The Importance of Lighting in Commercial Interior Design

March 13, 2023

When thinking about the interior design plan for your commercial space, whether that be a model unit, clubhouse, off-campus housing, or any other type, one of the most important factors is lighting. The lighting in a space can either make or break the design due to the psychological and even health factors, that lighting has on people.

Learning everything there is to know about the importance of lighting in commercial interior design can help you better plan your own design as you start thinking about what you want.

What is Commercial Interior Design?

The majority of people will hear the words interior design and automatically think of the designs associated with residential homes. However, commercial interior design refers to the design process in regard to commercial spaces. Commercial interior design is a major aspect of the broader interior design industry which is predicted to make up $25.5 billion as of 2023. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Clubhouses
  • Retail spaces
  • Common areas for multi-family homes
  • Off-campus housing
  • Amenities in communal areas
  • Model units for apartments or condos

If anything, commercial interior design can sometimes present a greater challenge than residential interior design for one main reason: the design must appeal to a greater audience. Commercial interior designers draw inspiration from the purpose of a space, its location, and a number of other factors as they begin the design process.

Notable Benefits of Commercial Interior Design

When constructing a commercial interior space, many people wonder if spending the money on professional interior design is actually necessary. However, there are a number of key benefits commercial interior design brings to the table, with the most notable being:

  • It draws the attention of potential clients who step inside the door
  • Proper interior design will make leisure space more comfortable
  • By optimizing lighting and space, the interior design of a commercial area can improve the usability of that area
  • The aesthetics and functionality of a space work as a sort of portfolio for the interior designer
  • Proper interior design can have a major impact on productivity

Lighting in a Space: Why Does it Matter?

Lighting can actually play a major role in the way in which a person interprets a space. It essentially adds another element to a space and can bring an interior design product to life. Light can create both depth and height, outline where the cozier spots of a room are, and even be used to focus attention to one part of a room.

On top of all of this, lighting in a room has a major psychological and health impact on a person. There is evidence to suggest that cool lighting makes people more attentive and focuses, whereas cozier yellow lighting leads a person to feel more relaxed and in a social mood. This can also help keep a person’s circadian rhythm in check throughout the day as well as stress levels.

Maximizing Artificial Light in the Absence of Natural Light

Natural light on its own is a great way to achieve the above effects in a commercial space. However, for some commercial spaces, natural light may simply be limited. In the absence of this light, use some of the following tips to enhance the artificial light that is in your space:

  • Place yellow lights overhead to simulate the location of the sun during the day
  • Stock up on mirrors that can reflect artificial light in a room
  • Avoid darker tones in a space that doesn’t get a large amount of natural light
  • Gloss up surfaces so that they reflect natural light in a space
  • Add some greenery to make up for the lack of natural items in a space
  • Any windows that do exist in a space should be unobstructed

Beyond using the above tips, avoid going overboard with the lighting in your commercial space. Oftentimes, people think that since they have limited windows, they need to overdo the number of lights in that space. Just add enough artificial light to make up for the amount of natural light that is missing in a space.

Other Important Factors to Consider with Interior Design

When looking at the process of designing a commercial interior space, there are a number of additional factors beyond lighting that should be considered. Keep the following in mind:

  1. The space that an interior design project requires
  2. Think about how lines will impact the perception of a space
  3. Consider how colors on the walls and ceiling, along with the lighting, will interact with the furniture in a space
  4. Think about the patterns and textures that will be displayed in a room
  5. Consider using commercial design software to plan out what a space will look like

General Interior Design Strategy Tips

No two design spaces will look exactly the same. With that said, there are a number of design tips that all designers need to keep in mind:

  • Set a budget ahead of time before you begin your planning
  • Consider the architecture of your space and the surrounding area
  • Leave some free space so that you can play around with future designs
  • Bring an expert into the fold who knows what they’re doing
  • Think about the room’s purpose as you begin to design out the space
  • Consider balancing lighting and curtains to adjust the lighting of a space
  • Don’t forget to think about proportions as you start to create the design
  • Don’t forget about the fact that certain design elements may contrast with one another

Bolster your commercial space today

No two commercial spaces will be designed in the exact same way. After all, design should represent the purpose of a space. A clubhouse does not have the same purpose as off-campus housing and, as such, their designs should be uniquely different. However, certain factors such as the type of lighting and amount of lighting should overlap in the design process. Reach out to accredit commercial interior designers for tips on how to light a space or for quotes on designing your space.

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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