Architectural lighting design

Architectural lighting design

Architectural lighting design is a field within architecture and architectural engineering that concerns itself primarily with the illumination of architecture, including academic/institutional, corporate, hospitality, monumental structures, residential, retail/entertainment and site/facade lighting projects.

Professional trade organizations

Prior to the 1960s, the concept of illumination in architecture was not considered to be important by many architects or consulting engineers. This changed with the formation of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) in 1969, the current mission of which is "to serve the IALD worldwide membership by promoting the visible success of its members in practicing lighting design." This created a new attitude towards the profession and raised the profile of architectural lighting design, one of the principal goals of the organization.

The European Lighting Designers' Association (ELDA, later ELDA+) was formed in 1993; in 2007, ELDA changed its name to the Professional Lighting Designers Association (PLDA). These two organizations are the main authorities regarding lighting design in architecture.

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) seeks to improve the lighted environment by bringing together those with lighting knowledge and by translating that knowledge into actions that benefit the public.

The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) is an organization "devoted to international cooperation and exchange of information among its member countries on all matters relating to the science and art of lighting." CIE works globally to develop and publish lighting design standerdization and best-practice documents.

The Professional Lighting & Sound Association (PLASA) represents the interests of many lighting designers and manufacturers, several of which are invovled in the Architectural lighting market. PLASA is UK orientated, but does represent companies on a European and International level.

There are many more nationally-based organizations such as the Schweizerische Licht Gesellschaft (SLG) in Switzerland, the Association de Concepteurs Eclairage (ACE) in France, the Hellenic Illumination Committee (HIC) in Greece and the Associazione Professionisti dell'Illuminazione (APIL) in Italy .

Concept of lighting design

Architectural lighting design focuses on three fundamental aspects of the illumination of buildings or spaces. The first is the aesthetic appeal of a building, an aspect particularly important in the illumination of retail environments. Secondly, the ergonomic aspect: the measure of how much of a function the lighting plays. Thirdly is the energy efficiency issue to assure that light is not wasted by over-illumination, either by illuminating vacant spaces unnecessarily or by providing more light than needed for the aesthetics or the task.

Each of these three aspects is looked at in extraordinarily detail when the lighting designer is at work. In aesthetic appeal, the lighting designer attempts to raise the general attractiveness of the design, measure whether it should be subtly blended into the background or whether it should stand out, and assess what kind of emotions the lighting should evoke. The functional aspects of the project can encompass the need for the project to be visible (by night mostly, but also by day), the impact of daylight on the project and safety issues (glare, colour confusion etc.).

Architectural lighting design, much like architecture itself, qualifies as being neither an art nor a science, rather a mixture of both. While creative spirit is demanded of a designer, a qualified professional architectural lighting designer will generally have a good understanding of the properties of light from a scientific standpoint and of the functioning of a light fitting (known as a "luminaire" in field terminology).

Media and trade publications

With the increase in global focus on green design and energy codes, lighting design and its role in sustainability have become more well known, resulting in a number of lighting-specific trade publications and an increase in coverage in architectural publications.

The following are publications specific to lighting design, covering the global-nature of the industry:
* LD+A (Lighting Design + Application), published by the IESNA (U.S.A.)
* illuminate (U.S.A.)
* Illuminator (Russia)
* Lighting (Australia)
* Lighting&Sound America (U.S.A.)
* Lighting&Sound International (U.K.)
* Professional Lighting Design Magazine, official publication of PLDA (published in English, German, Turkish and Chinese)

Notable architectural lighting designers

* Paul Gregory
* Motoko Ishii
* Claude Engle
* Kaoru Mende
* George Sexton
* Rogier van der Heide, IALD
* Mark Sutton Vane

ee also

* Light pollution
* Lighting control systems for a buildings or residences.
* Over-illumination
* Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) (winter depression)

External links

* [ Lighting design glossary]
* [ Lights in Alingsås, international workshop]
* [ IESNA Advanced Lighting Guidelines]

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