Architectural lighting…more than just a functional choice

The Swiss architect Le Corbusier described architecture as “a play of forms gathered in light”.

Architectural designers agree that architecture cannot have the same effect without lighting, as it can serve and beautify design elements to enhance, create or confirm the building’s aesthetics, history and purpose, and then bring it to a place where it can tell a story. .

More than just a light

“Architecture is an expression of values,” argues the British pioneer of Expressionist architecture Norman Foster. The effect of lighting goes beyond allowing users to perform the basic functions of seeing spaces, staying safe in them while doing their daily activities, and today is mainly driven by technological advances and new design trends that lead to more innovation and brought creativity.

He said: “Architectural lighting is an intersection between art (architecture) and design and technology (lighting), and there are other fields that also play a role, such as physics, engineering and the psychological and physiological effects of light, so that contemporary lighting design is able to completely transform the room and adjust its harmony by defining and enhancing sizes.Colors influence visual comfort and draw attention to texture.

He pointed out that “light can also define a perception of shape and size, for example, the presence of additional lighting reflected on light-colored walls helps to make the space larger in small rooms.”

Architectural applications

Lighting options, combinations and uses vary according to the architectural details required to be highlighted. Some of the most common uses and applications of architectural lighting can be mentioned, such as cave lighting or edge and cavity lighting, which is a kind of indirect and soft lighting that gives an elegant and modern impression.

There is also lighting that is directed upwards, which is used to show the details of the ceiling, reduce dark spots and shadows in it, and improve the feeling and space in the room by highlighting any characteristic structure of the ceiling.

As well as linear lighting that is installed in the ceiling, wall or floor and aims to create a dynamic environment that increases creativity, productivity and alertness, highlighting the interior spaces and providing balanced general lighting.

And finally, versatile ceiling and pendant lighting that can adapt to a wide range of applications.

light and body rhythm

Light has been shown to affect mood, focus, general well-being, and a person’s attachment to space, and while an adequately lit environment is associated with warmth and improved energy levels, poor lighting can lead to health deficits, including headaches, eye strain, and even depression.

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And because modern life requires spending most of the time in closed rooms with a variety of artificial lighting in addition to natural, this can cause confusion in our bodies that evolved thousands of years ago to respond to stimuli from sunlight during the day and darkness in the evening.

This natural response to natural light is called the circadian rhythm, or circadian cycle. It represents the 24-hour biological cycle of almost all living things. Both temperature and other stimuli play a role in circadian rhythms.

These rhythms are primarily influenced by light reception, and the circadian cycle also affects human body rhythms, sleep, mood, alertness, digestion, temperature control and even cell regeneration.

These receptors are responsible for synchronizing our internal clock with the light we absorb during the day. The natural clock is located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is connected to photoreceptors located throughout the body such as the retina is located.

between night and day

Research shows that an adequate amount of light improves mood and adjusts energy levels, while poor lighting contributes to depression, dysfunction and other body deficiencies. The quantity and quality of light directly affects focus, appetite, mood and many aspects of daily life.

Warm lights make the environment more spacious and comfortable, while cold lights become more stimulating and energizing, they make us feel more alert and focused and can increase productivity levels.

It is also believed that blue light can reduce levels of the hormone melatonin which is associated with sleep, making us feel more alert, and however most of the modern devices scattered around us, from computers and mobile phone screens, emit a lot of blue light out blue light can be used intelligently To be very ideal for spaces where the mind has to work intensively and quickly, such as meeting rooms, industrial kitchens and even factories, where a high degree of concentration is required.

As for the yellow colors, they correspond to the time of dusk and dawn, which are the times when the body is generally most relaxed, so dim, indirect and warm lighting tends to make environments calmer and people more relaxed to make.

However, this option may not be good in work environments that require efficiency and productivity, but it is very useful for spaces such as restaurants, rest areas or bedrooms.

The researchers recommend mimicking natural daylight cycles by using artificial lights, suggesting the use of brighter and more powerful lamps in the morning and during the day, while recommending the use of dimmer lights at night.

Finally, experts agree that taking advantage of sunlight during the day and avoiding direct exposure to cold or blue light at bedtime can improve sleep quality and positively affect people’s well-being and productivity. Just being aware of the effects of lighting on our bodies can make us think twice about some of the choices we might make. Quickly or based on other considerations, whether it’s buying a new lamp or even just spending time on our phones before bed.

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