A few years ago there was the possibility to tour a new Mormon temple before it was consecrated in the city of Philadelphia. It is a new huge building built ironically close to the old Catholic cathedral. No expense has been spared in this building, but the feeling is understated and it wears its wealth with a slight embarrassment. All until you get into the last room where a magnificent chandelier hangs from the ceiling. It is Swarovski – there’s no mistaking the message. This is in your face glitter.
The fact is that lighting makes all the difference. Imagine the bright lights of a laboratory, they are totally practical – there only to illuminate the work going on. Now think of the subtle lighting in a cozy dining room. How does that make you feel? Lights create a mood as well as making places not dark.
Specialists in high-end residential lighting are there to perform these two essential functions seamlessly. Some of the best lighting is never actually seen. All you see is the effect it creates and you are aware of the interplay between light and dark more than the light itself.
On other occasions, a well-placed light will absolutely finish an effect. Have you ever arrived in the reception area of an old hotel one of these which used to have horse-drawn carriages arrive under a portico? You might not have noticed it, but the lighting would have been of a certain type and would have helped deliver that feeling of old-style luxury and longevity.
If you want to create a lighting project take a look at houses lit up at night. Take note of your feelings as you look at each place. It will be a start on your own project.