The Lighting Doctor

Randall Whitehead Lighting Doctor Accent Lights
Avoid Museum Syndrome by using the right balance of lighting fixtures.

The Right Light Balance Puts an Accent on the Positive

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…
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.

To Pee or Not to Pee?: Holland's Exquisite Bathroom Lighting

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…
colorful, theatrical lighting at Rothy's shoe store.
Rothy's shoe store transforms it's visuals at night with colorful lighting.

Is There a Place for Saturated Color Lighting at Retail? Rothy's Thinks So.

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…
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)

Architecture Counts for Good Lighting Design

As a lighting designer, I try to integrate the illumination elements into the architecture as much as possible. Too many times we are brought onto a project after the architectural plans have been…
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.

Resimercial Design Warms Up Even the Most Sterile Spaces

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…
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

Lost in Transition

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…
The Lighting Doctor talks about the importance of layered lighting
These pendant fixtures help create an intimate seating area within a much large space.

Multiple Personalities

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…
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

LEDs in 2018

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…
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.

The Importance of Lighting for the Ceiling

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…

The Fashion of Light: When to Update Your Fixtures

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…