Whether designing for a home or a commercial space, designers know details matter — especially in the world of lighting. What makes each space have its own sense of style can be as simple as the settings of the light. Today, reconfiguring light positioning, or “daylighting,” is no longer a trend but an everyday practice that brings numerous benefits, from the beauty of natural light to energy savings.
The Balance of Light and Dark
Controlling natural light, whether blocking it out at key times or harnessing that light, helps to save energy, reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. In fact, while you may know that many of the best designers have customized and brought homes to life through the magic of light, what you may not know is that often they have done this through the power of natural light. Thanks to a wide variety of simple, modern-day technologies available, any building in any location today can take advantage of natural light.
Optimal Use of Light Starts with Shade
A wide variety of window shading solutions can promote the efficient use of the windows in a space through shading, fabrics and new technologies. New smart solutions, available in an array of designs and styles, can sense when the sun rises and sets (and whether or not someone is in the home or workplace). In fact, because solar shades come in a variety of fabric materials and compositions, it is important to learn how to identify the various weave patterns and structures, so you can choose the best fabric for every project.
The Power of Solar
The natural light design aesthetic is about using products and textiles that are now readily available to increase the value of and, ultimately, to improve the cost efficiency of your client’s home or business. Controlled natural light enhances the quality and comfort of the indoor environment, regulating heat, light, glare, and view. In the workplace, the use of natural light also can help to increase productivity while maintaining privacy with textiles. Selecting the best solar protection is no longer limited to the tired, bland blinds of the past. With the shade and window treatment options that come in customized colors, styles and sizes — including those available from Lutron — designers definitely find many choices, including fabrics offered in beautiful weaves and tapestries. Almost all shades are now automated, and new technologies offer a wide variety of capabilities, from dimming, to protecting against germs and bacteria, to providing UV protection and soundproofing an entire room.
What to Choose — and When
Whether controlling sunlight glare, maintaining a clean home (or the semblance of clean through the power of subtle light), or protecting against the outside elements, the world of light control design has truly come into its own. Things are getting brighter all the time.
Staci L. Quirk currently leads designer solutions marketing and communications for Lutron Electronics. Prior to joining the design community, Quirk spent more than 10 years in marketing and product development for luxury brands, including Baldwin Hardware and JADO. Quirk holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Bernardino and an MBA from the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Quirk is an ASID Industry Partner representative, active in the Color Marketing Group and serves on the NKBA Advisory Council, where she also is a member.