Design in lighting

News /
25 November 2011
Design in lighting

This week we look at the DESIGN aspect of lighting and architecture with award winning designer, Trevor Reitsma (Reitsma and Associates) from the Sunshine Coast.

We caught up with Trevor (director of Reitsma + Associates) to discuss some of his work and how he integrates lighting with his projects. M-Elec knows the importance of design so we asked Trevor a few questions about his thoughts on lighting.

When you design your projects, how do you integrate natural light with artificial light?
“Orientation of the building is paramount. Natural light is important to consider in the design of a project to ensure it appropriately filters through the home during the day creating a positive atmosphere. However when dusk hits artificial light is equally as important for creating the desired mood/environment.”

When I discussed with Trevor the output colour of the lights I automatically assumed he would select warm white as his preferred choice but he advised me:
“The colour of the light really depends on the mood and look that the client is trying to achieve. You have to know what the desired outcome is, even down to the furniture. To achieve a suitable outcome the light output must match the function and design.”

Where do you think lighting will be in ten years?
“I believe we are just at the beginning with LEDs. The chip will become much smaller. Things that we can't illuminate now, we will in the future. We can look forward to night time where the home literally can be viewed in a new light. The great thing about artificial lighting is that by using suitable lighting products/layouts the building or home can take on an entirely new character. To a degree you can compensate for a poorly orientated building."

When looking at lighting products what catches your eye?
“Being a fan of industrial design, the more discreet or simplistic the fitting, the more impressed I am. It’s not about trying to make the product the stand out feature but it’s the simplicity in design that catches my eye.”

Do you encourage your clients to use LED lighting products?
“Absolutely, it’s future technology today. LED products were once for the elite but the price has decreased significantly making it far more accessible.”

What has been a favourite project and why?
“The O-house is a recent favourite as it embraces natural light regardless of the orientation. There is no wrong way to orientate the house. It is a bit adventurous because when you walk in, you’re introduced to the central courtyard. The challenge is that when daylight goes, you still have to keep up the show and obviously that's where the right choice in artificial lights and their placement becomes very important.”

Are there any key design elements you incorporate into your work?
“We always try to avoid any aspect being overly showy or superficial. Keep it simplistic and subtle.”

What mistakes are easily made in lighting projects?
“It’s easy to become very conservative and simply copy what everyone else is doing. For example, four downlights in a room in a square pattern. Sometimes it’s better for the lights to be concealed or use reflected light off walls and/or ceilings which can look incredible.”

Out of M-Elec’s product range what is your favourite?
“The A1590 for sure; it is a very architectural looking light whether on or off. It has an industrial design edge to it. I have recently used this in my own studio unit refurb. Another favourite is the WING light (to be released JAN 2012), where bounced light is used effectively.”

M-Elec Pty Ltd

M-Elec offers advanced quality products for commercial, retail & modern residential lighting. M-Elec’s products are ideal for consumers, designers and architects requiring innovative, reliant and high quality products with energy efficiency in mind.

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