There has been a dramatic shift in the Lighting Industry, not just globally but even in India. Lighting is no longer just a task enhancing medium, but more of an Architectural material that has multifaceted functions and has both- natural and artificial sources. Whether it is to enhance the customer experience, highlight the built forms and façades, create moods, increase retail sales, or elevate the therapeutic qualities of patients’ rooms in hospitals, all need good and thoughtful lighting.
Earlier, lighting was an extremely straightforward affair consisting of sporadically distributed incandescent bulbs, exposed fluorescent tubes and CFL lamps throughout any given space. What mattered, at that time, was the simple presence of light in the space. It did not matter to users, the quality of light source or the proper concealment of lamp to avoid glare or the need for a lighting to enhance the purpose of the space.
Shift Towards Thoughtful Lighting
However, things are changing now and for the better. Large corporations are deploying thoughtful lighting to maximize worker comfort and productivity. Hospitals are investing in to visual environments that are softer, residential and has healing qualities. High-end residences are proudly installing state of the art lighting and controls to offer them flexibility of scenes for mood and functions such as for parties, get-togethers, watching movies, peaceful ambience, nighttime scenes etc. All of this is achieved through a sensible lighting design process and proper selection of products with sophisticated technologies.
Architectural lighting design focuses on three fundamental aspects of illumination for buildings and spaces – Aesthetics, Ergonomics and Efficiency. To put this in context, the first aspect is relevant to retail and hospitality industry, whereas the second one is relevant to offices while the third one is significant to large scale developments. Each of these three aspects are looked at in a great detail by a lighting designers during the design process. While dealing with aesthetic aspects, issues such as attractiveness, color rendering, modeling, blending, contrasts and uniformities, etc. are given precedence. Whereas for work-spaces, issues such as glare, excessive brightness, adaptation of eye, appropriate use of daylight, veiling reflections in display screen, etc. are given more importance. Energy standards prescribed by LEED and ASHRAE are becoming mainstream on large scale projects to attain ever aggressive sustainability goals.