Changing lighting fixtures has the power to transform a room. If you’re thinking of making a change but still feel like you’re in the dark, read up on the latest interior lighting trends and some advice from Tom Ogawa, owner of Lighting Concepts and Design in Honolulu.

  • Natural textures and materials are still very much on-trend for 2019. Try to think beyond the more common natural fibers such as wicker, rattan and woven grass to less commonly seen materials such as wood, cork and clay.
  • Marble bases in darker colors rather than the usual grey and white are very of the moment. For example, consider a black or dark green marble or marble-like finish.
  • Industrial minimalism in lighting will continue its popularity surge into 2019 but with a more refined look. Instead to the warehouse lighting styles that have been popular in recent years, expect to see more refined looks with coated metals and brass. The resurgence of Edison bulbs will continue.
  • For ceiling fixtures, rather than dropping down into a space, a more modern option is for the lighting to stay closer to the ceiling and spread across the width of a space.
  • Instead of track lighting or a series of small pendant lights over an island, consider a centerpiece-like large pendant light.

Ogawa said he is seeing many of the looks mentioned above, but a diverse clientele means he tends to outfit homes in a broad array of styles. Many of Ogawa’s clients prefer practical, timeless designs, and/or choose designs that fit their lifestyles and personal aesthetic rather than those dictated by trends, he said.

For example, residents of newer, modern condominiums will choose contemporary designs and clean lines.  On the other end of the spectrum, clients who have relocated from the mainland or who live on the mainland and have a second home here on Oahu favor more organic, warmer designs that have an island feel.

“Hawaii is such a unique market due to our melting pot of cultures, it’s difficult to pinpoint any one design trend,” he said. “We are blessed with so many different clients from all parts of the world.”

As LED performance improves as they become more affordable, most of Ogawa’s clients request those rather than incandescent lights, he said.

 “Fixtures are either offered with a built-in LED, or it has regular sockets which can be changed from an incandescent lamp to an LED.”

Some clients, however, are wary of fixtures with built-in LED because they don’t like the fact that they won’t be able to change the bulb. But LEDs are designed to last over 20 years, so by the time it stops working it will be well overdue to replace it anyway, Ogawa noted.

The one instance where Ogawa would recommend incandescent over LED is when you want the option to dim a light source to a very low light.

“With an incandescent, you can dim it down to the point where it's barely on and LED still has a way to go in that category,” he said.

For those who would like to make a dramatic change on a limited budget, Ogawa recommends switching from incandescent to LED. He cautions, however, that all LEDs are not the same and you will want to note the lumen output (brightness) and the kelvin temperature (higher kelvin temps = cooler colored lights and lower kelvin temps = warmer colored lights).

“Both will play a big part in the ambiance of the room,” Ogawa noted. “There is no rule of thumb that can be applied here, because everyone is different. A quick online search of cool white vs. warm white would be a good start to see what you prefer.”

Some Local Interior Lighting Sources:

  • Lighting Concepts and Design
  • City Mill
  • Lowe's Home Improvement
  • Home Depot

* Photo Courtesy of Lighting Concepts and Design