David Weeks on How to Shop for Lighting

The New York-based designer's thoughts on lighting the home, choosing the right bulb, and more.

New York-based designer David Weeks is no stranger to lighting. His deceptively simple pendants, chandeliers, and sconces—all in white, black, or a rusty red—curve and bend, defying traditional geometries. We chatted with Weeks about what to look for when shopping for lighting—that is, when lighting is necessary. The designer recommends relying on natural light as much as possible. "If you’re in a room in the late afternoon, there is always that moment when you decide to turn on a light," Weeks says. "It's always kind of a sad moment to me. The day is over."

Here, we compile Weeks's thoughts on lighting the home, choosing the right bulb, and more. Click through the slideshow to see some of Weeks's own lights, plus other designs.

What to look for: "Quality is the one feature I wouldn't do without. To me, a lamp is as much an object as much as it is a light source. The features are specific to need. A task lamp has a completely different program then a pendant has. It seems a shame to not buy the light you want because it doesn't have a sliding floor dimmer."

Dining rooms: "Pendants centered on your table top works well. You want your tabletop to glow and your food well lit. But when it's time to sit together around a table, the space between the people is the most important. The rest of the room can darken beyond the circle of participants."

Reading light: "I read to a 25-watt sconce that is attached tight to the wall near the corner of the headboard. That way you get a lot of additional light from the wall and you aren't blinding whoever is in bed with you—partner, child, dog..."

Energy-efficient lights: "I like LEDs, and Home Depot has some pretty good options. I have also been happy with the standard LED offering from Phillips."

Picking a bulb: "I suggest experimenting, playing around with different options. Most bulbs look different in an incredibly subtle way. For the light bulbs in my Tribeca showroom, I bought several different brands before finally finding the one that had the tint that was perfect. I’ve recently been excited about how LED bulbs are becoming more refined in their design, less clunky."

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