The Lighting Doctor

Sculpture with lighting shining on it
When accent lighting is done effectively it moves people’s gaze throughout the space. Recessed adjustable fixtures, using LED MR 16 lamps, help add focus to the art and decorative objects. (Photo: Randall Whitehead)
Good lighting design uses various types of illumination to create an inviting overall environment. As you have heard me say before, the best lighting happens when you layer different types of… more

Whether for reading or a decorative accent next to the bed, lamps can enhance the design of a bedroom. 

photo wall illuminated
2700K linear LED lighting (made by Aion LED, www.aionled.com), is housed in an aluminum extrusion at the front edge of the shelving, evenly illuminates the collection of photographs. Photography: Dennis Anderson
Yes, I’m totally obsessed with LEDs. Admittedly, we got off to a rough start in the beginning. They got introduced onto the market a little too early. They didn’t have much lumen output, the color… more
light play and shadow
This perforated metal fixture by Susan Durazo (suesilluminationscreations.com) adds a lot dimension to the walls and ceiling. It's amazing how something so simple and beautiful can have such impact.
When people are designing the lighting for their homes, they're thinking about lighting the art and the table tops or illumination for the bathrooms and in closets, but what they may not be… more
People may not realize it, but lighting fixtures do fall in and out of fashion, just like clothing. I look at the light fixtures that I had hanging in my house in the 1980's and I shudder. Some… more
outdoor lighting ideas house facade
Well done exterior lighting draws people to a home without visually overpowering the architecture or the landscaping. Photo by Misha Bruk.

Exterior lighting can enhance the visual appeal of a home from the curb.

bedroom linear cove lighting
Bedside lamps are beautiful, but can be uncomfortable for the other person in bed who is trying to sleep. Photography by Dennis Anderson.

The right bedroom task lighting can make reading in bed more enjoyable and easier on the eyes.

outdoor LED stairwell lights
Traditional step lights don’t light stairs evenly, but there are newer options available now that do. Photography by Randall Whitehead.

Whether indoors or out, there are many options for lighting stairwells, and Randall Whitehead breaks them down here.

Recessed fixtures have become a standard part of home interiors. Since the 1990s, people have been stuck with what I call the "contractor’s special," which is a grid of 6-inch-diameter downlights per… more
How do you know when to use a clear bulb or frosted bulb? There are no hard and fast rules, but luckily you’ve asked somebody who has strong opinions. First off, just to be confusing, light bulbs… more
Light dining room in open floor plan
With open plan living, dining rooms need to learn how to join in. Photo by Dennis Anderson.
Rethinking How We Light Dining Rooms When I was growing up, the dining room was reserved strictly for company. As a family, we always ate in the kitchen. We rarely ventured into the dining room — it… more
LED shelf lighting undercabinet lighting
This collection of Fiestaware is best illuminated from the front because it is solid. Photo by Randall Whitehead.
Q. What is the best way to light shelving? A. First off, you have to think about how translucent or opaque the objects are that you’re trying to illuminate. Solid items, like chinaware and books,… more
Floatation-Ingo-Maurer-Living-room
The four pendant fixtures (Floatation by Ingo Maurer) provide both a decorative element and a source of ambient light for this living room. Recessed adjustable LED fixtures highlight the art, tabletops and sculpture. The two Tizio table lamps by Artemide create little pools of illumination, which draw people up to the seating area. (Photo: Dennis Anderson)
TIP 1: Start with basic biology People are drawn to light like moths are drawn to flame. So, the first rule of thumb is to make the living room the brightest space in the house. Many times, everyone… more
Christian-Wright
All four light fixtures have had all of their bulbs replaced with LED versions. Clear filament LEDs, used in the pendant fixture, help create the interesting pattern of light on the ceiling.
Tip 1: Know what to ask for Before you decide whether to replace bulbs or replace components, it’s important to know what to be looking for. These points I’ve mentioned before, but I think it’s very… more
Lighting-Doctor-Lighting-Design
Good lighting design moves your eye around the room, while offering flattering illumination for the people within the space. The best lighting is subtle — it makes you feel good but you don’t really know why.
TIP 1: Light makes right You can’t understand light without also knowing darkness. It’s like you can’t understand true happiness unless you also experience sadness. The best design comes when there’… more
Randall-Whitehead-Lighting-Doctor-Lighting-and-Decor
Wall colors, wood finishes and fabrics change in appearance under day and night lighting at very different color temperatures.
TIP 1: Day tripping Color temperature tells you the hue of illumination that a particular light source emits. The two color temperatures that we are most easily able to identify are incandescent (… more
Boyd-Lighting-Cascade-Chandelier
When working out the lighting design for a room, take a moment to look upward. There is a vast canvas available that could benefit from your inspiration.

Ceiling lighting can enhance the architectural details of a space.

Whether your entry is small and personal or one of a more grand scale, it sets the tone for the rest  of the house. The tall lamp with  the clear glass base gives a sculptural element to this more intimate entry, while a cascading chandelier can help to visually connect the first and second  floors of a spacious entry.
Whether your entry is small and personal or one of a more grand scale, it sets the tone for the rest of the house. The tall lamp with the clear glass base gives a sculptural element to this more intimate entry, while a cascading chandelier can help to visually connect the first and second floors of a spacious entry.
TIP 1: Create a sense of welcome When people walk in your front door you want to give them a good first impression. You want them to feel invited in. People are naturally drawn to light, so it’s… more