Designing the lighting fixtures in the interior or exterior of buildings and landscapes is the job of the lighting designer. There are lighting designers also working in the field of the visual arts, like operas, concerts and plays. There are some lighting designers who train for this work by taking a particular course and acquiring a degree, and there are others who come from a more general background such as engineering, interior design or architecture.
How do lighting designers work?
The best lighting designers try to install light fixtures that are visually and aesthetically appealing, and functional. First a lighting concept is created for the project, and then the implementation procedure is designed. Of foremost importance is the needs of the individuals who will be using the space. Additional considerations are to conserve energy as much as possible while using and maintaining lights. A final important factor to consider is the cost-effectiveness. There are lighting designers who work on their own, i.e. independently, and there are others who work as part of an engineering or architectural firm.
What skills do lighting designers need?
A lighting designer to have an artistic eye, but that is not enough. Technical and practical knowledge is as important as artistic inclinations in this field. Envisioning lighting designs and devising ways of executing such visions require artistic skill as well as technical knowledge. They should have in-depth knowledge of color theory, electronics, graphics, lighting instruments, and computer software for lighting. This is a profession that needs constant updating, as technology is always evolving.
The need for collaboration
A lighting designer, even when he/she is working independently, need to collaborate with the other professionals who are involved in the designing, such as the architect, for example. This is because the vision of the architect and that of the lighting designer will have to be aligned, for best results for the space they are entrusted to design. Another key professional that the lighting designer has to collaborate with is, of course, the electrician.
Lighting designers in the visual arts
Other than the interior and exterior designing of living spaces, lighting designers work with visual arts also, as mentioned earlier. In the production of a play for example, they create a design for lighting that will highlight the performers and the setting. They also give various lighting designs at different stages of the production, so that the best lighting is in place throughout the play or concert. During the play or concert however, it is not the lighting designer who manage the lights. They prepare a procedure earlier, and entrust it to the electrician, who will follow the instructions.