Lighting Design for the Interiors and Exteriors of a Structure

Guide to Lighting Design for Interiors and Exteriors

Lighting is one of the major and important aspects of interior design exterior design as well. Aesthetics and Functionality need to go hand in hand when it comes to interior lighting techniques. Lighting design from space to space. For example, Lighting design for a museum cannot be similar to the lighting design for a residence. It changes with the purpose, its functionality, its design, area and Volume of the perceived space. These are some of the basic lighting design factors that one should consider while analyzing and designing. In this article, we will discuss in brief some of the important factors of Lighting design to be considered before deciding on the selection of a particular type of lighting technique.


Lighting effect | Dining Area
Lighting effect | Dining Area

Factors that influence Design

  1. Function of the space
  2. Dimensions and details
  3. Furnishings and layouts
  4. Style
  5. Aesthetic
  6. Décor
  7. Lighting budget

Function of the space

Function of the space is one of the most important factor to be considered and studied before designing the lighting for a particular space. The lighting technique used for a particular space helps in illuminating the required spaces for a specific task or to create a specific ambience.

Lighting for specific Task

Ambient Lighting or general lighting for general illumination

Dimensions and details of the space

Scale of the space

Like I mentioned earlier, area and volume of the space is highly responsible for deciding on the required intensity of lighting and type and number of luminaries to be used for the purpose.

Floor plans

An Architect or a designer considers the functionality aspects while designing the floor plans. A lighting designer or engineer considers the planning and functionality aspect to design a specific space to achieve adequate and functional lighting as well as ambient lighting to enhance the aesthetics of the space.

Position of windows and doors

Cross-section views

Ambient Lighting Effect
Ambient Lighting Effect

Furnishing and layout

Space furnished in both working and non-working areas

The furniture such as:

  • Desks
  • General furniture
  • Workstations

The type and design of furniture is also considered while designing the functional and ambient lighting for the space.

Style and aesthetics

  • Screening
  • Style
  • Design
  • Colour
  • General type of architecture of the place
  • Image he wants to create for the client


  • How the fixtures will influence the place (Decor of the place determines the style and appearance of the space. Use of classical, modern style luminaries enhances the aesthetics of the place). The interior architectural style is made aesthetically pleasing by blending the lighting design with the architectural design of the space.
  • Depending on horizontal and vertical illuminance values and luminance ratios, we can arrive at a number of luminaries required to illuminate the place/space. In such places, reflectance values will play an important role. Reflectance values of a luminaire should be studied carefully. This will help in avoiding glare and maintain comfort levels.

Lighting Budget

The lighting budget is different for different types of structures. Depending on the type of functionality, its size and shape.

For example:

Lighting budget for a hotel cannot be same as the lighting budget for a residence. Determining the lighting budget is very important before starting on the work of lighting design. The client should be clear with his budget for lighting design and the lighting engineer or consultant should be able to give the client the list of luminaires that are going to be used to achieve the desired effect. Lighting designer should be well equipped with good ideas to enlighten the space beautifully in the offered budget by the client.

  • Clear choice between primary lighting and secondary lighting.



2 thoughts on “Lighting Design for the Interiors and Exteriors of a Structure”

  1. Great post however Iwas wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.


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