Fairchild Books Interior Design Library - Featured Content

Featured Content


Paris, known as the City of Light, evokes excitement, a soft glow from a café can make one feel at home. Light that can be exciting, mysterious, magical, or comforting. Lighting is also an integral part of the designed interior. Designers who understand the different attributes and applications of lighting have the ability to transform interiors while also enhancing the health and wellbeing of their users.

Our Featured Content illuminates the role of various types of lighting and their applications in order to optimize space, human wellbeing, safety, and sustainability.

Photo of Boulevard Haussmann at night, in Paris.
Image credit: Frédéric Rodriguez via Getty Images

The Science and Art of Lighting

Designers must consider both natural and electric sources of light when they plan a quality lighting environment because lighting affects people’s health and welfare, and bad lighting can hinder even the best interior design.

The global emphasis on human-centred design (HCD), healthy buildings, and green design has prompted designers to create quality lighting that enhances human health, wellbeing, and performance while maximizing daylight and specifying energy-efficient lighting systems.

This chapter from Fundamentals of Lighting provides an introduction to the science and art of lighting and the fundamentals of how to use light to create good design, as well as how the scientific properties of light can create artistic results.

Bedroom with handmade design elements
Image credit: Oleg Breslavtsev via Getty Images

Lighting the home space

Ambient lighting, task lighting, and decorative lighting are frequently combined in a space, and their purposes may overlap as required by the time of day or the uses of the room. Careful selection, placement, and control of lighting can create an internal environment that is functional, aesthetically pleasing and cost effective.

This chapter from Knowing Your Home Furnishings will enlighten students as to how different types of lighting can be applied in the home space and includes a breakdown with recommendations for lighting in specific rooms and factors to consider in the selection of lamps to balance aesthetics and function.

3d illustration of a kitchen
Image credit: Marc Osborne via Getty Images

Drawing up plans for lighting a space

Electrical and lighting plans are used to show the locations for electrical outlets, switches, phone lines and locations for lighting fixtures. A lighting plan is often created from a reflected ceiling plan (RCP) which includes the placement of all fixtures on the ceiling.

This handy chapter from Hand Drafting for Interior Design will shine a light on how to create reflected ceiling and electrical plans through examples and an outline of the symbols used to represent different types of fixtures, switches, and elements which are commonly found.

Photo of The Enterprise Centre UEA, in Norwich, United Kingdom
Dennis Gilbert via Getty Images

Sustainable lighting solutions

Lighting accounts for the single largest percentage of energy use in buildings. The most potent impact an interior designer can have on the energy efficiency and the ultimate sustainability of a building is through good lighting design. As such, it is critical to understand issues of sustainability as they relate to lighting design and fixture or lamp selection.

This essential chapter from Sustainable Building Systems and Construction for Designers supports interior designers looking to gain a working knowledge of electricity and how it gets distributed through a building. Highlights include how to determine the energy efficiency of a light source, the effectiveness of the fixture in putting light where light is needed, and sustainable lighting design principles which inform more sustainable lighting solutions.

Images above and on the homepage are courtesy of Getty Images.

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