In the design toolbox, lighting is probably the single most versatile and powerful design element. Inside or out, good lighting has the power to enhance and complement any setting or feature. Conversely, poor lighting can detract from or make even the best design appear dull, uninteresting, or hardly noticeable. Creative lighting design can be used to generate and manipulate experience in any environment. Lighting has to power to absolutely make or break a design. With changing technology and the advent of more energy efficient fixtures and bulbs, available options present a constant source of compelling but sometimes perplexing choices.
The light bulb, or lamp as it’s called in the lighting world, is the source of the light, and much of the confusion. All types of bulbs emanate a color tint, called “temperature,” which affects the appearance of objects and materials in a space and creates a warm or cool cast, typically associated with incandescent or fluorescent respectively. Every type of light bulb has a numeric temperature rating called Kelvin, which identifies it as warm or cool. A bulb rated at 4000K, for instance, is closest to mimicking natural daylight and renders objects and surfaces so they appear more true to their actual color. Color corrected light bulbs and improved technology have eliminated much of the stereotypical objections to certain types of lighting, especially fluorescent.
LIGHT UP YOUR WORLD
The dramatic effects achieved with lighting speak to one of the most important principles in lighting design: the eye is always drawn to the light. Light will guide the eye where you want it to go, to an area or an object. The placement and type of light fixtures can be used to add a sense of depth and create pattern through repetition, visual movement, and spatial rhythm. Use these ideas to think creatively and make the most of your lighting opportunities.
Stay tuned… posts 2 and 3- interior and exterior lighting…