Lighting Designer Job Description

Lighting Designers design and plan lighting and electrical systems. They work in collaboration with a variety of professionals, including interior designers, engineers and architects. The lighting design can be for residential, commercial or industrial spaces.

A Lighting Designer usually works under limited supervision, but as a member of a collaborative team. They usually work for lighting companies, architecture or interior design firms and service clients, but sometimes they work for a large venue and are in charge of designing lighting for the venue’s events.


Lighting Designer Duties and Responsibilities

In order to design the lighting in a given space, a Lighting Designer performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Lighting Designer in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Visit Project Sites

In order to effectively design lighting systems for a given site, the Lighting Designer must travel to the site to assess and analyze it. They also communicate extensively with the customer while there to identify their desires and needs. A team of electrical engineers will typically travel with them to survey the site.

Design Lighting

After adequately assessing a project site, the Lighting Designer designs a lighting plan for the site according to customer specifications, the assessment of the site itself and safety concerns including state and local energy and building codes. During the design process, they act as a liaison between the client and engineering departments, balancing client desires and aesthetics with practical concerns.

Manage Budget

A Lighting Designer must pay attention to the budget of their project. Usually they are working within the financial constraints of their client, so they need to make sure as they are designing a lighting system that it remains within the client’s budget. They collect all receipts for expenses in order to track budget.

Install Lighting

Once their designs are approved, the Lighting Designer joins a team of people to go back to the site and install the lighting and electrical systems they’ve designed. They hang and focus all lighting devices and install proper electrical lines to power the lighting system.


Lighting Designer Skills

Lighting Designers are knowledgeable and experienced professionals who know how to deal with the intricacies of designing and installing electrical systems. They are organized multi-taskers who can juggle multiple clients at once. Both analytical and creative, successful Lighting Designers solve problems while also designing lighting systems that meet the aesthetic and design needs of their clients.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Lighting Designers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Lighting Designer, focus on the following. Go getter enthusiastic ambitious

  • Having a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Electrical Engineering, or related field
  • Possessing experience in lighting/electrical services
  • Demonstrating proficiency in AutoCAD and Revit
  • Being proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Showing an understanding of lighting design

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Lighting Designer toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite
  • Energy efficient design experience
  • Prior experience as a Lighting Designer
  • Experience with CRM software

Lighting Designer Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Lighting Designer. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

Electrical Equipment – A blog for a large electrical engineering community

Lighting Design International – A visual lighting design blog

Delightfull – A blog filled with the latest trends in lighting

Industry Groups

NSPE – National Society of Professional Engineers

International Association of Lighting Designers – Association for lighting designers

American Lighting Association – Association for the lighting industry

Electrical Engineer Books

Stage Lighting Design – The craft and career of stage lighting

Beginner’s Guide to Electrical Engineering – A beginner’s guide to becoming an Electrical Engineer

Lighting Design Basics – An introductory book on lighting design


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