How Should Lighting Adjust When Furniture Changes?
If lighting design should be determined after furniture is in place, what does that mean when an arrangement changes? Our expert weighs in.
In a previous question about when lighting design should come into the design process, you said after the furniture layout. We change our furniture layout every two to three years. Does that mean we have to get a new lighting layout every two to three years as well? Or is there a more generic lighting design layout that would not be so tied the furniture?

Okay, that's a fair enough question. Lots of people move their furniture around. I move my furniture everyday instead of going to the gym. In our lighting designs, we always use recessed adjustable fixtures (or some sort of track system if there isn't any ceiling depth). These fixtures can be redirected to highlight the new furniture arrangement. You can add a few more fixtures down the road, if needed. In any state other than California, which requires insulated ceiling cans, you can use remodel housings where the diameter of the opening in the ceiling is covered by the finish trim. So often there is little patching or work repainting that is needed. These new fixtures can be connected electrically to the existing cans; just make sure that the existing dimmer can handle the additional wattage.

Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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