In The Best Light


Good lighting is seamless and enhancing when it’s present, and conspicuously absent when it’s not. You know the room –warm, inviting, almost glowing from within. Guests’ faces are flattered, fabrics are rich and vibrant, food looks as it does in the cookbook, and artwork is showcased with reverence. A room that’s well lit is like a professional photograph; everything is at its most beautiful, and everyone and every element reaches its greatest potential. Creating the best lighting design however, is not always given the attention or importance it requires at the time in the construction process it is most needed…the beginning.

All it takes is a professional lighting designer working in unison with the architect, interior designer, and general contractor as early, and as often, as possible during the design process. “The best time for a lighting designer to become involved in a new home project is at the very start,” says Lynne Stambouly, Senior Lighting Designer, L.C. at Lighting First, a full service lighting showroom located in Bonita Springs.  “By getting engaged in the process early, a lighting designer can maximize the intended impact of a home’s architectural and interior designs.  Furthermore, people typically spend the majority of their time at home at night.  Having a carefully thought out lighting plan will heighten the enjoyment of their new home.”

Known as the “Light Lady” to designers and consumers throughout Southwest Florida, Stambouly has over 26 years of experience in lighting design.  She knows how surprising the cost of after-the-fact lighting changes can be for new homeowners.

“I’m passionate about the type of light bulbs being used, the placement of lighting fixtures, what function a fixture fulfills and how it supports the client’s lifestyle,” she said.  “Many people don’t consider those things until it’s too late, and that can include architects and designers.  Ultimately, money can be saved by knowing exactly where everything goes, how the wiring needs to be executed, and creating the ambiance the homeowner wants to achieve.  Moving or installing wiring or fixtures, after sheetrock has gone in, is expensive yet avoidable.”
The same “pay attention to the lighting” truism applies when remodeling.  Those projects may be as simple as changing the lighting in a home to make it easier for those with aging eyes to see more clearly, or they could involve renovations that include moving walls and significant re-wiring.  In either case, taking the home- owner’s lifestyle into account and designing the lighting to work in harmony with proposed new interior styles and architectural features requires advance planning.
“From a lighting perspective, just about anything is possible when a home is being remodeled,” says Curt Searles of Lighting First’s Specialty Lighting Division. “Whether it’s adding recessed lighting fixtures, installing art lights that have the proper color temperature, or changing recessed can lights over a countertop to stylish pendant fixtures, developing a lighting plan can help keep remodeling costs under control.  It can also ensure the homeowner ultimately achieves their remodeling goals.”
“It’s also important that people understand the difference between involving a qualified experienced lighting designer versus a traditional lighting retailer,” adds Stambouly.  “A retailer will sell beautiful lighting fixtures, but they often do that without having any knowledge of what the entire home is about.  A professional lighting designer will be engaged in the project from the beginning concept and will be on-site throughout the process.  Getting a professional involved upfront will help the homeowner achieve the type of home they envision.”