Staff Tips: Xavier Yager
“When it comes to lighting, every room must be dealt with individually,” says Certified Lighting Consultant Xavier Yager, of Lightology.
Yager has been in lighting design for 15+ years and knows that you must take into account the room’s purpose, the decor and the architecture before deciding how to best light the space.
“If we’re talking about the dining room, it is important to remember that it is more than just a place to sit and eat,” says Yager. “It is a place to entertain. Furthermore, the atmosphere or mood we wish to achieve may change depending on the time of day or the company we are entertaining.”
“The idea behind lighting is to have multiple sources, types and qualities of light so you can create the feel you desire in the room. Everyone likes their dining room to have a show piece. However, if that is the only source of light in the room, you are asking a lot of that single chandelier. It will give you enough light to eat at the table, but you are really limiting how the room can feel.”
It is true that the chandelier selection is the first step in the process. Being that it is the focal point of the room, it must work with the energy you want to create. Furthermore, your other layer selections are based on this choice.
“What’s great about Lightology is that we offer many more options compared to your average lighting showroom and a totally unique palette of colors. All of Lightology’s sales staff are also certified in the trade and have extensive technical knowledge to ensure that the lighting you purchase will work correctly and safely within your home.”
Once the chandelier — also referred to as suspension lighting — selection is made, the next step is determining the secondary source of light, says Yager. You need to be able to highlight certain aspects of the room, whether it’s the top of a buffet, service at the dining table or artwork on the walls.
“For instance, we may want add light that will highlight the beautiful china on the table. For these types of circumstances, a little trick I do is I add two recessed cans, preferably MR-16s, on either side of the chandelier. I then cross the beams to where the light from the recessed cans actually covers the entire shape of the table. This allows the chandelier to be brought down to a soft glow, because I am not depending solely on it to light the entire table top. Now, the recessed cans shine down on any cut crystal, china or other reflective surfaces and illuminate the beauty of the table accents. This ultimately creates a more brilliant dining scene.”
“To add a more dramatic effect, a third layer of light, or ambient light, can be added to the space. This is achieved a number of ways. One option is adding wall sconces or a cove lighting application that washes light up the ceiling or down the wall. This ultimately creates a soft glow in the space, pulling the height of the ceiling up and accentuating any architectural highlights in the room, like a stone or brick wall. The thing to remember is, the more layers you incorporate, the more you can achieve.”
Another important aspect for lighting a space are the controls, says Yager. Having no dimmers or control system is like having a car without breaks or an accelerator. You have to be able to stop it, slow it down and make it do exactly what you want.
“Many people do not understand the value of dimming to create an atmosphere. Incorporating a control system into your design not only gives you the ability to set lighting scenes that are accomplished with the mere push of a button, you can also program the system to automatically change throughout the course of your evening.”
For control systems, Yager recommends the Radio Ra by Lutron. It is a system that works throughout the entire home, not just a single room. You can control all the lighting in the entire house by one master console. For those looking for a single room lighting control system, Yager recommends Lutron’s Grafik Eye.
“Every space presents its own unique set of circumstances. Can I say there is any one secret to lighting a dining room – no. There are rules of thumb to follow, however, multiple things can be done in a dining room. That is why it is important to have a certified lighting consultant who can advise you on how to best accentuate the space and not rely solely on a lonely chandelier. That’s where Lightology can help. Not only do we offer a completely unique spectrum of lighting, our knowledgeable staff can work directly with your architect and/or interior designer to create the best lighting scheme to enhance your living environment.”