The challenges of Public Lighting

#architecturallighting #architecture #biophilia #contemporarylighting #lightingdesign #modernlighting architectural lighting

This week Amie Schulenburg, the director of Next.Contrast, a multidisciplinary lighting firm in Melbourne, Australia, continues the theme on public lighting. The article also touches on aspects of biophilic design and the importance of utilizing natural elements in the design process. Amie is a regular contributor to her own newsletter on LinkedIn: Designing with Light.

JB: What do you see as the challenges currently in the areas of public lighting?

AS: In the context of hotels and resorts, our design approach for public spaces is critically important. It allows us to craft transitional experiences that embrace the surroundings and set the expectation for what's to come. One challenge we sometimes face is ensuring these spaces can be experienced as intended. The romantic notion of a moodier, dimly lit space is often met with resistance, as people assume brighter lighting is better or necessary, as commonly seen in public areas. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. These transitional spaces are meant to gently guide guests from one area to the next. Employing lower lighting levels for wayfinding creates contrast with the subsequent spaces guests will enter. When they arrive and move into the next brighter area, the contrast heightens the impact of that new experience tremendously. This approach instills a sense of anticipation as guests navigate the property, which is key to delivering uplifting hotel experiences.

JB: As lighting designers, what is our role, and how can we improve lighting in public spaces?

AS: When it comes to hotel and resort design, it is beneficial to explore unconventional lighting approaches rather than strictly following traditional methods. While downlights and similar applications have their place, we must recognize the vast array of available surface options—walls, ceilings, floors, trees, and diverse textures. By leveraging these varied surfaces innovatively in our lighting solutions, we empower our clients and inspire the design team to transcend conventional thinking. This approach nurtures creativity and paves the way for imaginative concepts to thrive. Embracing such an outlook not only produces visually captivating spaces but also enhances the overall guest experience through thoughtful illumination.

JB: How is lighting technology assisting designers when considering lighting public spaces?

AS: The lighting technology landscape is continuously evolving, and keeping up with every facet of these advancements can be a challenge. Nonetheless, it remains an incredibly exciting domain to explore. Consider these examples:

  1. Advances in computer visualization technologies, including certain AI programs, excel at generating expressive 3D renderings that evoke strong emotional responses. This aids in effectively communicating design intent to clients.
  2. Lighting calculation software plays a crucial role in understanding light levels within the spaces we design, providing valuable insights to inform our decision-making process.
  3. The ongoing expansion of LED technology is a dynamic area that requires careful consideration. Each LED source is unique, and overlooking this aspect during selection or opting for an alternative can lead to unintended complications. Understanding the intricacies of what we work with ensures our clients receive precisely what was envisioned.

Leveraging these tools empowers us to make well-informed decisions efficiently. They have become integral to our workflow, and their absence would undoubtedly pose significant challenges in delivering.

Older Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published