The Process

initial meeting

Initial Meeting

The initial meeting can either be carried out on site or from scaled plans at 1:50. During this meeting, each room is looked at in detail in order to establish the correct number of circuits and the position of each light to ensure a layered and attractive lighting scheme. How the lights are controlled – either manually or by AV – should be established at this stage. The more information that can be provided in this meeting, the better. This includes furniture layouts, decorative finishes, joinery details, picture positions, kitchen and bathroom elevations, as well as garden planting. A well-developed plan is hugely helpful in lessening the need for too many revisions. However, clients that come with less information find concentrating on the lighting a good exercise in how to approach and consider other parts of the design.


Design Work

After the initial design meeting, a detailed lighting plan is marked up providing all the important information. The different circuits are shown, often grouped by their load type as well as their function and each light is given a position. Where applicable, lights have dedicated beam widths and lenses to refine the final effect.

The drawings can either be done by hand or on CAD. These drawings are accompanied by a detailed written specification to be read in conjunction with the drawings. Specification sheets for individual fittings are also provided, where necessary, as well as a letter outlining any important points for consideration.



Unavoidably, revisions may be required as plans change and develop. It is important that these changes are communicated in order for the lighting to be updated accordingly. In order to reduce the number of revisions, and therefore cost, a log of changes can be kept until required.

Site visits

Site Visits

It is always a very good idea to meet with the electrical contractor on site prior to ‘first fix’. This helps ensure a smooth installation process, preventing mistakes and additional costs being incurred. It is also a chance for the contractor to address any queries they may have directly.


Decorative Light Sourcing

More often than not, when a client is choosing the fabrics and furnishings themselves, Zoë is asked to help source the decorative lighting, drawing on her extensive knowledge of contemporary and antique decorative lighting suppliers. It is an exciting and fun part of any project. Zoë advises on the merits and drawbacks of particular lights and by taking this in-house is able to be more involved in the accurate positioning, in particular of wall lights. The purchasing of these should be discussed directly.



Commissioning is instrumental in refining the final effect and is best done in the evening when the clients have moved in and furniture and pictures etc are mostly in place. The scheme is looked at as a whole but with a focus on particular parts of the design. For instance, where recessed directional spotlights are being used,  the fittings are checked that they were installed and angled as per the plan and any lenses specified were also included.  A snagging list would be drawn up for areas that still needed to be addressed and resolved. Where a control system is in place, scene setting and programming would be advised on alongside the AV team and the client.

drawing with title block

Fees & Purchasing

The design service is charged by the hour and a fee proposal can be provided. Expenses incurred are also charged for. These usually include printing, scanning and travel outside London. For further information on fees or if you would like to arrange a meeting, please contact Zoë Duff Gordon Lighting.

Purchasing should be discussed directly with Zoë as this varies on a project-to-project basis depending on the scope of works and should be agreed at the outset.