From Facade Lighting to Media Façades
Transforming Lighting – Lighting Situations and Time Add a New Element to Architectural Lighting
Highlighting buildings with artificial lighting has become an inseparable part of the architectural entity. The idea of façade lighting is to highlight a building and its architecture and thus increase the significance, visibility and importance of the building in the night-time environment. Methods and styles of lighting have developed hand in hand with the technological change in the field, from rough wash lighting to modern lighting methods, where architectural details can be individually highlighted. The technical goal is durability and long maintenance intervals, which has limited the available technology to, for instance, only lighting fixtures, where the intensity of light cannot be adjusted. Therefore, a building would have a single look, the product of a long design process, and the goal has been its aesthetic durability for years or decades.
While the designers have been designing a “single image lighting” and façade lighting, among other things, has risen on the property owners’ shopping lists, product developers have not wasted time. Just in the last ten years, LED lights, whose intensity, colour and colour temperature can be adjusted, have already developed into reliable sources of light. The small size of the lighting fixtures enables more accurate placement and hence realising detailed and multi-look lighting.
Control Systems Allow more Options for Looks
The systems intended for controlling the lighting enable dimming single or multiple lighting fixtures as well as saving the lighting looks with their various settings (lighting situation). The lighting situations can be made into programs, where different looks automatically alter according to a particularly defined rhythm and cycle time.
Modern technology enables a building to have several different looks in the night-time. There are countless ideas for taking advantage of this opportunity, and only creativity and sense of style in particular are the limit. Most frequently used looks are based on, for instance, seasons or the time of the day or days of festivities, but weekdays might also have different looks, such as evening and night lighting.
In its simplest form, a programmable system can be used for adjusting the intensity of lighting, for instance when it comes to the proportions of general, task and accent lighting. In the case of prestigious buildings, the right intensity, harmony and contrast can be found by programming and adjusting the lighting afterwards. Commercial sites allow more playfulness and being more dramatic with various lighting situations. The most skilful solutions affect people according to optics, space and the theory of colours. The most challenging part must be understanding the concept of time as a part of the lighting scheme, the functionality and the look of the site. The lighting situation can transform either continuously, a few times a week, or a calm façade look can turn into a few-second light show.
From a Single Look to a Versatile Look
The change is significant in both indoors and outdoors as well as in basic and special lighting. Transforming lighting can create visually distinguished looks and moods and simultaneously adjust the amount of lighting to suit the purpose. One and the same feature may offer versatility varying from casual to festive, all for the delight of people.
Perhaps the most important thing would be to notice the difference between single look lighting and versatile look lighting. The latter is defined at the last stage of the process through programming and adjusting, which is how we can theoretically give up the acrobatics of test lighting and efficiency experiments.
Regardless of the number of technical and visual options, it is good to keep in mind that the purpose of lighting is to create a safe, easily noticeable and cosy city space, which needs to function year after year both aesthetically and technically.