Some FAQs about Light...

How do you light a home without filling it with downlights?

Quite simply in reality.  We have so many options – ceiling lights, pendants, wall lights, floor lamps, table lamps, other types of recessed lights, spotlights… the list goes on.  The only trick is knowing how and where to use them to get the light in the right places in your home.  The beauty of all these other approaches to home lighting is that they light you, and they light your furniture, your walls, your artworks… downlights (as the name suggests) light down… which means they do a great job of your floor… but don’t provide the best results for everything else.  Answer this question: What do you want to see? And you’re more than halfway there.

Does LED really work?

Sure does – but you have to be careful and make sure you buy quality light fittings.  Cheaper LEDs have problems with colour shift, dodgy power, reduced life and poor quality control.  The magnificent thing about LED lighting these days is that you can get great quality for a reasonable price – you just have to know where to go!  LED lighting is the same as electronics – when DVD players first came out they were expensive and you had the buy the best for them to work.  Now you can get them for $20 at ALDI.  They are also all warranted for various lengths of time – so if it fails, you take it back for a new one – just like a DVD player!

Where are the lighting shops that have what I want?!?

This one can really tricky.  Hours/Days spent wondering through lighting shops can be enough to make anyone stressed (even a lighting designer).  The trick is to check out the websites first – work out what you think you like and then shop with purpose – checking size, quality, and in good lighting shops, you can get everything else turned off so you can actually see what your preferred light will do.  Contact us for a list of our recommended stores.

How do create layered lighting in my open plan living areas?

Layered lighting is simply a way to describe using a range of lights in 1 space, switched separately so you can choose which ones are on, and which are off – creating different “moods” in your room.  You need to make sure you have enough “effective” lighting to get tasks done, some low level mood lighting can be created with lamps, and using wall lights or other decorative fittings can create the “in-between” states.  Having a dimming system attached to your lighting makes this even more powerful.

What is Efficient Lighting in a home?

Energy Efficiency in home lighting is simply a matter of taking a conscious approach to your lighting.  It doesn't have to be uniform with strategic arrays of downlights.  As soon as you start thinking about how you live, achieving energy efficiency happens naturally.  It’s no more difficult than downlights and oysters – but the results of a thoughtful lighting design make all the difference.

How much does it cost to engage Mint Lighting Design?

To make lighting design approachable for all home owners and builders, all projects are based on a fixed design fee which is determined by the size of your home and outdoor areas.  To find out how much for your home, just send us your plans and we’ll give you an obligation free quote.   The best news – we’ll stick with you to the end, answering all your questions and helping you get the most out of your lighting design.

What is the design process?

To provide a fixed fee project, Mint Lighting Design has a clear design process which gets you the information you need, without the added expense of fancy imagery.  We start with a consultation, discussing your home plans, then provide a concept design, basic lighting selection, indicative budget and BCA calculation.  We’ll then discuss the concept, make any changes you need and complete the design documentation for you to move forward with your project.  Following this, we’ll be on call to answer any questions, and if your project will not be completed for a year or more, we’ll happily review the lighting specification when it comes time to purchase to ensure you’re getting the best technology available. 

Will you help with a tiny lighting project?

Absolutely – when we say no job too small, we mean it.  The smallest project we’ve undertaken so far was a tiny home office – no more than 4M x 4M.  So whatever your lighting question, Mint Lighting Design can provide the solution.

I hate CFL lamps – they don’t work….

This is a common complaint – but it actually comes down to the quality of the lamp you've bought, and how long it’s been in use.  CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) has lumen depreciation – just like LED – which means that over time, they make less light.  They also take longer to warm up the older they are, so if you have “twisty” lamps at home that are giving you the irrits – replace them with a new, known brand and you’ll be blown away by the improvement.

How do I budget for my home lighting?

Lighting budgets range wildly – and it’s a part of the job of a lighting designer to help you get the most bang for your bucks.  Establishing a budget can be done many ways – a percentage of the build cost (usually 10%), in an existing home you can work it out from the number of downlights you’re replacing, or you can pick a number based on what you have to play with, and then work with your designer to get the best result possible for the funds you have available.  For a gut feel - most standard homes range between $10,000 to $15,000 for the light fittings.