We design for equitable use. Our goal is to create spaces that do not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users.

Our designs focus on flexibility, so that the lighting supports use by those with varied preferences and abilities.

We value the voices of those who are directly impacted by the application of our design process.

We understand our role as designer to be a facilitator instead of an expert.

We aim for sustainable design


  • WBENC – Certified Woman-Owned Business
  • M/WBE Certified in NYC
  • Established 2014
  • Offices in NYC and Maine

Dwaal Lighting Design is known for research, alongside thoughtful creative design. We will try to discover the essence of the space and find ways to express this through lighting. We consider first and foremost the people who will be using, occupying or wandering through the spaces.

Dwaal offers architectural lighting design at a high level of creative design, research and development, and technical proficiency. Dwaal has a reputation for advocating for the end-user while considering the broader goals of the project. Our goal is to design lighting that will make a positive difference.

Dwaal Lighting Design is a WBENC Certified Woman-owned Business, and is M/WBE certified in New York City.

KATE SWEATERFounder / Principal
Kate Sweater MS, LC, Assoc. IALD, is a passionate and dedicated lighting professional. She is a creative thinker in the field of lighting, with over 15 years of experience in both lighting design and lighting research. No matter which hat she’s wearing, her goal is simple – to provide equitable and universal lighting solutions for sensitive populations and spaces. Kate’s unique background blends the artistic (BFA from RISD) with the practical (MS from RPI), and allows for discovery of unique design solutions and innovative research-based strategies. If she could be doing anything in the world it would be working on lighting for those who need it the most, and sailing around the world with her family.

  • Master’s of Science in Lighting (RPI)
  • Lighting Certified (LC)
  • Over 15 years of experience in Lighting
  • Associate Member IALD
  • Treasurer of the IES Maine Section
  • Secretary of the IES Discomfort Glare in Outdoor Nighttime Environments Committee
  • Member of  IES Museum and Gallery Lighting Committee

View Current CV

Leni Schwendinger
Leni SchwendingerCollaborator
Leni Schwendinger is a published, award-winning authority on the many issues of city lighting, with more than 20 years of experience, creating worldwide illuminated environments. This work is shared through Leni’s public speaking and envisioning engagements, including “NightSeeing™, Navigate Your Luminous City” program, in Australia, cities in the Global South, North, and U.S.In practice, her projects focus on infrastructure, and public art such as NYC subway, bridges in Canada, Cleveland RTA, among others. She is a visiting research fellow at the London School of Economics, Configuring Light Program, a Design Trust for Public Space Fellow and recently served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Portland State University Department of Architecture.


(KS) Parsons The New School for Design, School of Constructed Environments. New York, NY.  Invited critic – Graduate Lighting Thesis (2016, 2017,2018)

(KS) Parsons The New School for Design, School of Constructed Environments. New York, NY.  Part time Faculty 2016, 2017

(KS) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lighting Research Center. Troy, NY. Senior Research Specialist 2011 – 2013



(KS) darc Magazine (2019, Aug) [d]arc Magazine Interviews. Kate Sweater – Ozzy + Wes* . [link to article] *O+W is a subsidiary of Dwaal

(KS) darc Magazine (2019, July) 3d Decorative Design Directory 2019/20, Page 12 (Lighting’s Ones to Watch). [link to article]



(KS) upcoming LightFair, May 2020. Las Vegas, NV. Defining Dark Sky: A discussion of pro-dark metrics and practices

(KS) LEDucation Trade Show and Conference, March 2019. New York City, NY.  Lighting Quality Metrics for Products and Projects

(KS) Twelfth International Conference on Solid State Lighting and Fourth International Conference on White LEDs and Solid State Lighting, October 2012. Effect of different colored background lighting on LED discomfort glare perception

(KS) 13th International Symposium on the Science and Technology of Lighting, June 24-29, 2012. Troy, New York. Visual performance and perceived lighting quality under flickering illumination

(KS) Low-Income Forum on Energy, May 2012. Albany, NY. What is the impact of new lighting technologies on the consumer?



Please see this link to KateSweater.com/publications for a list and links



2019 IALD goes WILD 2019 Featured Project. Electric Garden Recording Studio

2018 AIANY Design Awards Honor. Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse (withiTillettiLightingiDesigniAssociates)

(KS) Lighting Fellow for the Design Trust for Public Space, Opening the Edge project. September 2016 – Current

(KS) Shemitz Scholarship Winner, the Lighting Quotient. 2011

Research, alongside thoughtful creative design, is the basis of our approach.

Our designs will advocate for the end-user while considering the broader goals of the project team.

Universal and inclusive design that promotes social justice is at the heart of our practice.