Interior Design: Lighting | Enhance Comfort and Home Décor with the Power of Light | Arch Ba Saba | Skillshare

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Interior Design: Lighting | Enhance Comfort and Home Décor with the Power of Light

teacher avatar Arch Ba Saba, Interior designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Introduction to Natural Light

    • 3. Natural Light Features

    • 4. About You!

    • 5. Artificial Light (About Light Bulbs)

    • 6. Light Properties

    • 7. Light Fixtures

    • 8. How to Light a Room (Function and Three Layers)

    • 9. Test

    • 10. Layers and Light Properties

    • 11. Location of Light

    • 12. How to Choose Light Fixtures (Style and Size)

    • 13. About Different Functions of Rooms

    • 14. Let's Light up this Room Together

    • 15. Project and Last Words

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About This Class

Have you ever thought anything that you design, anything you create, anything you can see is nothing without light?

In this class, we want to talk about one of the most important and most overlooked mediums that we can work with, in our interiors, the light. It has power beyond our imagination to transform scale, color, mood, and vibe in a space. Light can affect our subconscious in a way that no other medium can. It affects our sleep patterns, alertness, health, and working hours. It reveals colors, textures, and dimensions. It tells us where to look, where to go, how active we should be, work or rest?

In contrast, a poor-lit environment can cause insomnia, stress, and even obesity. It is really about both the quality of life and aesthetics.

So, if you are into interior design and want to show your ideas, designs, forms, colors, textures, and patterns better if you want to live in a healthier environment for your mental and physical wellbeing, don’t forget lighting. Join me in this class to learn the art and science behind lighting our interiors in a beautiful and correct way.

  • We will discuss these topics:
  • our connection with natural light,
  • natural light features,
  • artificial lights,
  • properties of light,
  • different kinds of light bulbs,
  • layers of lighting,
  • light fixtures (style, size and location),
  • tips for different types of room,
  • tips for different functions,
  • fun exercises.

This class is provided for interior designers, architects, students, interior design enthusiasts, and people who want appropriate lighting in their spaces and want to be familiar with the alphabet of lighting.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Arch Ba Saba

Interior designer


Hi guys! I’m Saba. I am an interior lover and designer.

Since I also studied architecture engineering, I learnt many of 3D and visual softwares like sketch-up, 3Ds max, Rhino, Archi-CAD, Auto-CAD, V-ray, Adobe Photoshop and Lumion. and, I‘ve been teaching my knowledge in this area for a while. And now, I’m so excited to share it online with you too! (ofcourse with helps of my friends in video and sound editing)

So, If you are a person who loves to learn:

Interior design rules, How to style details in home, How to design your room better, Learn how to work with simple 3D softwares and design with them,

Please join me, follow my Skillshare account and check out my videos! I really look forward to seeing your beautiful projects... See full profile

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1. Trailer: Do not underestimate the power of light. Hi, welcome to this class about lighting in interior design. I am Saba architect and interior designer. And I finally found the courage to come in front of the camera and speak for my classes myself. And maybe I made a little drama. By the way, in this class, we are going to talk about one of the most important mediums that we designers, can work with in our interiors, the light. Yes, I know, I say important for all of them, for colors, textures, patterns. They are all important, but lights, we hear much less about it. And its powers and abilities are so overlooked. I mean, light, does a lot. First of all, vision is the product of light. Architecture or any other design is nothing without light. Light has the power to affect our subconscious in a way that no other medium can. It affects our alertness, our health, our sleeping patterns, our working hours. It reveals colors, textures and dimensions. With lights and shadows. we can understand the depth. Also, like colors, it can change our mood. It tells us where to go, where to look, how active we should be, should we work? or rest? In contrast, a poor lit environment can cause insomnia, stress, or even obesity. I mean, it's really about the quality of life. I read somewhere. If you want to change the mood of a space, change the lighting. If you want to change the scale of the space. Change the lighting. If you want to change the color of the space, again, change the lighting. So, light is so strong, but sometimes it may seem a little uncontrollable or hard to work with or complicated, but that's not true. It can be controlled more than you may think. So, in this class, we will learn the art and science behind lighting interiors in a beautiful and correct way for our physical and mental health. We will Discuss these topics: Our connection with natural light. Natural light features, Artificial lights, properties of light, different kinds of light bulbs. Light fixtures, Their style and size. Location. Some tips for different types of room. And of course, there are some fast and easy exercises for your deep understanding. This class is provided for people who are interested in interior design. People who want a suitable lighting in their spaces and wants to be familiar with the alphabet of lighting. So without further ado, let's begin the first lecture. 2. Introduction to Natural Light: Nowadays, in a 21st century, it's entirely normal to have electricity and artificial light anywhere every time. But have you ever thought that this incandescent lamps were invented about only 100 years ago. A 100 years is shorter than 0.002% of the human evolution. It's hard to imagine, but our ancestors had evolved thousands of millennia with the most available light then, the sun. It's so easy to live and adapt to artificial lights now. But the truth is, our bodies and brains are equipped for living with natural light. So, if we can imitate the natural light in our interiors, we can create environments that feel comfortable and good for our physical and mental health. As humans. We just love light. It's inside us. Imagine yourself in this dark cave 2 thousand years ago. What would you do? I bet you would drift toward the brightness. This thing inside us is called phototropism. It's instinctual and it's different from tastes, trends, and favor. So before anything, I believe we should know the qualities of natural light. and by that, I mean daylight. I'm sure you know it all already, we just want to review them in the following lecture quickly. 3. Natural Light Features: As you may remember from school, light is a kind of electromagnetic wave. All light, including artificial and natural lights have some basic properties like intensity, color, and texture. In order to understand lights, you should pay attention to these properties. But now let's quickly review natural light and its features. Sunlight intensity. How bright or dark is the Sun? Well, it depends. The sun is never fixed in one place in the sky. It's always changing its position due to the axial tilt of the Earth and orbiting around the sun and itself. So we have days and nights and seasonal changes which create millions of different sun light positions and intensities. For example, a sunny day can be ten times or more brighter than a cloudy day. Obviously, at sunset. and sunrise sky is much darker than sunny noon. I'm sure at least once you have noticed the impact of sky brightness, whether it's cloudy or sunny or sunrise or sunset or winter or summer on your mood and feeling. So, we absolutely should consider different intensities of light in our interiors for our proper vision and mood. sunlight direction and texture. At first, you may think there is only one sun and all lights are coming from that. But the truth is light come to us from several ways. Most lights come from the sun directly. Some are diffused by clouds and they cast soft shadows on the Earth. In addition, all particles in the air scatter light in different directions. Earth's surface reflects sunlight toward us as well. All these lights from different directions are the reason why all photographs in the natural light seem, so beautiful. So in interiors, we should remember to have light from different directions, in layers. sometimes you need diffused light and sometimes direct light. Sunlight color. As you know, the sunlight in space is originally cool white before entering the atmosphere. It contains all the visible light spectrum. But once sunlight approaches the Earth, it's scattered by tiny particles like gas and dust in the upper atmosphere. This process scatters blue light most strongly. So lots of the sun's blue light is scattered in the atmosphere. And as a result, the direct sunlight that reaches the surface of the Earth is much warmer and the sky seems blue. The combination of blue sky and warm color of sunlight again, is approximately white. At sunset. light turns to warmer colors again, because of the scattering most of its cool light in a longer distance of atmosphere. Generally, there is a large fluctuation in the color of natural light that really affects our mood. So in interiors, we should consider light colors as well. CRI. In sunlight, we can see objects in their true color. But unfortunately, some light bulbs that don't include all colors of white light, change the color of objects. We will get to it later. So now we have learned natural light comes in a range of colors and intensities at different times of the day. Also, lights are layered as they reach us from different directions. Sometimes they come directly from the sky and sometimes they're diffused by clouds. So in interiors, you should have all range of intensities and colors in a functional and flexible way. Also, we need a combination of direct light and diffused light from different directions due to our mood and function of the space. So it's so wrong and weird to illuminate a room with just one light source in the middle of room on the ceiling. It's so weird please do not do that. 4. About You!: Now let's practice something. I want to ask you to pay attention to different daylights and skies at different times of day and year. Try to understand when. And where the sun comes up in the mornings in winters and summers, when and where it goes down at sunset. There are many calculations that architects use understand these things for designing optimized buildings. But, I want you to see yourself and try to understand the effect of different conditions of the sky on your mood, the feeling they evoke in you. Do you prefer to work on sunny days or go with your friends or relax? Do rainy days make you energetic, sleepy, or romantic? Please write your answers and share them with me. Because we are all different. We are from different climates with different experiences in our lives. Let me tell you a story. I'm from a temperate and humid climate. most of the days in my hometown are cloudy and there are plenty of heavy continuous rainfalls. So I don't like rain so much. But my roommates, back in university was from hot and arid climate. Most of the days in her hometown. were sunny. So one day she woke me up at 04:00 AM to show me the beautiful, poetic, romantic, cloudy, rainy day. I was like what? Why? It was so funny!!! Because we had different preferences in lighting too. So you really should understand yourself and design your home, particularly for yourself. In this picture with an over cast sky, all lights are diffused, there is no direct sunlight. The light color is cool, white, the intensity is low. Most people find this sky depressing. So we should avoid this kind of lighting in our interiors too. Now, let's go to the next lecture to see how we can exactly imitate features of natural lights, with artificial lights. 5. Artificial Light (About Light Bulbs): Now that you've thought about your preferences and your connection, with natural lights, we can talk about light bulbs and light sources properties. After that, we can easily design lighting for any room with our knowledge and tools. So let's talk about light bulbs. Now, there are three main types of light bulbs or lamps. Incandescent or filament lamps. These lamps are around about 100 years. They produce visible lights by heating a material, usually a thin metal filament. Incandescent materials produce mostly heat. As they get hotter and hotter, they begin to produce red light, and then all other colors in the spectrum. It's light like the sun and fire shows color perfectly and its color is pleasingly warm. But it's not efficient because it produces a lot of heat, which is waste. So they are cheap, hot, so inefficient, warm color, and they're usually emit soft and diffused light with such a great color. rendering. discharge light sources, these lamps are around about 20 years, discharge light sources produce light by creating an electrical discharge through a gas. Different gases create different colors of light. They include fluorescent lamps in compact and tubular forms. They do not produce heat and they are way efficient than incandescent lamps. They are usually seven times or more efficient than incandescent lamps. New fluorescent lamps now are in the range of colors from warm to cool, medium to good color rendering, but at different prices. Generally, they cost moderate, they are efficient. The light is often diffused and very suitable for classrooms and work offices. Leds. Leds are the newest and the most efficient lamps now that come in all different shapes, colors, color rendering, which is just amazing. I should say one of my favorites is LED stripes because they fit anywhere easily. Leds are quite expensive, but they're usually eight to ten times more efficient than incandescent lamps. All these lamps have features that we can find on their boxes. To make the most of lighting, we should know what we can control about light. So let's learn light properties and their effects on us in the following lecture. 6. Light Properties: Intensity. The intensity of light is the amount of light that a light source produces. Is the light dim or bright. Lower light levels make us feel relaxed and intimate. It's excellent for personal spaces and lingering. High levels of lights are more active, kinetic, public, and give the feelings of sterileness. You can understand the amount of light output of a lamp by looking at its lumens. Lumen is the SI unit of luminous flux. The higher lumens mean the brighter light source. For example, one birthday candle can produce about 12 lumens. You learn the easy way of calculation of lumens in how to light a room. Lecture. Color, temperature. All lights have a particular color, which we call temperature. Light color can be cool or warm, neutral, saturated, or vivid. Depending on personal conditions, culture, and experiences, they can affect us differently. Warm colors like yellows and reds make us relax and calm. However, cool colors make us more active and increase our alertness. Color temperature ranges from 1800 to 6 thousand Kelvins. 2500 Kelvin is warm, 3000 Kelvin is neutral, and 4100 kelvins is cool. The color rendering index, or CRI, is expressed as a number from 0 to 100. 100 means the light source renders, all colors accurately. 70 CRI is not bad, It's okay. But try to use above 70 CRIs in your interiors or places that true colors matter, like spaces for makeup, painting or other tasks depending on colors. Light texture, and beam angle. In this property, we are talking about how light is delivered to us. One end of the spectrum is diffused soft and even light, and another end is harsh, directional and focused light. Shadows produced by these two types of light textures are so different. One is edgy and well-defined. Another one has soft and ill-defined edges. Diffuse lights create calming and intimate environments that we want to stay a long time. They are great for render people as it hides textural imperfections, diffused like sources also work well for task lighting because they don't cast dark shadows and contrast on our working area. If all the light sources are diffused in one room, if can become boring, lifeless and doll for our eyes. Directional lights create active and productive spaces, It generates contrast and reveals the texture. It's amazing for decorating, lighting and illuminating the objects like pictures and sculptures. It highlights metals and reflective pieces and gives us visual interest. Lots of contrast created by directional light sources can make us uncomfortable. for a long time. we can understand light bulb texture from the light beam angle. Sometimes it's shown on such diagrams and sometimes it's addressed as an angle. On the box, as I said different light angles are suitable for different moods and functions. Some are wide and some are narrow and directional. Also, keep in mind, light fixtures like this can change the texture of lights and make it more diffused. 7. Light Fixtures: Light fixtures can be divided into five categories. The first group consists of recessed lamps and track lighting. They can be spotlights or flood lights. Their direction can be upward, downward, or any other direction. The second category includes floor lamps, desk lamps and table lamps, chandelier, pendants, flush and semi flush mounts are in the third group. Sconces can be in the fourth group. And last but not least, there are cove and slot lightings. Now, I just named them for you. we will discuss their style, size, and properties more after learning three layers of light. 8. How to Light a Room (Function and Three Layers): So after all these technical information, Finally, how to design a better lighting for our homes, which is comfortable, flexible, efficient and functional. The key factor in lighting your home is the function. of the room, if the function is living room, what do you want to do in any spot of that living room? Do you want to relax, read books, having some friends over? Is this room At the same time, your home office too? the second issue you want to think about is, what mood do you want to create in that space? Once you have decided about the mood, function and how you want to arrange your furniture. you can start lighting your space with three main layers of lighting. we use Layers of lighting because of our deep and old connection with natural light. Generally, we have three layers. od lighting in our homes, ambient light, task light and accent light. I start with ambient. This is our general light. We use it for finding our way or cleaning the room. During their day, we can use daylight as our ambient light, as it's free and has good qualities. In lighting design with layers, we don't need to fill the room with a lot of light. One little candlelight doesn't change anything under a lot of light like sunlight. But in a dark room in the nighttime, it changes everything. So ambient light doesn't have to be too powerful. Ambient lights can be provided with all light fixtures like chandelier. recessed lights and cove lighting, anything. Next, there is the task light. we apply this one to task areas. To be functional. we can use it for reading the book, working, knitting, make-up, shaving, cooking, or any other hobby you have. As you know, we can't light the air. We should light surfaces of our space. And sometimes in case of bathroom mirror, we should light ourselves. Desk lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, or pendants in proper height, are good choice for task lighting. Four bedrooms also consider wall lamps. And the last one accent lighting, accent lighting is used for accent Objects like pictures and artworks or revealing architectural elements like these pictures. Spotlights are great for accenting objects and cove lighting can really show off architectural features. 9. Test: Now, before going into much detail about intensity, color, temperature, and light texture, please stop the video for a few seconds and try to find out the three layers of lights in these four interiors. It really helps us to understand the lighting more deeply. The answers will appear on the screen for each photograph after 15 seconds. Okay. Thanks. 10. Layers and Light Properties: Now let's check out what we can control in our three layers. First, consider intensity. For understanding if the light intensity is enough for your environment. You can refer to a standard lux guidelines. Lux is SI unit of light intensity? One lux is the amount of illumination. when one lumen is distributed evenly in one square meter. For example, for task lighting like reading, we need 300 lux on our reading surface. To understand deeply. You can imagine a dim romantic restaurant, it has 50 lux. A comfortable living room requires 100 lux. For larger spaces we can calculate the required lumens by multiplying the area of the room in the Lux number. For example, for the ambient light of a bedroom with width and depth of 3 and 4 meters, the area is 12 and 12 metres multiply by 100 lux is 1200 lumens. For directional lights. It's a bit different. We need to know the distance of the light source and our surface and also the angle between them. As a rule of thumb, you need task lights and accent lights two or three times brighter than your environment lights. Also to prevent glare, don't use any lights five times brighter than its environment. If you wonder if brightness is enough, or maybe wondering how many lux there is in every spot of your room, you can install a lux meter on your phones and it will show you the lux number. The accuracy of it depends on your phone hardware and light sensors and not phone cameras. If your space has a very tall ceiling, you definitely must use more lumens and keep in mind to use light sources in narrower angles like 30 to 50 degrees. Also in a room with dark colors like navy blue, again, we need higher levels of light intensity as dark surfaces reflect less light. Another decision you should make, about lighting is the color temperature. It really depends on your rooms color palette, and the mood do you want to create. for warm colors and reach materials like wood and warm stones. Use warm temperatures. However, for cool colors like blues and grays, It's better to use cool or neutral temperatures. In the case of light texture, if you want to reveal surfaces, texture like wood or stone, you can use directional sources. For accenting objects, directional sources are the best. But in the case of imperfect walls that we want to conceal their unsuitable texture and instead show it smooth and flawless. We can use diffused sources located at a far distance from the wall's surface. For a task lighting when we require soft lights and soft shadows. Diffused light is the best choice. To exactly mimic the natural light in your interior and have super flexible lighting. You can always add dimmers. 11. Location of Light: Different locations of light can really change our feelings and our perception of our surroundings. Light from the ceiling, to walls: instead of lights that come from the ceiling straightly down they are lights that come from the ceiling onto walls. These vertical lightings on the wall can expand the space and show the room larger. over using them can show the room chaotic and visually noisy. Light from the ground up ward. In nature, we don't have powerful up ward light. So upward lights in the room don't seem natural to our brain, but they can create beautiful drama. It also create the illusion of height and verticality. upward lights from the wall that can illuminate the ceiling can also evoke openness and volume. Lights from the slots or coves. These lights can positively enhance the geometry of the space. It beautifully imitate the light that we receive from daylight openings because of distributing beams of light evenly in all directions. It's very similar to natural light. 12. How to Choose Light Fixtures (Style and Size): Light fixtures and luminaires come in a wide range of sizes. and styles, it's really impossible to categorize them into a few styles and groups. But we try. But generally, if you prefer modern, contemporary and minimal style, choose luminaires with clean and simple lines and shapes with glasses and without any fabric shades. If you are into glam style, go for light fixture with mercurry Glass, crystals, reflective shiny metals to make a big beautiful statements. If you like traveling and enjoying different cultures and live in a colorful, beautiful Bohemians style home buy light fixtures with chains and swags, they can be made of natural materials like shells, bamboo, or wooden beads.. For industrial styles combination of black matte, metals and glass is perfect. For a modern farmhouse. a mixture of wood and metal is nice. In traditional spaces, you can use chandelier, with a lot of crystals and maybe fabric shades. Apart from the style, the proportion of the chandelier to your area is very crucial to make visual balance. To calculate the width of the chandelier, we can easily measure the width and the depth of the room. Then the length of the room plus the width of the room in feet is equal to the width of a chandelier in inches. For a living room with a width and depth of 15 and 17, the width of the chandelier will be about 32 inches. It means 80 to 85 centimeters. For calculating the height of the chandelier, multiply the height of the room in feet in number three. For an 8 feet ceiling we need a chandelier with a height of 24 inches or about 60 centimeters. Now that we know the height and width of the chandelier, we should think in which height we should hang it. for chandelier above tables or countertops. The chandelier buttom can be 32 to 34 inches, or about 80 centimeters above the table. For chandelier is in the middle of the room. The chandelier's bottom should be at least seven feet or 210 centimeters above the floor. If you have a short ceiling choose flush mounts or semi flush mounted to show your room taller. Taller. 13. About Different Functions of Rooms: Here are some additional tips for different spaces in your home. In bedrooms, please use warm lights. like sunset colors, because as you know by now, cool and blue lights keep you awake and alert. To mimic sunsets in your bedroom during sleeping hours, use light sources which are not only on the ceiling, but use floor and desk lamps or sconces on the level of our site. For creating a calming space consider, screens and lampshades for soft light and soft shadows in the bathroom you know already how to create a relaxing space. For task lightings like shaving and doing makeup. Please use soft lights at eye level with nice color rendering. To avoid unpleasant shadows and wrong colors, you can use wall sconces, pendants or backlit mirrors. Long corridors without any window. and bad lighting can be horrifying. we can compare it with our cave 2 thousand years ago. As a human who loves brightness, we don't want to be there. You just want to go toward the light, to see the sky and horizon. So it's really nice to light up the end of the corridor and add some lights to the ceiling to imitate the sky and decrease the stress level. And for task lighting in the kitchen, don't remember, considering under cabinets, soft lighting, it really helps while cooking. 14. Let's Light up this Room Together: Now, let's see what we can do to enhance my bedrooms, lighting, this is the plan. It's not a common shape for a bedroom, is it? Here is the door. In front of it There is my bed. And nightstand. here is a makeup table. Here are some storages for clothes and other stuff. Here is my desk and it's kind of my home office. And this is a door to the bathroom. When I moved in, I recognized the architect had considered a chandelier here for this area as the ambient lighting. There are four can recessed light sources here and here. These four lamps act as a task light for changing clothes and cleaning the closet. And this four lamps act as task lighting besides the bed. This one and this one are also recessed light and they are ambient light for these two additional areas of the room, the ambient light is enough and cozy everywhere. Also, the task lighting above my storage is very nice too. Plus this room has nice cove lighting above the bed. However, in this room, I saw three major problems. First, all the light switches are too far from the bed, right here. When I'm reading in my bed and then I want to fall asleep. It's really hard to walk there and turn the lights off. The second problem is all lights are coming from the ceiling, which is not a good point for a relaxing space like a bedroom. Remember? it doesn't mimic the sunlight. The Third problem is I don't have enough task light in front of my vanity table. Anyway, first, instead of changing the place of switches, which needed a lot of labor and hard work. I added a desk lamp on my nightstand which provides the light on my eye level and I can switch it is easily before is sleeping. Also to accent my bed, I added one LED, stripe behind it and another LED stripe behind my mirror. as a task light for my vanity table. I just bought this LED a stripe and asked the salesman to attach it to an adaptor and a 2 Pin plug. As I always work with my laptop, I really don't need any additional task light in my work space here. And I didn't actually do anything for this area of my bedroom yet. There is just one painting leaning to the wall. there. But I'm planning to convert this place into a reading nook. This is what I thought about, but I would need a bench which is also a storage for my books. The ambient light is okay. I need a task light for reading and an accent light for accenting my painting. 15. Project and Last Words: Congratulations on finishing this class. I hope you enjoyed it. And discovered the beauty and power of light for turning a dull, soulless room into a beautiful, exciting and vibrant room! Before talking about the project, please make me honored and leave a review for this class. Cause it really helps me for my future classes. For your second project, I prepared this picture, take some time to look at it. Try to review what we learned today about three layers of, light, natural light features, think about color temperature, intensities, and texture of light, try to review different light fixtures in your mind. As you see, there is Track Lighting with three lamps on the ceiling, a table lamp on the console table, an up-light lamb under the plant. I'm sure you can figure out the function of the room yourself. So write for me, what can be done to make this room more pleasing, functional, and how to pop out its beauties. Where do we need more light? What color, temperature do you prefer based on your personality and culture? where in this living room, can we make a better focal point. I'm looking forward to reading your answers and suggestions. Thank you so much for your attention. See you in the next class and goodbye for now.