Lighting Design Basics

The right kind of lighting can be an asset to all businesses, and investing in the best form of design and equipment is an investment that needs to be considered very carefully.

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Lighting Design

Lighting design refers to the process of ensuring spaces receive enough light, which means it is crucial to take into account space where the light will be used and what its user and organisational requirements are. The proper lighting of any space involves the layering of general lighting, task, and accent lighting.

General lighting usually provides enough light for the performing of visual tasks, normally from overhead equipment, and is typically uniform and diffuse. General lighting is almost always either direct, indirect, or a mixture of the two.

Direct lighting has almost or all of the lighting directed down toward the task and is either spread or concentrated, depending on the particular optics in use. While this is an extremely efficient method of lighting it can cause the risk of direct glare, pronounced shadows, and scalloping on walls that are close by.

Indirect lighting sees all or almost all lighting distributed at nearby walls and the ceiling, then being reflected at the work area. This form of lighting distributes lighting in a very soft manner, but although this is positive for the promotion of visual comfort there is also the risk of making space seem to be very flat in the visual sense.

Accent lighting draws attention to particular objects, areas, pieces of art, or architecture and displays by focusing on them with a greater intensity of light. This usually comes from equipment including the likes of directional lighting that comes with various beam spreads, providing greater control over the items being lit.

Flexible lighting is ideal for places that use moving displays such as retail stores. LED light strips are particularly effective for accent lighting. LED strip lights can also be made use of for the lighting of business signage and advertisements.

Lighting Techniques

There are also a number of lighting techniques that can be employed if particular lighting effects are desired including the likes of downlighting, wall washing and uplighting.

Downlighting puts the light below the source of lighting and can be achieved with various lighting equipment such as recessed troffers and downlights. The resultant light can either serve with the promotion of a visually stimulating atmosphere via non-diffuse and intense lighting or offer visual comfort in an area where important visual tasks are performed via soft and diffuse lighting.

Wall washing uniformly lights a wall in a graded wash from bottom to top, removing shadows and creating a visually smooth, flat appearance best suited to flat walls.

Uplighting puts the light above the source of light, and while not common can be used effectively in particular applications such as highlighting plants, trees, and architecture. Visual comfort, vision, and perception can all be hugely impacted by the type of lighting used, where it is placed, at what direction it is pointed and its overall level of intensity.


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