When designing spaces, the first goal is to define the space and primary use of that space. “In an office setting, lighting should encourage alertness and productivity,” says Rebecca Hadley, manager of Eaton’s SOURCE lighting education center.
“It’s also beneficial to incorporate controls that allow for changes throughout the workday. Ideally, you’d have the ability to adjust the intensity of your lighting. Industry research also suggests indoor light should mimic the color of light we experience outside, which follows an arc from cool light in the morning, to white light at midday, to warm light in the evening.”
Though lighting at home is mainly tied to user preference, research shows there are steps everyone can take to create a calm, pleasing environment.
“At night, lower light levels and warmer color temperatures – those that fall in the 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin range – emulate the outside environment’s evening light and help us get ready for sleep by reducing our blood pressure and creating a restful feel,” said Hadley. “If you’re cooking or entertaining guests in the evening, you may find that higher light levels and color temperatures are beneficial. However, people generally tend to prefer warmer light at home.”
Flexibility is one natural benefit of smart lighting design. New advancements in Lighting Controls have made lighting for mood easier than ever.
“Studies show that wall color can affect heart rate and irritability levels, but you can adjust your light more readily than the paint on your walls,” said Hadley. “For example, you can use high-intensity light to complete a craft activity at the kitchen table; an hour later, you can serve dinner to your family at that same table beneath a warmer, lower-intensity light.”
Newer LEDs with integrated controls and the ability to dim to warmer color temperatures are becoming popular in the hospitality industry because of their ability to affect the customer experience. For example, many restaurants lower their light levels between lunch and dinner as a subtle way of encouraging their patrons to linger over meals. “Warmer light and lower light levels have been shown to slow heart rate and create a relaxing state,” Hadley said. “As a result, customers might be inspired to enjoy appetizers and cocktails rather than rushing through to the main course.” Conversely, some restaurants might put brighter light in an area where they want to turn tables quickly.
When it comes to designing for mood, advanced controls have the most room to develop. Controls will become more personalized in environments ranging from the home to offices, hospitality settings and health care facilities. Controls that were once accessed via a wall switch are already making the jump to app-based technology. And as LED technology improves at lightning speed, adaptability – and energy savings – will only continue to grow.
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/.
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.
How much light is enough light? Below you’ll find everything you need to know when determining how much LED lighting you’ll need for a space. A lumen is a unit measurement of light. To determine the needed lumens, you will need to multiply your room square footage by your room foot-candle requirement.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that store dressing rooms are every woman’s worst nightmare. The number one complaint voiced by women and men everywhere is that the lighting is harsh, glaring and reminiscent of the dentist’s chair or perhaps a police interrogation room (“No, officer, I did not realize that pairing Converse with Versace was a crime against fashion”).
When designing for a retail space, it is important to consider not only the design aesthetic that needs to be achieved but also the patron and the intended experience.
Lighting design for retail spaces vary from displaying delicate pieces of jewelry to endless shelves of apparel; and when it comes to coffee shops, the detail and effort into lighting design is no different. Min Cho and Jill Enomoto, directors of store design for Starbucks, share their tips on how to use light to welcome and guide customer experience.
Architectural Lighting, as opposed to functional commercial or residential lighting is concerned with (spoiler alert) architecture, or furthering the design experience of buildings and other physical structures. Both residential and commercial lighting can also qualify as architectural lighting, though this isn’t always the case. Some lighting is primarily functional and/or exists in a space that no one would call “architectural.”