation at no additional cost if you buy the lighting fixtures from them. However, this limits your design to the lines they carry.

Like all professional designers, lighting designers will charge differently. Their rates vary, depending on the size, detail, time involved and the services provided. Be sure to find out the total costs before starting a project.
Q: What general lighting design advice would you offer?
Look around, start noticing the methods used in lighting effects around you the mall is a good place for examples of both good and bad lighting. When you sit down with your designer, you will be able to discuss what you like.

Remember that even the best of lighting designs will not turn out as planned if your electrician cannot understand the desired effect of the lights or doesn't get the installation right. This is why it is important, especially on larger jobs, to hire a lighting designer who will meet with your electrician to clarify and confirm fixture locations.

It is equally important that your electrician be quality conscious, knowledgeable, flexible and willing to work with your designer.

The lighting design plan you end up with should be functional. All the extravagant bells and whistles won't be worth a thing if you can't operate it easily. A sound lighting design is an investment that will pay off in happiness, satisfaction and convenience from the first time you flip on your light switch.
With more questions, please, contact me using details from my Contact page.