“What’s a day without a little night?” This is a song lyric, yes, but it’s also a pretty good question. Light is important to our daily living and provides necessary balance. It affects the way spaces are seen and experienced by people.
There are natural and manmade ways to make use of light, especially for structures. In architecture light plays a particularly important role.
Why Is Lighting Design Important in Architecture?
As mentioned, lighting comes in two forms: natural and artificial (manmade).
Natural lighting is a key to unlocking better mental health for people. It is important to incorporate it as much of it as possible for the space at hand. A clear view of windows and proper positioning for distribution of light can go a long way in designing a beautiful space.
There are several factors for proper integration of artificial lighting into architecture. These include positioning, colors, and specific lighting type involved. Artificial lighting that is not positioned well can lead to eye strain in working or learning spaces or even sleep disruption in living spaces. Commercial building design must place major importance on lighting during the planning and design stages.
Designing Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting is crucial for a myriad of reasons, including safety and giving outdoor or open-air spaces a more grounded feel. It can be used to highlight certain areas of the scenery, too. No matter what the specifics are, it plays a key role in the perception of a certain venue or area. Light distribution design with respect to the balancing of shadows is at play in any outdoor lighting application.
Anyone designing outdoor lighting should know these two things: where the occupants will go and the purpose of the light that is needed in the area. Electrical engineers and lighting design professionals can provide support with these analyses and determinations.
Light can make all the difference in the performance of a space, but another important consideration is the light output relative to the electrical energy consumed by it. Lighting control systems are the biggest component for achieving efficiency and may include daylight sensors or time clocks or a combination of both. Incorporating the proper controls will ensure that the lighting systems do not weigh on electric bills unnecessarily.
● Accent Lighting – These components are all about awareness and grabbing the attention of whoever’s passing by. An example is the need for lighting the front entrance of a place of worship, or pathways to and from a theater. Accent lighting is also used for landscaping when there are plants or structures like a water feature that benefit from the use of directional light.
● Ambient Lighting – This is how the general exterior areas are illuminated. Contrary to popular belief, this is best achieved through lamps with low wattage. Light levels and distribution are designed for the use and activities occurring in the outdoor space.
● Task Lighting – This is used for specific areas when and where there’s a task that needs to be done.
Lighting is everything, and both kinds natural and artificial must be properly designed for the space and its purpose and use. Architecture relies heavily on lighting as it affects the way a space is processed. Public spaces, commercial facilities and living spaces all benefit greatly from well-planned and designed lighting. Investing in the right lighting design should be top priority.
Looking to work with a qualified engineering firm in Tulsa, OK? Reach out to MPW Engineering today! We’re a multidisciplinary engineering firm that serves clients across the United States.