Lighting the Way for Contemporary Design

Capitol Lighting’s head copywriter, Joan Silver recently published an article in the American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) 2016 Winter issue, highlighting the various ways to use light for contemporary design. Today, we’re sharing Joan’s thoughts on five different ways you can use light to update your home from energy-efficient solutions to technology-smart switches.


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Human-centric Recommendations

Designing with light today goes beyond looking at the light fixture itself.  We are focusing just as much on the quality of illumination, especially what it does to the space and how it makes us feel.

Programming lighting levels from bright white light during the day to low light at night accompanies the body’s natural rhythm to boost energy levels during the daytime, while improving sleep quality at night.


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Aging in Place Customization

Good lighting design should accompany life-cycle changes to help the aging population transition with ease—that means plentiful, yet glare-free task and general illumination.

Subtle lighting level changes need to be set from room-to-room because aging eyes take longer to adjust to light and dark areas.

Higher levels of light at grooming and workstations need to be provided to compensate for age-related vision loss.

Making the Most of Trend-setting LEDs

Install ceiling fixtures at varying heights.  Supplement with cabinet and wall lighting, as well as table and floor lamps to create depth and the correct play of light and shadow.

Providing light at varying levels, not only beautifies and adds interest to your design scheme, it also delivers a more soothing and useful illumination and eliminates “lighting fatigue.”*

*Lighting fatigue occurs in hospital rooms or offices where light levels are the same everywhere—there is no shadow or visual diversity so the space feels dreary and stifling.


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Future Empowerment

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is changing how we customize our environment.  From the thermostat and smoke detectors to door locks and lighting, LED is bringing lighting design with performance enhancing “light settings” that will transition automatically.

“With the LED revolution has come another shift:  lighting products and controls used to be separate entities, but now they are being combined into one product.  This whole idea of “smart lighting”—where lighting is linked to a mobile device—has been spreading like wildfire.”—enLIGHTenment Magazine March 2015 It’s All About Control

Benefits of LED Illumination

  • LEDs use 80% less energy than standard incandescent, are shatter resistant and hold up well to jarring and bumping.
  • LEDs cause little to no heat build up.  As 85% of incandescent light energy is wasted in the form of heat, almost all the energy going into an LED is transformed into light.
  • Providing up to 50,000 hours or 25 years of illumination, LED’s are tremendous energy-savers!
  • LEDs are eco-friendly—they do not contain mercury or emit UV or IR radiation


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