How Does Architectural Lighting Design Work

architectural lighting design

Architectural Lighting Design consists of the systematic manipulation and arrangement of illumination sources or both, in order to meet human requirements in day-to-day life.

The term ‘architectural’ is usually taken to mean ‘of the architectural age’, though the term has also come to refer to a type of profession or industry concerned with advanced architectural and engineering arrangements of light. This can vary widely in the scope and applications of the discipline, though some aspects are inherent in almost all architectural fields, and are present in any type of architectural lighting design.

Create A Visual Experience

A house cat sitting in front of a brick building

The main objective of any architectural lighting design is to create a visual experience that makes its recipient feel as if he or she is in the space. Achieving this goal is achieved through planning, which includes an analysis of space, physical features, and environmental concerns. The physical environment is analyzed for features such as access, egress, safety and security, as well as architectural details such as architectural lighting.

Architectural lighting can be highly complex, however, often involves less complicated solutions. For instance, instead of connecting lights to each other, one can simply connect individual lights into a grouping, creating a ‘light garden’. Such ‘light gardens’ typically contain a ‘central fixture’, sometimes coupled with a series of lights, and can be extended towards a defined space, adding to the overall effect of architectural lighting design. Additionally, ‘off-set’ architectural lighting designs often feature one central light, which may be coupled with off-set fixtures at each end of the ‘light garden’.

The Use Of LED Lighting Technology

A close up of a green building

In addition to the application of simple lighting design concepts, advanced technologies are used to produce even greater effects. One such technology involves the use of LED lighting technology. LED (light emitting diode) light fixtures have been found to have many positive qualities when it comes to indoor lighting. They provide energy savings and are considered to be more long-lasting than incandescent light bulbs. Furthermore, LED light bulbs do not emit any ‘visible’ heat and this creates a unique environment that increases the comfort and safety of the space it’s installed in.

LED lighting designs are also beneficial because they offer a virtually maintenance-free solution. Incandescent light bulbs must be replaced after just thirty years, whereas LED lights last up to three hundred thousand hours before requiring re-use. Additionally, LEDs use about fifty percent less energy than their incandescent counterparts, which makes them more environmentally friendly. This makes them the best option for lighting design in residential spaces.

Create Dramatic Effects

Another positive aspect of LED light fixtures is that they provide visual interest. Due to their light patterns, they can be deliberately designed to create dramatic effects. For example, by using varying patterns and colors, you can create the appearance of depth or open spaces within a space. Because they’re not ‘powered’ by electricity, they provide a virtually constant source of illumination, which makes them great for use in spaces where other lighting options might be impractical or too expensive.

Architectural lighting design can be a challenging undertaking, especially for those new to lighting design. There are several aspects of space design that must be carefully considered. Lighting is one of these aspects. You must incorporate bright and clear light patterns into a space in order to create visual interest and to effectively ‘soften’ the look of the space. The overall effect of the design should be one that creates a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere that works well in a variety of settings.

Final Words

If you’re interested in using architectural lighting design in your home, think carefully about the type of light fixtures you’re going to use. Incandescent lights tend to work best in spaces that are large and open, and they work best when a great deal of natural light is available. Fluorescent lights are more suited for smaller spaces, because they tend to be brighter when there is less natural light available. Whatever you decide on, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced professional to help you plan and execute your space design.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter