See the Light

critical element

Lighting is a critical element of architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. Great lighting design enhances and highlights architectural details, creates various moods within a space and reinforces the design intention. Typically, a multi-layered approach integrating different types of lighting is used to meet a variety of functional and design goals. For example, architectural downlights or up lights are often used for general lighting, task lighting may be used to throw direct light on surfaces, ambient or indirect lighting can add a glow and decorative fixtures are often used as a point of interest within a space.

As such, it is very important to start considering the lighting design strategy very early in the design process of any project. The function of a given space will always dictate general requirements of the lighting: for example, in an office, ample lighting is necessary for productivity; in a living room, ambient lighting is often used to help add warmth and comfort. Lighting can be functional or decorative, or both.

A mix of architectural and decorative lighting at Osprey Point helps achieve layers of light that accentuate the design and set the tone for a variety of functional purposes. Image via Granoff Architects

At Osprey Point, Rich designed a very high level of lighting throughout. On the exterior, lighting is used to highlight the modern architecture. In-ground lights on the main facades and lower porch area add dramatic lighting to accentuate the building. Mini wall-mounted two-directional lights at all outdoor spaces and doors help highlight entry points and create a rhythm among all usable spaces.

Exterior lighting at Osprey Point helps accentuate the architecture and highlight points of entry and usable spaces. Image via Granoff Architects
Lighting helps add dramatic mood lighting at the point of entry at night. Image via Granoff Architects

Inside, ambient task and accent lighting is used to enhance each of the spaces and accentuate the modern art collection throughout the home. Mini trimless square downlights create ample general lighting, while accent and strip lights help add light to work surfaces and provide additional task lighting. Finally, dramatic decorative fixtures throughout are used to emphasize important spaces and furnished areas.

Lighting controls integrate all light fixtures and allow the user to create settings, such as “Entertainment”. Image via Granoff Architects


To help underscore the general design of Osprey Point, many of the architectural features are highlighted by direct or indirect lighting. All of the fixtures are modern, with most of the decorative fixtures sourced from European suppliers. Also, all of the lighting used is LED to save energy and have a 3000K color temperature to achieve warm, bright lighting throughout. It is critical that all fixtures are set to the same color temperature for consistency and while traditional residential lighting often has 2700K, a brighter 3000K temperature yields a more modern result. Dimming is used throughout to add flexibility in every space.

A lighting control system gives the designer and homeowner flexibility to program light levels. Scenes can also be created for multiple rooms or even the whole house. Rich specified a Lutron Homeworks Lighting Control System for the whole house, with wall-mounted keypads and iPhone app control capability. There are pre-set lighting scenes for “Good Morning”, “Entertaining” and “Late Night”.

Throughout Osprey Point, lighting is used to accentuate features that are important to the homeowners, including the wine wall and art work. Dimming helps the user customize settings to different activities. Images via Granoff Architects

There are over 50 different types of light fixtures at Osprey Point. The mini square recessed lights by Lightheaded feature three different versions: downlights, wall-washer and accent lights. Despite their size, these fixtures provide a high quality of light. There are many different types of recessed strip lighting used as well, to help accent architectural features.

Many different types of architectural lights featured at Osprey Point help accentuate architecture, provide ambient light and task lighting. Image via Granoff Architects

Decorative light fixtures were sourced from many different manufacturers: Tom Dixon, Louis Poulsen, Artemide, Luceplan and many more.  Each fixture has its own character and helps add personality to the space it is featured in.

A sampling of decorative fixtures at Osprey Point. Image via Granoff Architects

Natural Lighting

Naturally, a great lighting plan can get expensive. When project budgets allow, the possibilities of what can be achieved with lighting are endless. But even if there is a budget, a skilled architect can still implement an effective plan. Good lighting design can make any project great!

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