By: David K. Warfel

Light is in the news more often lately than since Edison delivered the first reliable incandescent bulb over one hundred years ago. If you have tried to buy a light bulb recently, you likely came face to face with the bewildering world of modern lighting technology. When I started in the profession, no one outside of my colleagues used words and phrases such as lumens, color temperature, or color rendering index, but now it is practically required of every discerning homeowner. Perhaps you read the American Medical Association’s warning against possible adverse health effects from LED streetlights, or you read positive marketing from manufacturers promising that you will sleep better, heal faster, and be more alert if you buy their light bulbs. How do you make sense of it all? How do you get the right light for your home, and guard against obsolete technology? That- along with bringing fresh creative solutions to the table- is my job as a lighting designer.

This farmhouse kitchen features multiple layers of light that warm the space day and night. Multiple wall sconces and illuminated cabinets provide the kind of sparkle historically provided by candles and hearth, while discrete utilitarian fixtures provide ample work light.

I fell in love with light under the great prairie skies of Illinois, and I am still drawn to the beauty of natural light found in sunsets, stars, and harvest moons. I am also inspired by the more primitive sources of light we have used for millennia, such as campfires and candles. My designs are inspired by sunshine and flames with the goal of bringing a bright sunny afternoon indoors or creating the soft ambient glow of candlelight in the evening. This can be tricky to accomplish, given the quickly changing nature of lighting technology, building codes, and scientific discovery. Yet new technologies also deliver exciting promises, allowing me to transform spaces more easily and inexpensively than ever before.

In the end, it is highly rewarding to provide creative lighting ideas to clients, homeowners, developers, administrators, and business owners. Take a look at these photos for examples of my layered, nature-inspired approach to lighting design and see what you can dream up! Light is essential to life- make the most of it. For more information, come visit my blog at

Note the interesting patterns created by these wall sconces. Together with illuminated cabinets, these sconces fill this secondary prep area with attractive light

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *