The growing recognition of Lighting Designers

August, 2013

I've been noticing over the last 12 months the increase in understanding of what lighting designers actually do. Many people see light's only purpose as filling darkness. With this belief, it's no wonder that my profession has been misunderstood for many years. What we do is bring a space to life by the use of light. It's all about creating the right mood and atmosphere.

Many people began to understand this from my work on Knox Church in Christchurch after the 2011 Earthquake. During the day, the church looked as if a bomb had hit it. The walls had been destroyed and it was nothing more than a skeleton of its original self. However at night, it was a beautiful sight for the city.

The lighting design I used focused on the architecture of the ceiling. The light temperature created a warm feeling that made people stop in their cars to admire the amazing architecture of the ceiling. If I had just tried to fill the darkness, the Church would have looked no different than it did during the day.

By working out what areas of a space need to be the focus and using the right colour temperature, light can transform an area and the mood of the people within it. This principle works for all lighting projects.

It's what I used for Christchurch clients who were rebuilding their houses after the earthquakes. Many of these people were amazed how lighting could transform their rooms and create the different moods they wanted for each area of the house. The same principles I hope will be used when designing the lighting for the new Christchurch CBD.

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Lighting Council New Zealand
Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand Green Building Council
Standards New Zealand
Association of Lighting Designers
Pure Advantage - Green Growth for Greater Wealth
New Zealand Retail Interior Association
Canterbury Employers´ Chamber of Commerce