Lighting Design is Different Depending on The Purpose of The Space

Recently, while reading a book on Interior Lighting, I came across a simple yet powerful reality. Depending on the space you are doing lighting design for, the design needs change.

Degrees of Stimulation


High Stimulation lighting VS Low Stimulation Lighting

Degrees of Stimulation refers to how much contrast there is in your lighting design in proportion to the degree of stimulation in the task being done in the space.

Is there a variety of lighting brightness in your living room, as an example? Or is there one source of lighting, that lights up everything in your living room the same? An effective example of what we are talking about is retail stores, particularly high-end shoe stores. Usually, there is dull general light throughout the entire store combined with a bright focal glow which highlights the products. This creates a great contrast in the room, which in turn creates a stimulating emotion for people.

High Stimulating Tasks Vs Low Stimulating Tasks

In general, the rule to keep in mind is this. A tasks degree of stimulation is measured by how much thought goes into the task. Doing physics homework or writing a thesis paper? This has a high degree of stimulation. Low degree of stimulation would be something monotonous. For example, making a list of groceries, or paying your bills.

The Opposite Rule

The opposite rule is the rule that says low stimulating tasks require high stimulation lighting. And high stimulation tasks require low stimulation lighting.


Interior design professionals have forgotten more design tips then ill ever know. That is to say, I am not an expert in design. However, I do enjoy reading and learning about design and lighting. I "pencil" my thoughts in this blog. I believe the above post, as a general rule, can improve the design process for someone out there. That is part of the reason why I do this. If you have any tips or suggestions to add, I would love your input. Feel free to comment below!



  • Share:
Andres Aviles

Andres Aviles


Is there a topic you have a question about?

Call me directly at (929)346-1193. My name is Andres, I would be happy to help you.

contact us