Text: Har Hollands

22. May 2015

What does technological change mean for the development of lighting design concepts?

An adaptive lighting climate or dynamic lighting effect is the result of a design process. This process starts with the basic question of why light is needed. Once there is a clear understanding of the requirements, a lighting concept can be developed and presented that satisfies the demands. This concept has to be elaborated into a lighting plan which shows how light will be used to realise the desired lighting to fulfil the needs of the users of the space. When variations of use occur or environmental conditions change, different lighting scenarios are required: the lighting is controlled to adapt to the changing lighting climate or lighting effect.

And who should decide how the light is controlled?
During each of the five stages of the planning process described above it is the lighting designer who should control the decisions – in order to create the most appropriate lighting.

Why we need lighting?
Lighting fulfils various, mutually dependent needs: purely functional, aesthetic and emotional demands. In the first place, light enables us to detect obstacles and to perform visual tasks. Light generates a feeling of safety and security and facilitates orientation. It is a powerful tool for communication. Secondly, light emphasises the character of spaces, objects and architecture to identify them. The third reason for applying light is to evoke a specific mood by creating a certain ambience. Hence light is a generator of security, form and/or atmosphere. In short: light is for seeing, to be seen and/or to experience.

What lighting is required?
This is the most important stage of the design process since it has a strong impact on the result. During this phase of the lighting design process the need for light is specified and visualized in terms of visual, aesthetic and experiential aspects. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 97

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