Lighting design might seem like a new and “in fashion” practice. But, in reality, it has been here since the beginning of architecture. Illumination, an ephemeral partner of architecture, plays a much more significant role than most people realize. Therefore, its “complicity” requires a mastery of varied and evolving disciplines.
More architects and owners now realize that a well-planned and documented lighting design can provide dividends that far outweigh a design firm’s service fees. This realization has led to increased participation of lighting designers in lighting projects and engagements.
The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) defines the “language of light” as architecture’s fourth dimension, enhancing space and establishing mood and atmosphere when sensitively integrated into a structure’s design.
Having a lighting professional onboard a lighting design ensures you do much more than light up the place.
Lighting enhances architecture
The correct input from a lighting designer can transform any project - create ambiance, add more depth and height to a structure, and improve functionality. Lighting designers incorporate the art and science of lighting and, more importantly, the business side of the process when working off their magic in any project. They offer a firm understanding of new advances in lighting technology, the technique and artistry to model spaces with light, and the knowledge of many related topics, including the numerous lighting ordinances and codes that have been established.
Photometric studies for greater outcomes
In lighting, specific metrics have been established to ensure adequate lighting – one of these is a photometric analysis. Photometric analysis is a highly efficient method lighting designers use in their design process. Why? It helps determine and set up the perfect lighting for each area, with almost a zero margin for errors.
Lighting helps create a quality environment for space users. Lumen output and color temperature are two factors that determine the perfect lighting setup for any space, considering their significant and direct impacts on the user. However, getting these factors right can be challenging.
Photometric analysis helps to previsualize and validate your lighting design performance. In our blog, “Introduction to MLO: A crucial tool for the future of lighting design,” we explore the numerous benefits of photometric analysis when dealing with ordinances and codes. Do check it out.
Seamless integration of lighting and controllers technologies
The right lighting design should meet human needs. While humans are daylight species, our indoor living habits have created new lighting requirements. These requirements can only be met with efficient lighting technology and a green system.
A lighting designer has advanced knowledge of the relationship between lighting and human sleep-wake physiological rhythms and an understanding of innovative solutions using state-of-the-art lighting systems. In a constantly evolving world backed by fast-developing technology, lighting controllers offer limitless solutions, including an RGB system, DALI, or 0-10V.
Considering how complex these solutions are, they are beyond what architects and electrical engineers can singlehandedly handle. Bringing a lighting designer into the fold allows effective separation of roles, with the architect overseeing the structuring and the electrical engineer focusing on the installation.
Railroad lighting design by CodeLumen
Are you looking to implement the newest architectural developments and technologies in your next building project? Sensors and controllers can help level up your design by creating various ambiances and controlling healthy indoor settings. They can also serve as critical tools for a sustainable energy solution.
Communication is key
While lighting designers are frequently brought-in late into the architectural design, their contributions or inputs are hardly affected by the stages at which they are integrated. The largely overlooked but crucial factor in such integrations is team members’ level and quality of communication. Irrespective of when a lighting designer joins the team, there must be excellent communication between them and the architects, electricians, and other experts.
It is important to state here that lighting designers do not actively participate in installing the luminaires or lighting control system.
But working with a lighting designer and leveraging their expertise ensure the full realization of the architect’s vision. In addition, they usually understand fixtures installation and optimization and their impacts on the lighting budget.
The lighting designer will have complete previsualization of the final architectural design, and when working towards the same goal with the electrical engineers and contractors, quoting becomes simpler and the lighting projects more efficient.
Costs and logistics made simpler
From the layout design to fixture specification and delivery dates, lighting designers introduce different techniques and methodologies to complete the design and finish the job. In addition, hiring a professional minimizes the time and effort you spend on researching the types, styles, and manufacturers.
Collaborating with an electrical engineer allows the lighting designer to provide an electrical complaint lighting design that is an intermediary between the prototype and the final product. The design provided is usually within the best possible, product price-wise, without losing functionality or efficiency.
We are currently witnessing massive space transformations. Places that were previously individual offices are now team meeting rooms, breakrooms, conference rooms, and others. Different lighting is required in each space, depending on the intended use and user's preferences. In all of these, the roles of lighting designers cannot be overemphasized.
Accomplishing a design becomes more challenging for the stakeholders involved with the introduction of various factors to the construction process. Similarly, the rapid evolution of the architectural world means standard grid panels will not be suitable in most cases. Therefore, getting excellent results that meet the current standards requires more effort and input.
Architecture is more than roofs and ceilings; it is an experience. It can only be a proper experience if a lighting designer is in place to oversee the project. That is why renowned architectural firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster+Partners, Hok, and others have the best lighting designers on their teams.
In the same vein, more architects seek active collaborations with lighting experts to get ahead of their competitors. A lighting designer can effectively and promptly communicate with the contractor and architect to ensure a smooth transition, considering lighting is integrated into the architecture at the aesthetic and performance levels.
We can help you make the most of your project, with our team of expert lighting designers and advanced technologies. Reach out today to learn how.