Every human activity has two dimensions to it, one technical and one aesthetic. Lighting is no exception. Applications that deal more with the technical dimension (such as road lighting) can easily be described as good or bad and can be easily documented by norms and guidelines. When it comes to applications that are more aesthetically-oriented (such as facade lighting), it’s really hard to tell.
Have you ever seen Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody video? In the opening scene the band members appear with a very narrow beam of light right above their heads. The result is a very dramatic image with hard shadows distorting their facial features. Although this technique may have worked for Queen’s video, believe me it doesn’t work for bathroom mirror lighting!
Three or four years ago, I ran a poll for several months on the website of a company I was working at back then. I got some very interesting feedback for the question: “What is the biggest problem with lighting in your workplace, if any?”