The Lighting Doctor

Photo: Randall Whitehead
Photo: Randall Whitehead

The same four functions of light that we use inside play a role outside as well.

Photo by Randall Whitehead
Photo by Randall Whitehead

Subtly integrated lighting highlights the unique features of this home art installation. 

Photo by Randall Whitehead 
Updating bulbs can produce a more desirable effect than maybe was possible when you first designed the space.

Updating bulbs and other lighting technology in a home can lead to dramatic results.

Photo by Randall Whitehead
Photo by Randall Whitehead

On a recent trip to Amsterdam, Randall Whitehead noted upgrades made to historic lighting fixtures. 

Interior Design: Wright-Simpkins. Photo: Christian Wright
Interior Design: Wright-Simpkins. Photo: Christian Wright

In this Minneapolis home, the decorative lighting fixtures steal the show. 

Sensorio Paso Robles
From the highest vantage point you can look down and see most of the installation. Numerous pathways allow you to meander through these alluring the fields of light. Photo by Randall Whitehead

The 5-acre display is an impressive use of solar-powered fiber optic lighting technology.

randall whitehead
An upscale establishment on Duval Street in Key West.

Inspired uses of color in Key West businesses.

Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco
Photo by Randall Whitehead

Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco uses unique decorative lighting fixtures to set an aquatic scene.

Randall Whitehead Lighting for Apartment Living
Interior Design: Turner Martin; Photo: Randall Whitehead

Many people live in apartments and don’t have the ability to add permanently installed lighting. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have good lighting, it simply means you need to be a little bit more creative about how to get the illumination you want.

Artwork created with Light
Oh! So Pretty by Dave Meeker. Photo by Randall Whitehead.
The idea of light as art is not new. There was Dan Flavin who used fluorescent lighting and there is James Turrell who uses natural light.  Plus, there is plenty of neon art, but the idea of using… more
Randall Whitehead Lighting Doctor Accent Lights
Avoid Museum Syndrome by using the right balance of lighting fixtures.
As I have mentioned before, there are four functions of light — Task, Accent, Decorative and Ambient.  Each one plays an important role in creating a cohesive lighting design. Here is an explanation… more
Randall Whitehead EYE Museum of Film Amsterdam bathroom
This restroom is at the EYE Museum of Film in Amsterdam. All of the private stalls are off to the right (you can see the beautiful wood doors reflected in the mirror) and then people come out to wash their hands. There’s continuous lighting above and below the mirrors to create flattering face light. The pristine cubbies below the sinks are also went with linear LED lighting. Photo by Randall Whitehead.
I have just come back from a trip to Holland and I must say that the bathrooms and the public restrooms were not only spotless, they were also quite beautiful.  Every public bathroom, whether in the… more
colorful, theatrical lighting at Rothy's shoe store.
Rothy's shoe store transforms it's visuals at night with colorful lighting.
During the day I had passed by Rothy’s shoe store, located in the Upper Fillmore shopping district of San Francisco, many times. They manufacture a line of fashionable shoes made from recycled… more
pendants
The deeply shielded pendant fixtures offer illumination for dining without casting harsh shadows on people’s faces. Lighting below the counter shows off the tile detailing and subtly invites people up to the counter. The lighting inside the open kitchen matches the color temperature of the lighting within the restaurant so that feels more integrated into the overall setting. (Photos: Randall Whitehead)

Working with an architect and understanding a space's purpose can help direct lighting choices.

CPMC Hospital in San Francisco is a good example of Resimercial Design
CPMC hospital has just opened up in San Francisco. The furnishings and the lighting give it the feel of a contemporary hotel. Warm colored LEDs, Integrated into the architecture and decorative fixtures, add to the allure.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term, resimercial, it refers to the trend that we’re seeing in commercial spaces where they are now being designed to have a more residential appearance… more
Randall Whitehead, the Lighting Doctor, chandeliers and pendants
LEDs allow designers and manufacturers to create fixtures that were not possible, using traditional light sources. Photo by Randall Whitehead
What differentiates a chandelier from a pendant? For me, the rule of thumb was that a chandelier had arms and a pendant fixture does not. It was also generally felt that chandeliers are more… more
The Lighting Doctor talks about the importance of layered lighting
These pendant fixtures help create an intimate seating area within a much large space.
I really like the trend of hanging multiple fixtures in a space. Visually, something happens that turns the fixtures into more than just lighting. They become room dividers or can help make rooms… more
Lighting Functions
Different Lights for different purposes
Lighting really does have a language to it. There are terminologies to help us categorize the specific jobs they have in creating a cohesive lighting design. While we are now adjusting to some of… more