The LED lighting industry is rapidly evolving and breaking through barriers once set by fluorescent lighting. The advancements in LED technology have dropped overall fixture costs, reduced energy consumption and allowed for more creative fixture designs. The 2019 lighting design trend is organic lighting design. It’s true that LEDs are non-toxic (unlike the mercury in fluorescent lighting), but the term “organic” here refers to the layout patterns of lighting, not the material. The fixture of choice here (aka the artist’s medium)is LED linear lighting, on walls and ceilings, suspended and recessed.
Organic Design Layouts
As architectural designs have digressed from symmetrical and parallel mirroring patterns that align with vaulted ceilings, grid axis, and more; linear lighting allows architects to highlight asymmetrical architectural features and lines (which is where the term “architectural lighting” comes from). The lighting design pattern of 2019 is no design pattern.
Lighting designers are slowly straying away from specifying the standard parallel rows of 4 ft. & 8 ft. fixtures and are now specifying commercial linear pendants of 2 ft., 3 ft., 5 ft. and 6 ft. with no particular design pattern. “The beauty of lighting design right now is in breaking rules,” says Perris Webber, one of Alcon Lighting’s Lighting Specialists.
Perris goes on to say that, “we’re seeing our custom-length commercial linear fixtures, which can be suspended or recessed on ceilings or walls – get spec’d as zigzags, snake-like patterns, and designs asymmetrically linking wall to ceiling to floor. When architects come to us with imaginative ideas, in addition to a challenge, we get so giddy and excited at the opportunity to execute their unique design layouts.”
David Hakimi is a lighting specialist and one of the co-founders of Alcon Lighting. A graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), David works on the front lines of the energy-efficient lighting revolution, enabling architects, designers, and lighting engineers to transition from outmoded halogen and fluorescent lighting to what David calls “the ideal replacement for all lighting applications,” —LEDs. David takes particular pride in Alcon’s design, energy, and green building knowledge, tracing his and Alcon’s commitment to quality, innovation, accountability and value back to the lessons learned from his father, a Southern California lighting salesman and consultant for more than two decades. Passionate about reducing climate change and protecting the environment, David has been particularly valuable in ensuring that his clients and customers comply with rapidly-evolving green building codes. You can connect with David on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-p-hakimi/.
The term Architectural Lighting encompasses three main factors. The first is the building’s aesthetic, which is crucial for any commercial, especially retail, environment. The second consideration is ergonomic or functional — any aspect which improves one’s ability to live, work, function, relax or play — to make the space easier to use. The third aspect involves the efficiency of energy, ensuring that light is properly, which is to say economically or optimally, used and distributed.
Our relation to light as humans is complex. Though many of the effects of light on our biology are still unknown, there are several we know and understand. Light also plays a major role in regulating human biological responses, including our internal body clock or circadian rhythm.
Talieh Ghane researches the interaction between light and health at the California Lighting Technology Center. We talked about the biological vs. visual system of light, how to synchronize your circadian clock for better health, how light is like a drug, and why you shouldn’t be on your phone right before bed (guilty).
A color rendering index (CRI) is a quantitative metric of the ability of an artificial light source (i.e. LED, Fluorescent, Halogen, Incandescent, etc.) to accurately reveal the colors of a subject in comparison to a natural light source. A CRI of 90 means that the artificial light source is replicating roughly 90% of the visible color spectrum that the sun would produce on the same color.