Great Spaces are Defined by Proper Architectural Lighting

Light is simply “visual radiation”. It comes from energy or electromagnetic waves that stimulate the photoreceptors in our eyes. To achieve great permanent architectural lighting, your interior designers at Jeff Sheats Designs are trained to practice the science of lighting, while using our past experiences and talents to apply great artistic vision as well.

It all begins with an understanding of human vision, and applying this knowledge to help the human user of the space see effectively and comfortably. People must be able to see their tasks well in workspaces like a kitchen or home office, and enjoy typical living situations like movement through a space, cooking, reading a magazine or playing board games with the family.

As professional interior designers, we consider many scientific aspects when formulating a great lighting plan for your spaces. We inventory your existing conditions, including measuring the volume of the space, note the spatial forms like curves or long narrow rooms and look at how the space will be used. We consider the visual tasks that will take place in the room, the occupant’s ages, furnishings, surface finishes, existing lighting, your feedback and we make our own impressions. Your designers at Jeff Sheats Designs continue the scientific analysis of spaces by considering the quality of daytime versus night lighting, the reflective values of surfaces, foot candle luminance limits (how much light on a plane of space is needed to complete a task), local/state/national building codes, and perform specific lighting calculations to determine proper quantity of lighting. We consider the type of bulb (lamp), the luminaire (fixture) itself and the controls which will be used for the lighting as well. Correct lighting is a huge science into itself.

The artistic side of lighting includes the final fixture locations and specifications – the aesthetics, the feeling the fixtures evoke, the finish and the function. Deciding upon which precise luminaires will be controlled by a dimmer or on a circuit together can certainly add to the artistic feeling of a space.

For the high quality homeowner, we address three major aspects of lighting: Ambient, Accent and Task. Ambient lighting is most easily defined as “path lighting” to light your path as you move about a space. Accent lighting is just that – lighting that accents certain features of a space such as lighting on a piece of artwork or lighting that washes some special built-in cabinetry to “show it off”. Task lighting creates light on a work plane so the user may finish a specific task at hand, such as proper lighting on a desk to do paperwork without eye strain, or under cabinet lighting in a kitchen to promote perfect vision while prepping and cooking food for the family.

The creative staff at Jeff Sheats Designs takes great pride in our ability to create detailed construction documentation for proper lighting implementation by the builder or remodeler. Great lighting documentation includes detailed drawings of the spaces with existing and new lighting plans. We always specify to reuse wiring wherever practical. Good drawings include industry standard symbology, a legend of symbols on the drawings and a schedule of materials with precise locations, exact fixture makes and model numbers, lamp types and dimmers or switches. This information is all vital to a great installation. Our interior design firm does not only specify your lighting plans and materials, but we prefer to supply all materials and oversee the installation by a Master Certified Electrician to achieve premium results. This way the designer’s vision becomes reality without substitutions or change orders.

Let us not forget a great lighting plan also always includes portable lighting such as lovely table, desk or floor lamps. Portable lighting can be greatly enhanced by specifying floor receptacles so the fixtures float in the room instead of dangerously running cords across path spaces. Portable lighting can also be specified to operate from switched receptacles so dimmers are used to control these fixtures and add drama to the room. Great spaces are truly defined by proper architectural lighting!

Our best kept designer lighting secret: We always space plan furniture, artwork and built-ins first, and then create the lighting plan accordingly. This will achieve the very best architectural lighting plans if you allow your interior designers to follow this path.

Please feel free to contact us via telephone at (317) 357-0155 with any questions about this material or to request more information about our services. Visit the It’s YouTM section on our website at to learn more about the Jeff Sheats Designs, Inc. interior design process. We are your partners in interior design.