Architectural Lighting Designs

Friday, November 08, 2013

Architectural lighting design is the art and science of lighting the environment both indoors and outdoors. There are many key principles and guidelines in architectural lighting.
Reduction of Light Pollution
Light pollution is excessive, misdirected or obtrusive artificial light. Some manufactures offer luminaires with a label that declares them "dark sky compliant." What that means is that they feature cut off optics to reduce glare and prevent light from spilling upward or sideways. Ways to reduce light pollution include:
  • Utilizing light sources of minimum intensity necessary to accomplish the light's purpose.
  • Turning off lights using a timer or occupancy sensor or manually when not needed.
  • Improving light fixtures so that they direct their light more accurately towards where it is needed and with fewer side effects.
  • Adjusting the types of lights used so that the light waves emitted are those that are less likely to cause severe light pollution problems.
Sustainability is Key
New and mandatory regulations on energy efficiency address both light levels and occupancy based on controls. LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) are solid light bulbs which are extremely energy-efficient. There are long-lasting, durable and cool. LED's are also mercury-free and cost-effective. When choosing a bulb, keep mind mind your estimated brightness, if you need a 3-way bulb, choosing between warm and cool light, which kind of base you need or if you need standard of dimmable. Make sure to choose high quality bulbs or they will die prematurely. Also look for certifications.
If you don’t want to use bulbs, there’s also the option to choose flexible strip lighting. These are also LED and are extremely cost effective and energy efficient and can be used to light up elements such as: under kitchen cabinets, workshops, office, architectural showcase and much more.
Composing Space
Negative space is empty space around a subject. Photographers compose the space of where they are taking the picture to make it captivating. To make your architectural areas as pretty as pictures, the space around the object must be composed with contrast both in brightness and hue. Different types of lighting are the best way to do this.
The key design principle is in visual perception, nothing is absolute and all is relative. The objective of architectural lighting design is to obtain sufficient light for purposes of the building, balancing factors of initial cost and operating cost, appearance and energy efficiency.
There are three fundamental aspects of the illumination of building or spaces.
  • The aesthetic appeal of a building - which is most important in the retail environments.
  • The ergonomic aspect - which is the measure of how much of a function the lighting plays.
  • Energy efficiency - which ensures that light is not wasted by over illumination.
By reducing your overspill of light, using the right types of lighting and the correct bulbs and using light as your paintbrush, your architectural lighting design can become a true work of art.


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