Products & Materials

Lighting Designer’s Ideas – How to Light the Rooms of Your Home

Discover more about interior lighting and creating lighting scenes for the rooms of your home in’s interview with Denis Biškup, Lighting Expert.


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Photographer – Jens Ellensohn


Lighting is an essential element of your home’s interior design – creating a functional, beautiful, and cozy indoor space. Both natural and artificial light enable and enhance the performance of all kinds of daily activities, play an important role in improving your mood and increasing productivity, make the room appear larger, emphasize the beauty of the artwork and home décor elements, and much more.


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Design Project – Villa Cyprus by Architect Svetozar Andreev


To discover more about interior lighting and creating lighting scenes for the rooms of your home, talked with Denis Biškup, Brand Manager Indoor & New Business Development Manager for Central and Eastern Europe at ZUMTOBEL Group. ZUMTOBEL Group is an innovation leader in the field of complete lighting solutions with a focus on improving the quality of life through light.


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Photographer – Jens Ellensohn


Read the interview and find out how to light your home office, living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, entryway.  


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Location – British Hotel, Germany / Photographer – Ringo Losel



The Role of a Lighting Designer in Interior Design


What is the role of a lighting designer in interior design?

“Lighting is actually a much more important factor in interior design than the general opinion states. Although significantly more attention is paid to furniture or other visible elements, it is important to note that the correct selection and positioning of lighting fixtures can highlight the design of the interior space.

Apart from the four dimensions of light (intensity, direction, color, and time of the day) that belong to the visual aspect, there are also emotional and biological ones. The difference between “good” and “bad” lighting is mostly in the last two, while it is easiest to distinguish it based on the visual.

After taking into account all the necessary parameters, the role of the lighting designer is to create a lighting solution that suits the space and its purpose, all to make the person using that space – feel very comfortable, happy, and healthy.”


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The Round ONDARIA Wide-Area Acoustic Luminaire, Design by Stefan Ambrozus

Covered with fabric, the pendant and surface-mounted luminaires incorporate both a homogeneous light surface and an invisible added value – excellent sound absorption.


How can a lighting designer increase the functionality and attractiveness of interior space?

“Functionality is increased by respecting all legally prescribed norms for the function of that interior space. In addition to norms, the attractiveness of certain elements of space is increased by the wise positioning of lighting fixtures as well as by choosing the right shape, color, and size of the lighting fixture.”


How lighting designers create lighting scenes for individual rooms of a residential interior?

“Interior space is divided into micro-regions, and the primary purpose is defined for each of them. According to the purpose, the height of the room, and the type of ceiling (concrete, suspended ceiling, modular, etc.), the designer selects a suitable fixture and inserts it into the computer software to prove that it meets the norm for that intended space.”


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Photographer – Jens Ellensohn



Light Improves Your Mood and Increases Productivity


What is human-centric lighting?

“A simplified explanation is – if the lighting is designed in a way that takes care of the person which is in the focus of lighting design, then that lighting has a positive biological impression on health. Natural and artificial light affects a person’s biorhythm, and you can actually ensure better sleep and a more productive day by positioning lighting correctly. With a certain color of light at a given time of day, we can influence, for example, the production of cortisol and melatonin in the body, which we know is responsible for fatigue and drowsiness. The point of HCL is that we need to have the right lighting, the right amount of light at the right time of day or night. The intensity and color should not be the same in the morning as in the afternoon or as late in the evening.”


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How to light a home office or office? For example, how many light sources should there be, and how should they be positioned?

“The rule is that office, whether at home or on business premises, should be designed so that there is an average of 500 lux on the visual task area, desk (lux is a measure of the light intensity, as perceived by the human eye, that hits a surface). In addition to this primary requirement, two secondary ones should also be met. Namely, uniformity of a minimum of 0.6 (i.e., the ratio of the lowest to the mean value on the measured area is or greater than 0.6) and “UGR<19”, i.e., that the luminaire is technically capable of being installed on a position in a room where glare, calculated by lighting design software, is lower than 19. Pendant luminaires above the desk that meet the UGR criteria are usually the best choice for home office.”


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Photographer – Jens Ellensohn



Creating Lighting Scenes for Socializing, Relaxing, Working, Reading, Romancing


The living room is the room where most activities are performed – socializing, relaxing, reading… How to install lighting fixtures to facilitate and improve the performance of all these activities?

“The living room, along with the workspace, is the most important area to invest in quality lighting. The practice is to divide the space into segments (micro-space) and illuminate each segment separately. Mostly warm colors and less intensity are applied to accentuate the ambiance. The situation is different in case the room is dominated by cold colors and materials such as steel or concrete, which ought to be especially emphasized. The brightness intensity of a surface in combination with the color of the lighting source can be positioned in one of three spectra – pleasant, reddish, or bluish. Although everyone thinks that if the source output is a cool color, the result will be cold, it actually depends on the intensity of illumination. You can see this correlation on the Kruithof curve.”


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Location – Haus der Wirtschaft, Switzerland


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Location – Haus der Wirtschaft, Switzerland


Is there a way lighting improves relaxation in the bedroom? How to create a romantic atmosphere with lighting?

“Never, but never place a hanging chandelier in the bedroom above the bed. Not even a central ceiling light. Just look at photos of hotel rooms. Very rarely will you come across central lighting above the bed. Reading lights are recommended on each side of the bed, and lights for cleaning can be positioned in front or on the sides of the bed. But above the bed, you, in general, don’t need lighting. Invest that amount in the work desk or living room lighting and thank me later 🙂. In the bedroom, always choose warm-colored lighting (up to a maximum of 3,000 K).”


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Location – Hotel Liberty, Germany



Lighting Scenes for Kitchen, Dining Room, and Bathroom


How to light the kitchen and dining room? For example, worktop, dining table…

“The kitchen work surface, as the name suggests, is for food preparing, so that the illumination should be significantly higher (minimum 300 lux) than above the dining table where I recommend a lighting fixture with the option to change intensity because we usually need less light during dinner than during lunch. Based on usage of the dining table, you could also change the color temperature from 2,700K to 6,500K (so-called ZUMTOBEL tunableWhite Technology), following the previously mentioned HCL approach.”


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How many light sources should be in the bathroom, and how to position these light sources?

“The correct answer depends on the size of the bathroom, and the color of the ceramic tiles on the walls and floors. When calculating, it is always important to take into account the gloss and color of the tiles. Dark and matte tiles always reflect less light, so in that case, either a stronger source or more sources will be needed than in a bright bathroom with bright light tones.

The most important lighting in the bathroom is the one above/next to/around the mirror. Here it is important to place a lamp with a high color rendering index (Ra factor or CRI around 90, never lower than 80) and that the source is aimed directly at the face. That way, what you see in the mirror reflection is similar enough to what others see when they see you in daylight. The CRI index is a number less than 100, which, on a predefined sample of 8 major pastel colors, represents in what percentage the light source is identical to that of the Sun.

In addition to the main source at the mirror, you can also place several lamps on the ceiling that mainly serve as ambient lighting. If the light source is close to the shower/bathtub, it is important to pay attention that the lamp has minimum ingress protection 44 (IP44) due to steam generated during showering/bathing.”


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Location – Hotel Liberty, Germany



Lighting Makes the Room Appear Larger and Highlights Works of Art


How can a narrow hallway, small hallway, or some other small space appear larger thanks to lighting?

“White walls and a wide beam of light that illuminates these walls on all sides. In the case of the line lighting, it is recommended to place the light sources perpendicular to the corridor, which will visually shorten the space, but also make it visually wider.”


How to highlight individual elements in the interior with the help of lighting? For example, works of art, embossed surfaces…

“There are certain techniques for positioning and directing lighting to accentuate embossed surfaces (such as brick on a wall or some industrial concrete treatment). These techniques intentionally create shadows that these irregularities generate and thus further emphasize depth. If you do not want irregularities to be seen, then you illuminate the wall homogeneously and directly.

Works of art, on the other hand, are a separate category and we could talk about them for days. There are strictly defined rules where it is stated from what distance which color illuminates which part of the photograph/painting/artwork, depending on the technique by which this artwork on the wall was created. Some reflectors use special lenses to make the projected beam square-shaped and thus perfectly matching the artwork instead of the standard oval/round beam.”


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Location – Hotel Liberty, Germany


Luminaires and Photos – ZUMTOBEL Group




For more design ideas, you are welcome to follow Danica Maricic on Facebook – DesignAndTravelByDM and Instagram – dm_design_travel/. 


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By Danica Maričić

Interior Designer and Integrated Marketing Communications Pro, Loving Writing and Photography, Passionate about Life & Style, “True Blue” Mediterranean Girl, Curious Traveller & Designer