Michelle Haim (Q-Lounge)

Keep it simple. 'You don't have to be a minimalist to practice that idea. You can have your own aesthetic values, but simultaneously, if you respect and celebrate a certain material, it will come across more powerfully.'

Pull from past projects and learn from current ones. 'This is not going to be the last time I use the products I chose for this project. I definitely plan on exploring how I can do more with them.'

Bob Hogan (Lumiere Salon)

Make sure the owner understands the importance of lighting in the project. The biggest safeguard for the lighting budget is ensuring clients understands what they are getting. With a visual idea of the lighting effect, clients should understand lighting's value to the project.

Research materials and use mock-ups. 'I am a big believer in mock-ups. Especially in conjunction with materials, because it is not just the light, it is light's interaction with other materials that is important.'

Gary Orr (Orr Design Office)

Focus on the light effect itself, not the fixture. 'I am careful not to date a project by using light fixtures that will have to be replaced later.'

Do not rely too heavily on a catalogue from a manufacturer. 'We rarely start with a manufacturer. Instead we start with the effect of the light, and find a way to achieve that quality of light with the least expensive fixture.'

Claudio Ramos (Magnet):

Be conscious of the short and long-term budgets. 'For example, Magnet has three different levels of lights,' says Ramos. 'We save money by saving energy during the day when you don't need great quantities of light.'

Try to work with different sales representatives. 'We designed the lighting in such a way that we were able to specify two different products that could perform exactly the same way and wouldn't destroy the integrity of the design.' Ultimately, though, if the lighting package can be purchased from one sales rep, the designer can ensure a more cost-effective lighting package as a whole.