Architectural lighting design is primarily a discipline of study or work which is focused on the creation of outdoor lighting systems for the purpose of aesthetic or functional display. It may include artistic design and manipulation of both electric and daylight light or either, to fulfill human desires. It may include both interior lighting and exterior lighting and is generally used to enhance the beauty and function of the building. It is closely connected with landscape architecture as it usually refers to the illumination of landscapes and buildings.
Architectural lighting design aims at providing natural light that enhances the visual appeal of the buildings in the developed areas. It is also necessary to provide an adequate amount of natural daylight for the comfort of the inhabitants of the buildings. The illumination of architectural spaces can be provided through the installation of skylights, bidirectional glass doors and other clever means. This will help you to provide natural daylight into the buildings while at the same time reducing energy costs and protecting the structures from solar heat. This is one of the most vital aspects that has to be taken care of while developing any new building or remodeling the existing buildings.
There are different methods of incorporating lighting in the architectural lighting design. One of the primary functions of such illumination is to illuminate exterior spaces such as gardens, ponds, pools, stairs and other areas outside the building. In order to ensure that the exterior spaces are illuminated properly, there should be a good source of natural light inside the building as well. This may be achieved by installing recessed lights, or using fixtures which are positioned inside the structure to provide lighting at the desired locations.
There are multiple reasons why an architect would design or make provision for lighting inside the buildings. Many of them are to ensure safety of the property, prevent unwanted access, act as indicator lights and also act as emergency exit spots in case of emergencies such as fire break outs. Many of the spaces that need to be illuminated and act as indicator lights are often small spaces like alcoves, corridors and stairwells in the building. A large number of such spaces are often found in hospitals, airports, banks and even prisons. Such architectural lighting design features are present in both commercial and residential architecture.
A major objective of any form of illumination is to provide adequate visibility to the users, which is very important in larger buildings such as offices. In fact, during construction, certain spaces like corridors and alcoves may not have windows, thus they are not viewable from inside. But with proper architectural lighting design, these unvisited spaces can be made viewable and this helps in emergency situations.
It is essential to keep the total building design cost under consideration while planning to use LED technology in illuminating buildings. Most of the current LED lamps consume a lot of electricity. The newer types consume a lesser amount of energy. LEDs also require less space for installation and this allows more of the building to be utilized for its intended purposes. Another aspect that should be kept in mind while using LEDs is to provide proper ventilation systems to ensure that there is sufficient supply of fresh air to all the occupants of the buildings. It is often observed that improper ventilation system can lead to cases of toxic fumes in the environment which may prove harmful for the occupants.