Interior Lighting Design

Lighting pulls all the elements of our lives together. It enhances our experience of a space and sets the rhythm of our lives. During the day, we fill our homes with natural light and take advantage of its brightness and warmth. When the sun goes down, we use the right amount of light to set the mood and direct our focus. Too bright, and the ambience is lost. Too uniform, and we’re not sure where to look. Careful placement of lamps and other accent lights combined with thoughtful dimming of your overhead lights can create just the right mood, taking a seating area from sterile to intimate with the flip of a switch.

Good lighting design brings light down to a human level and focuses on ease of use and creating a narrative for your room and time of day. It takes a layered approach to providing the illumination for the moment with ambient, task, and accent lighting working together in harmony.

As natural light fades at the end of the day, well placed lights create oases for group moments and for personal time: from solo work on hobbies and reading to enjoying an intimate dinner to helping us relax and settle in for the night.A good lighting plan helps make our homes useable at all times of the day and keeps them functional for us as we age.

Marshall Erb - Lighting Design


Marshall Erb Design - Lighting


Building Your Lighting Plan from the Ground Up

Getting the lighting in your home just right starts before the foundation is poured. We work with your architect and contractor to make sure that all the electrical and technical elements required to make your dream come true are part of the building process. Then we collaborate with you to create a comprehensive lighting plan that considers how each room will be used depending on the time of day and who is using them.

For restorations and renovations, we use our extensive historical knowledge to help create a home that marries the best of period charm with modern technology and convenience. This may involve updating the electrical and adding automation or selecting chandeliers and sconces which keep the character of the house intact while reflecting your needs and personality. Our architecturally-driven approach makes sure your classic home fits you, rather than the other way around.

Find out what working with the interior design team at Marshall Erb Design in Chicago can do for you.

Home Automation

Do you want to control individual lights or turn everything off at the end of the day?

Each room in your home should tell a story. We use home automation as a tool to help you set the mood, letting you go from formal to intimate with the push of a button, depending on how you want to use the space.

We can sync your home to your favorite smart device, so that changing the lighting is simple and intuitive. We will also make sure that your most important lights are able to be turned on and off the old-fashioned way.

We use superior products from the following manufacturers:

Types of Lighting

There are three basic types of lighting. A good lighting plan uses each of them to provide the right amount of light and set the desired mood for the task and time of day.

  • Ambient Light

    Also known as general light, ambient light includes chandeliers, recessed and track lights, and other ceiling mounted lights. Ambient lighting should provide a pleasing, even amount of light for you to see and navigate a space safely.

  • Task Lighting

    Task lighting is used to provide the right amount of light needed in a specific location to accomplish a task. Good task lighting makes your space more useable. It also makes the activity more enjoyable and less taxing by reducing eyestrain. Task lighting can include ceiling-mounted pendant lights, under cabinet lights as well as floor and table lights.

  • Accent Lighting

    Accent lighting adds drama to a room by highlighting our favorite things, whether they are artworks, trophies, or architectural details. As a rule, accent lighting needs to be three times brighter than the ambient light to effectively draw our focus to the desired space. Accent lights are generally provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights.



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