How to Hire a Lighting Designer

How to Hire a Lighting Designer

Creativity, experience and professionalism are essential

By Sabah Karimi

Modern Home in the Evening
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A professional lighting designer will bring your unique ideas to life using the appropriate blend of tools and techniques. When designing and planning the decor of your home or office space, you may need particular lighting fixtures that complement the theme and style of the area and also create the feeling of more space. Lighting designers are qualified to create a customized lighting plan using technical and creative expertise for your home remodeling, building or decorating project.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Daylighting is the practice of using windows and other reflective surfaces to provide sufficient internal lighting using natural sources.
  • Lighting designers should work with remodelers, architects or builders for maximum value to the project.
Hiring a lighting designer

Step 1:

Turn to architectural firms and reputable interior designers for a referral. These industry professionals typically work with lighting designers on various projects on a regular basis and can help you get started on your search.

Step 2:

Find out how many years of experience the lighting designer has. A lighting specialist with several years of experience working in different settings may have more advanced creative skills and technical experience to handle your lighting project. Contact the Better Business Bureau to find out how many years the designer has been in business.

Step 3:

Select three to four lighting designers for a consultation. Set up an onsite appointment with each designer so that she can take a close look at the space and offer some recommendations on fixtures and design options. At this stage, a designer will document all existing lighting fixtures, establish your lighting criteria and take all aesthetic components of the room into account.

Step 4:

Find out if the lighting designer is a member of a trade association. Members of organizations such as the International Association of Lighting Designers must perform work that meets certain standards and have the skills and expertise that meets high standards in the lighting design profession.

Step 5:

Request and contact at least two to three references from satisfied clients to find out what types of projects the lighting designer has previously worked on. You should also ask to see the designer's portfolio of past projects.

Step 6:

Look at a catalog of lighting fixtures and design options. Reputable lighting designers will be able to show you a selection of fixtures and accessories that would be a good match for your project. Take time to review different themes, styles and products so that the lighting designer can put together a cost sheet. Look at pictures of projects that the lighting designer has completed to gauge his level of creativity and skill.

Step 7:

Indicate how much you are willing to pay for design and installation services so that the lighting designer can create a realistic bid for your lighting project.

Step 8:

Request a project proposal. Ask each of the lighting designers who completed the consultation to submit a bid for the project. This should include a cost breakdown of all products, supplies, electrical work and the estimate time of completion.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • When purchasing new lighting fixtures, ask about warranty information and what options you have for maintenance.
  • Be aware of all shipping costs associated with products and accessories recommended by the lighting designer.
  • If you are creating an eco-friendly living environment, consider asking about energy-efficient lighting options.

About the Author

Sabah Karimi is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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