Lighting is frequently described as both an art and a science, yet the art of design may be reduced to a set of guiding principles. By grasping these concepts, electrical distributors exhibit their knowledge and distinguish themselves from the competition. They can initiate a dialogue with owners that begins with application requirements and concludes with equipment sales.
What Illumination Can Accomplish?
Light is a commodity that should be obtained at the lowest feasible price, but lighting is an asset that should be invested in thoughtfully with the correct design and equipment.
The eyes provide the vast majority of our impressions of the environment, and vision requires light. Therefore, light is the channel through which the majority of individuals view the world.
“Lighting” is the use of light to illuminate environments. The placement, relative intensities, and direction of light can have a significant effect not only on eyesight and visual comfort but also on perception. In addition to light, the lighting equipment itself may alter how others perceive a room and its owner.
Therefore, lighting may affect satisfaction, visibility, work performance, safety, security, sales, mood and ambiance, aesthetic evaluation, and social interaction. It also conveys information about the place, such as whether a store is likely to sell discounted or high-end goods, or if a restaurant offers quick food or exquisite dining.
For an item to be recognized as a certain color, that color must be present in both the object and the light that strikes it. Designers are concerned with color appearance. The lighting industry is currently exploring a suggested measure that accounts for saturation. Changing CCT, CRI, and saturation may have a significant effect on the appearance of people, objects, and environments by intensifying, muting, or distorting their colors.
The arrangement of light inside a place can elicit a psychological reaction. In a foyer, for instance, homogeneous lighting that illuminates the walls and ceiling may make the room feel public and visually larger. In contrast, low-intensity work lighting and a little amount of perimeter illumination may create an intimate atmosphere in a good restaurant.
The lighting of a room determines its personality and how others perceive it, which in turn impacts how people feel in that location. Below are some lighting effects that may convert the same room into several settings.
The contrast between light and shadow may expose texture and provide dimension to people, objects, and surfaces while modeling. For instance, showering a brick wall with light can visibly reduce its texture by eliminating shadows, but grazing it at an angle may enhance its texture. Strong downlighting on the face can also create shadows on the eyebrows, nose, and wrinkles. The relative intensities and directions of light influence modeling, with the light distribution properties of the light source being a significant role.
Point sources, such as incandescent lamps and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), are tiny bulbs that may cast prominent shadows. Linear sources, such as fluorescent bulbs, emit diffuse light from the source’s surface, so reducing the intensity of shadows. Large surfaces that generate very diffuse light, such as a ceiling that reflects light from an indirect light source, constitute area sources.
A Friendly Talk
Lighting design is the practice of illuminating areas. It begins with a discussion of organizational and user requirements with the owner.
Stacked With Light
Layers of general/ambient, task, and accent lighting are commonly used to illuminate a place properly.
General illumination: This primary layer offers adequate illumination for visual work, ambient illumination for safe movement, or both. Typically, it is delivered via overhead equipment. Typical ambient illumination is diffuse and consistent.
Based on its light output, general illumination normally falls into one of three categories: direct, indirect, or a mix of the two.
Direct lighting directs all or almost all of the light downward toward the job at hand. Depending on the optics utilized, the light may be focused or dispersed. It is highly efficient, but there are concerns about direct glare, wall scalloping, and strong shadows. Indirect lighting directs all or almost all of the light upward toward the ceiling and adjacent walls, where it is subsequently reflected onto the job area. Indirect lighting offers a very soft light distribution, which might increase visual comfort, but runs the danger of rendering the area aesthetically flat.
Additional task lighting: This first layer offers stronger light intensity for the job at hand. Typically, it is given by localized equipment such as task lights, of which there is a vast selection.
Accent lighting: This primary layer is intended to highlight prominent items, exhibits, artwork, architecture, and locations by concentrating light on them with a higher relative intensity. It is frequently provided by equipment such as directional lighting with variable beam widths that enable exact control over the area illuminated. In environments where display movement is anticipated, such as a retail store, flexible (amiable and/or moveable) lighting is advised.
By independently regulating these layers at varying intensities, a variety of sceneries may be created, allowing for the versatility to accommodate diverse space requirements.
In addition to the fundamental lighting layers, a variety of approaches may be employed to create unique lighting effects. Among them are downlighting, wall washing/grazing, cove lighting, uplighting, silhouette, and sparkle/glitter.
Downlighting: Downlighting is a common lighting approach that positions light below the light source and is available with a range of lighting equipment, including downlights and recessed troffers. Light can be soft and diffuse for visual comfort in a setting with important visual activities, or powerful and non-diffuse for a visually engaging environment.
Unbalanced downlighting and other sources of light can create undesirable shadows on faces. Downlights put close to a wall might cause unsightly, tall, and thin scalloping.
Wall washing and grazing require illuminating a wall consistently from top to bottom with a graded wash. This “washing” removes shadows, producing a seemingly uniform and flat look. Therefore, it is best suited for flat walls. To get a decent wall-washing effect, light sources must be positioned at a reasonable distance from the wall and near enough to one another.
Wall grazing is comparable to wall washing, except the light source is placed closer to the wall, so emphasizing shadows and revealing texture. Therefore, it is most appropriate for brick and stone walls. The light source may be positioned at varying distances from the wall, so altering the angle and shadowing generated.
Cove lighting entails the illumination of surrounding coves. This accentuates the architectural element and illuminates the ceiling, reflecting indirect ambient light into the room.
Uplighting is the placement of light above the source of illumination. It is not widely used, although it may be helpful for some purposes, such as table candles and emphasizing architecture, plants, and trees.
Silhouetting is the process of backlighting an item with no or little frontal illumination to create a silhouette. The lighting can be diffuse or bright (which clarifies the item). Typically, this method is employed to illuminate artwork, logos, or buildings for aesthetic purposes.
Sparkle/Glitter: This is the process of creating minuscule points of reflection to provide visual appeal and a sense of beauty. Some examples are chandeliers and cutlery in restaurants.
This private office is illuminated to 50 footcandles of task illumination using four distinct lighting fixtures, including troffers, downlights, parabolic troffers, and linear indirect lighting.
Aesthetics: The visible lighting equipment’s aesthetics will also affect how the area and its owner are regarded. A gorgeous, shining chandelier in a hotel foyer, for instance, might indicate luxury. A workplace using linear hanging luminaires instead of troffers provides a sleek, high-tech appearance. Similarly, the placement of luminaires provides a sense of aesthetics. Always position luminaires such that they are not visually startling (unless the designer wants it that way for some reason).