Architectural lighting applications can be used in a variety of different ways. Whether enhancing visibility and ensuring a building is well-lit and safe for users or attracting more visitors by creating alternative uses for a venue, effective lighting can achieve far more than an improved appearance.
Architectural lighting design involves identifying the aim of the application, then selecting the correct combination of equipment and techniques to satisfy the desired scheme.
LED lighting offers the ideal solution for architectural applications. Boasting energy efficiency and superior light quality, LEDs far outshine the traditional alternatives. An overriding advantage of LED lighting over traditional fluorescent or halogen bulbs is its enhanced energy efficiency. While installing LED lighting may seem to incur greater costs, the initial outlay is very quickly offset by an almost instant reduction in energy bills.
LED lighting also provides far superior light output and distribution. In addition, unlike the older lamp types that take minutes to warm up to full brightness, LEDs offer instant illumination.
An important consideration when choosing architectural lighting is maintenance. The very nature of certain structures can make changing defective and defunct light bulbs an arduous task. As such, the less frequently bulbs require replacement, the better. LED lights have a much longer life expectancy than comparable alternatives and a good quality LED light can last in excess of ten years.
LEDs are available in an almost unlimited range of colours and beam angles and can be controlled and changed as requirements develop over time. From rich, saturated colours to white light for wall-washing and spot lighting, LED floodlights provide a bright and even light output, ideal for external applications.
There are several techniques to be exploited when installing architectural lighting. Features of a building can be highlighted by accent lighting. The eye is attracted to points of brightness and accent lighting can help to establish a visual hierarchy.
Similarly, the directional technique of up-lighting and flood lighting can be used to illuminate surfaces and architectural details. It is achieved by mounting a fixture on the ground and aiming the light upwards for different dramatic effects.
An alternative method is to focus light towards the back of an architectural feature. The light striking the front of the structure is softened, thereby creating an atmospheric silhouette. Architectural lighting adds dimension to a building and the landscape surrounding it. Windows across the façade of a building can be fitted with linear LED luminaires to create a pattern of illuminated shapes against the darker backdrop of the rest of the building.
Interesting textured surfaces can be highlighted by means of wall grazing. Lights are positioned such that a beam hits the surface at a narrow angle. This creates shadows and draws the eye to the texture of the wall. Alternatively, wall washing can be used to evenly illuminate a wall or roof with a uniform distribution of intensity across its surface.
Many historic buildings and monuments can be enhanced with striking external lighting which adds to the character of the structure. Sensitively designed external applications can create an extension to the architecture, complementing the shape, colour and form of the building.
It’s crucial to illuminate historic buildings in a sensitive manner with consideration to the surroundings and local environment. Luminaires should be inconspicuous, while still being easy to access and maintain. Rather than drawing attention to a building’s flaws, external lighting should enhance the site against the night sky, improving safety and potentially, the opportunity for economic enhancement.
We have a high-quality selection of architectural LED lighting to suit your needs. Browse the range today.
Well-designed architectural lighting should incorporate the appropriate equipment to minimise environmental impact and maximise energy efficiency while still showcasing a building, quite literally, in its best light.
LEDs provide a wide range of possibilities for architectural lighting. Contact us today to discover the best lighting application for your project.