Ask the expert: lighting designer Laura Mitchell

Written by

12 August 2021


2 min read

Social Light lighting designer Laura Mitchell answers all of your burning questions on how to get the most out of a lighting designer.

What's the most important thing to consider when planning lighting for an interior space?

Highlight what you are trying to show off—an architectural feature, piece of artwork or furniture. Lighting should never be an afterthought. It should be part of the design of every room and a factor in every design decision from the beginning.

How can people take advantage of lighting designers? What special skills do you offer?

Pick their brains, ask lots of questions. We have years of experience and know what works and what doesn't, we obsess over lighting so you don't have to.

Social Light lighting designer Laura Mitchell at the Cambridge, Waikato showroom.

What's a lighting trick that you use to improve a space?

Using direct light to highlight walls will always make a room stand out.

What's the most common lighting mistake that you see?

Over lighting a space and mismatching colour temperatures of different light sources.

What's the process when working with a lighting designer to create a lighting plan?

We start off with a consultation where we will talk through each space in detail of what finishes you are using on floors, walls, cabinetry, etcetera. Making sure we understand the aesthetics of the space and what you're trying to achieve. We then find out how you will be using and what you will be doing in each room and any special lighting requirements. From here we will create a plan of what and where lights are to be placed and a visual concept. Where possible we will visit the site at pre-wire to confirm all positionings and consult with electricians over any lighting requirements.

The 'Bell' pendant light by Dezaart, a contemporary plywood pendant made in Greece and available from Social Light.

What's one way someone can save money on lighting, while still creating a luxury look?

Instead of putting four downlights in your bedroom or living areas, use a pendant in the centre of the room. This will create a more interesting space and single pendants can be purchased for a reasonable price, even less than the cost of four downlights.

What services do lighting designers offer?

Lighting plans and lighting concepts so you can visualise what your interior will look like. Advice on lighting and what styles to use to be cohesive with your interior finishes.