Commercial Lighting Process

Creating the perfect approach

We offer a full range of services from Pre-Design to Post-Construction phases and customise our scope and price separately for every project.

Our services are priced per project phase, allowing you and your client to engage us phase-by-phase or by ad-hoc services.

Either send us a set of plans using the contact section below or ask our director to meet with you to discuss how we work and what we can offer.

Phase #1


Send us a copy of the architectural, landscape and interior plans so we can get back to you with our fees and timing, then talk or meet with Sam (our Director) to run through our services and what you or your client needs from us.

  • Initial briefings with design team/client
  • Handover of design motifs and design personality
  • Establish cost and timing expectations
  • Fee Proposal/Quote for our works back within 1 week

We individually tailor our contracts to each project and client. Just tell us what you need help with and ask for any ad-hoc work later if you need it.

Phase #2


We pull together ideas and provide an initial strategy including mood boards, sketches or renders and several lighting options for the choice of the client and design team.

  • Mood board showing lighting by layers for your edit
  • Visualisations, renders and/or sketches to help visualise
    the concept.
  • Initial lighting calculations to ensure feasibility
  • Preliminary budget to manage the cost

Lighting design in 3 dimensions allows you and your client to quickly understand how the spaces will behave under different scenes and at different times of the day.

Phase #3

Developed Design

We refine the chosen concept by turning the design teams preferences into a working set of scaled lighting plans, architectural specifications, decorative specifications, lighting zoning and circuiting plans, ready for sign-off and start coordinating with the design team and suppliers.

  • Scaled lighting plans in DWG or BIM with notation
  • Initial lighting specifications overview
  • Lighting grouping and circuiting
  • Review of window treatments and daylight management
  • Supplier and design team meetings
Phase #4

Detailed Design

‘Compliance’ is an important aspect of this stage, with Dark Arts ensuring NZ building code 3604, NZ Standards 1158, 4282 and 60598, as well as any local by-laws are being met.

  • Detailed drawings for integrated lighting
  • Full architectural specifications including part numbers and supplier details
  • Review of all decorative lighting
  • Lighting calculations and council submittals
  • Final budget to ensure project is within allowances
  • Lighting controls specification and schedule
Phase #5

Contract Administration

Being fully independent we are always able to find alternative lighting fixtures with better price points or lead times, without damaging the integrity of the lighting design.

  • Full specification document that dictates installation methods and hardware
  • Unbiased reviews on any alternatives received from wholesalers
  • Analysis of tender returns
  • Scene setting guide and control schedule for lighting controls specialist

Dark Arts never add a margin onto the cost of light fittings. Our focus is on providing you and your client with the best products and lighting design within budget.

Phase #6


Issues arise on site that require quick thinking and problem-solving skills. Without oversight, lighting can be installed in the wrong location, orientation and not installed incorrectly or safely leading to lengthy and costly additions or amendments that can increase the project timeline and cost.

  • Attending or answering queries from site and advising on remedies
  • Meetings with contractors to ensure they fully understand the scope and concept
  • Reviewing drawings from fabricators (kitchen designers, joinery etc.)
  • Review of mock-ups and decorative lighting installation
  • Tracking as built drawings and specifications so you have a set of plans that reflect the finished project
Phase #7

Post Construction

This is where the Art comes into Dark Arts and the project come to light! This final stage is the most important for Dark Arts as it allows for the completion of the lighting concept by way of fine tuning of the architectural “scene”.

  • Issue of defects reports for substandard installation
  • Supervision of lighting focussing (aiming spotlights etc.)
  • Direction of control system programming
  • Setting of lighting scenes and autonomy
  • Handover lighting controls to client/end user

Photography is best done after this final touch as lighting will change the appearance of any space dramatically.