We have put together an extensive list of frequently asked questions that you will find helpful. These are organised into three sections that you can choose from. Please note our fee remains the same for both Residential and Commercial work. If you have any questions that are not covered here, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Residential

  1. What difference does working with a lighting designer make?
    To understand what it is like working with a lighting designer, please read this article on our blog - https://www.hampshirelight.net/blog/working-with-a-lighting-designer
  2. Your lighting designs look great, is it expensive to achieve results as shown in your portfolio?
    Many lighting techniques and effects are well within the reach of most private clients. You can rely on our expertise, experience and passion to deliver the results within your budget.
  3. How many years has Bruce Reynolds, Head Lighting Designer, been doing lighting design?
    Bruce has been working in lighting design for over 21 years! Read more about Bruce on our About page.
  4. For an online meeting, do I need any special computer software?
    All you need is an internet connection and web browser, no special software or installations are needed. It is incredibly easy – just a link to click on and a number to phone.
  5. Is a webcam required for an online meeting?
    A webcam is not required. Just a PC, laptop or tablet with internet connection, and a phone.
  6. How can a lighting designer create a design for a house if they have not ever visited the site?
    We are very experienced at working from plans, and over years have gained the ability to work accurately and easily to create lighting schemes for buildings that have not been built or that we have never visited. Certain types of properties we do prefer to visit if possible however – such as very historic houses or complex structures.
  7. I’m a long way away, can I still work with you and where do I source my products?
    Absolutely! We can arrange an online meeting and carry out any further work remotely. We will provide you with a list of the products that you will need and where to source them from, using local suppliers nearby to you.
  8. What manufacturers do you specify from or is it your own range of products?
    We specify from an extensive list of manufacturers built up over years of experience. We are totally independent and will build the product specification to suit your location, type of project, budget and design needs.
  9. I’m worried if I come to you I’ll end up spending a lot of money to achieve great results, is this the case?
    We work to your budget and make sure the design we create won’t cost more than what you want to spend. You will be amazed at what you can achieve by clever positioning / design experience, without spending any more than you would have done anyway! In fact we often reduce budgets as we have so much experience, and don’t need to ‘over-light’ areas as a lot of inexperienced lighting designers do.
  10. How does it work when I have already appointed an architect, interior designer and electrician?
    We have a deep understanding of the needs of other professionals & contractors, and how we interact with them. We will feed into the process and advise you on how best to manage this.
  11. How many hours would you typically spend on a 3,000sq.ft barn conversion lighting design?
    We take every project on its own merits, and can provide a range of services from simple guidance/ideas/advice to a full detailed design package. Therefore this can range from 2-3 hours up to 20 hours or more if you choose to use us for other, more complex, aspects such as creating architectural lighting layouts and doing site visits.
  12. Do you have disabled access for a meeting?
    Yes we do.
  13. Do you have free parking?
    Yes, we have ample free parking. Our offices are located next to a farm with beautiful countryside and plenty of space.
  14. I’m worried my house is not as glamorous or highly designed as the ones in your portfolio, is it possible to still have a lighting design in a more ‘normal’ type house?
    Absolutely, we work with all types and styles of house. Whatever you need, we can help. Just adding our experience to where you place your ceiling downlights and wall lights can make all the difference! We always design our schemes to be practical as well as beautiful – especially for family homes. (Cooking, homework, cleaning are top considerations as well as entertaining & relaxing!)
  15. Do you do garden and landscape lighting?
    Yes, garden and landscape lighting is another area of speciality for us, including water features.
  16. Are you able to assist with my Grade 1 listed heritage building, I’m really struggling finding lighting that complies with the very stringent building consent documentation.
    Absolutely. We have vast experience with listed buildings and know how to solve the many challenges with lath & plaster ceilings, ancient walls and staircases, no ceiling voids etc.... Please have a look at our blog article for more information on this - https://www.hampshirelight.net/blog/lighting-for-listed-buildings-in-hampshire
  17. I have a holiday home in the South of France. Are you able to work on projects that are abroad (taking into account different regulations etc)?
    Yes. We can hold the meeting online and work remotely on any other aspects. This includes country specific regulations & using local suppliers/contractors.
  18. If I use you for a project abroad what then happens with the product specification?
    We supply you with a relevant product list and help you research/identify where those products can be directly sourced from locally. Alternatively we can advise you on export firms in the UK who can then ship the goods to your site.
  19. I don’t have proper architectural plans for my house, is it still possible to have a lighting design without a site visit?
    Absolutely, our lighting designers are able to work from sketched floor plans and photos. Even something as basic as an estate agent’s floorplan will give us what we need if we cannot obtain full architectural plans, sections & elevations.
  20. Do you also design the lighting control system?
    Not usually, but we can recommend excellent control system/AV providers to help with this, and can also give advice on standard dimmers & switches.
  21. Is it possible to have a sophisticated lighting design without installing a full lighting control intelligent dimming system?
    Yes it is but having an intelligent dimming system, correctly designed & programmed, often makes the areas easier to use and live in. Also an intelligent control system is usually able to dim lights to lower levels without flickering than you can achieve with standard dimmers.
  22. What do I need to bring to the meeting?
    Please bring a set of plans, plenty of photographs of the area or building in question, and any other useful insights for us such as mood-boards, magazine clippings of projects you admire, etc.
  23. I’m just doing a kitchen refurb and am worried about getting the right lighting levels, no shadows for example. Is a single room like this too small a scope for your services?
    We have done many single room lighting designs, they are very popular so definitely not too small a scope.
  24. I’m working with a kitchen designer, why should I use you for lighting when they say they can do it?
    Simply put, lighting is an art and we are experts in this. We may not know how to install a kitchen, but we absolutely know how to light one. It is easy to get kitchen lighting very wrong, and find yourself casting a shadow over the worktop, or to have very harsh lighting – or simply not enough light. If you are spending thousands on a new kitchen, it is well worth spending a few hundred to get the lighting right. Lighting can ‘make or break’ a kitchen.
  25. I’m having a luxury master bathroom fitted, is it worth getting a lighting design for this?
    Definitely. We have worked on many bathrooms and you’ll be amazed how a lighting design can take it to the next level, especially with accent lighting & soft mood lighting.
  26. Do you have experience with lighting swimming pools?
    Yes, this is another area of expertise that we can fulfil – including public pools.
  27. We are at planning stage with our new build, when should we involve a lighting designer?
    Always as early as possible please, once the basic floor layouts are ‘frozen’. Creating a lighting design at an early stage means that other services/consultants/contractors can work around this to avoid clashes.
  28. How many awards have you won?
    We are winners of Best of Design on Houzz for 3 years running. Many of the projects we work on have also won awards. Our website itself has also won several international design awards.
  29. Will you come to site to brief my electrician?
    No problem to do this, our hourly rate and travel rate will apply.
  30. If I just come for one meeting on a small project what can I expect to take away?
    We will provide you with everything you need to go off and buy the products, and with all the information your electrician will need to wire up the lighting installation. This will include positions of all the luminaires, the best place to procure them, and any special points you need to note.
  31. Will you mark my plans up by hand or do you have to go away and do CAD layouts?
    We can do both, whichever works best for you.
  32. If you are doing 3D lux calculation modelling do I have to pay you to build the model during the meeting?
    If preferred, you can send us all the plans/sections/elevations before the meeting so we can build the model beforehand. (We charge for this at our hourly rate). When you arrive, we can then add the luminaires to the 3D model and show you how it will look, making changes to this until it is perfect! We will then export images of the 3D model and lux calculations/levels for you to take away.
  33. Can I bring my dog and my children to the meeting?
    We welcome anyone you would like to bring with you, including dogs/cats/goldfish/children/babies/aged grandparents or pet rabbits.
  34. How early can I come to a meeting before I go to work?
    We are available for early morning meetings from 6am onwards Mon-Fri. We find this is very popular as it means you don’t need to take time off from work. The latest appointment time is 3.30pm as we close soon after 5pm.
  35. Do you work weekends?
    We work Monday – Friday, but not at weekends.
  36. Do you have a showroom where I can choose products?
    We have a design studio which is by appointment only. We don’t have a walk-around showroom as we find this limits & constrains the design ideas & choice. Instead we have lots of working product samples to hold & demonstrate, a big screen, a whiteboard to sketch on and thousands of images on file!
  37. Do you work by appointment only?
    Yes, we only work by appointment to avoid meeting clashes and client disappointment.
  38. Can I bring my electrician to the meeting?
    Yes, however from experience it is easier for you to come to the meeting and take the design away with you. You can then share this with your electrician.

FEES

  1. Do I get a free complimentary coffee and some biscuits in the meeting?!?
    Absolutely! We have coffees and a variety of herbal teas. If you have a favourite sort of biscuit or chocolate, please let us know the day before and we’ll be sure to have them ready for you!
  2. What is your hourly rate?
    Our hourly rate is £240 inc.VAT (200+VAT). Every further half hour is charged at £120 inc.VAT
  3. When do I make payment, what is the process?
    Once the meeting has finished you make payment with our card machine prior to leaving. We accept all major debit/credit cards. We will then email you an invoice for your records.
  4. What happens if the meeting overruns? Am I charged another hour, how does that work?
    For every further half hour the charge is £120 incl.VAT
  5. If we need full lighting layouts produced following the meeting, what is the rate for this and how do we know what the cost will be/hours?
    The hourly rate of £240 including VAT applies to any follow up work we do. This will be detailed and agreed before you leave the meeting, so that you know exactly what to expect and don’t have any surprises.
  6. Is there a discount if I need a lot of hours?
    Our rate has been designed to deliver the best results within your budget, as such the hourly rate always remains £240 incl.VAT
  7. Is it possible for a designer to come to our site and what would the charge be?
    Totally fine, the same rate of £240 incl. VAT per hour applies when we are on site. We also charge for outbound travel from our office to your site at a rate of £90 incl. VAT per hour (£75 + VAT.).
  8. Can you quote a fixed fee for my entire project rather than an hourly rate?
    We only work on hourly rates because we find this is more flexible and cost effective for our clients.
  9. If I phone in for an online meeting how much is it going to cost me in phone charges?
    We will telephone you, so there are no phone charges to factor in.
  10. Do I have to pay the VAT if I’m doing a new build?
    Yes, you will need to pay the VAT as we are providing a service to you, not a product.

Commercial

  1. For an online meeting, do I need any special computer software?
    All you need is an internet connection and web browser, no special software or installations are needed. It is incredibly easy – just a link to click on and a number to phone.
  2. Is a webcam required for an online meeting?
    A webcam is not required. Just a PC, laptop or tablet with internet connection, and a phone.
  3. If I phone in for an online meeting how much is it going to cost me in phone charges?
    We will telephone you, so there are no phone charges to factor in.
  4. Do I get a free complimentary coffee and some biscuits in the meeting?!?
    Absolutely! If you have a favourite sort of biscuit or chocolate, please let us know the day before and we’ll be sure to have them ready for you!
  5. Do you have free parking?
    Yes, we have ample free parking. Our offices are located next to a farm with beautiful countryside and plenty of space.
  6. Do you do offices as well as houses?
    Yes – we work on many sorts of projects including all types of commercial & residential sectors.
  7. I am the design manager for a big home building developer in the south of England, is it possible to use your services to create a lighting strategy which we can then roll out over many homes of slightly different layouts and sizes?
    A perfect application - We work with the developer to create a suitable lighting strategy, typical layouts and specification (having taken into account the various requirements for differing layouts and sizes), then they can apply this to the full development.
  8. As a medium sized architect practice in Surrey, we tend to do lighting design in house but struggle with certain elements of it, can you come to our studio on a needs basis to work with us to help on the lighting designs?
    Certainly, this is a great way for you to get some extra expertise into your studio just when you need it. We can come and work at a desk in your studio for a few hours or you can visit us at Alton with your plans. The usual rates apply.
  9. I am an interior designer on a large hotel project, we are struggling to find LED lamps for all our FF&E specification that do not flicker on the Lutron system, is this something you can help with and how?
    No problem, send us the specifications for the luminaires and we can find the most suitable LED lamps for you. We would work on this at our usual hourly rate of £240 including VAT.
  10. I’m worried about my energy bills in our offices and warehouses, are you able to come and do an energy assessment on reducing power consumption?
    Yes, we are fully equipped to carry this out for you and can provided detailed energy assessments including looking at the use of sensors and wireless networks for control.
  11. We struggle finding lighting solutions for the joinery units we build for luxury homes (studies, dressing rooms, libraries etc), how can you help?
    We work with some of the finest joinery specialists in the UK and have many years of expertise in joinery lighting. Simply send us your plans and we can create a design & detailed specification for you, working at our usual hourly rate charge. Alternatively we can arrange a meeting at our studio or can come to your workshops to figure out the best solutions. This will save you a huge amount of time and ensure the lighting looks perfect.
  12. I’m an electrician and want to buy the lighting from my wholesaler with whom I have an account. If I send a client to you, will you specify from product ranges that my wholesaler can supply?
    Yes, always very happy to do this. Simply advise us beforehand of the wholesaler’s name and we can check to see which ranges they supply, then base the design on this.
  13. I’m an interior designer, can I bring my client and others to the meeting?
    Absolutely. Please bring anyone you wish, there is no limit!

Contact

If you have any questions, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Contact