Why use an architectural lighting specialist as part of your design team?

If your electrician has specified lighting as part of the electrical system and your interior designer has selected the decorative equipment; why do you need an architectural lighting specialist?

The lighting design profession encompasses construction, electricity, interior design, ergonomics, health & safety and environmental issues.  A designer will provide technical expertise and design techniques which can make or break the success of a project.  This is especially the case when good illumination is paramount to success such as a retail store or entertainment venue.

  • Architectural lighting design has 4 primary functions:
  • To obtain sufficient light for the building’s purpose
  • To enhance the aesthetics of a building
  • To reduce the initial and operating costs
  • To increase energy efficiency

The importance of these is determined by the individual project, for example the primary goal of a manufacturing facility may be to reduce operational costs, aesthetics isn’t too important.

Lighting technology is rapidly advancing and thousands of new products become available each year.  Only a specialist in the field has the knowledge to advise you on the most suitable lighting for your project.  Through constant study, they can provide you with the most cost effective, visually appealing or functional solutions for your project.

A designer has the experience to plan, prepare and implement a budget.  They can help reduce expenditure initially; with marketplace knowledge of the best manufacturers to obtain equipment and ways to reduce installation costs.  As well as providing clever ways to minimise the amount of lighting necessary such as using reflective surfaces.

Many experts argue that, the relationship between architecture and lighting is mutually dependent.  In the same way Curators at the Louvre appreciate that the Mona Lisa needs the finest lighting to highlight every nuance of colour.  Lighting in architecture can be used to enhance the form, colour, character or drama of a building.  Lighting designers therefore must understand numerous disciplines; including physics and the physiological and psychology of light perception.

“Light allows us to define what is around us, by day and night: the changing perception of the things or the bodies on which it impacts, and the space that contains them.  Light, or absence of light, can also transform this space in each season, each day of the year, each hour of the day, each moment.” – Cesar Portela, Light and Architecture