Friday, September 23, 2005

The importance of lighting in an interior design project!

The importance of lighting in an interior design project! by Shrinivas Vaidya

Light is an essential part of our daily activities. Just like we need air, water and food to survive we need light in order to function efficiently.
Gone are the days when people used to stop working after sunset. The invention of electricity has made life easier and has helped to improve efficiency.


The use of light in interior spaces greatly affects the environment and "mood" inside the space. Here are some of the aspects that can be considered while lighting an interior space.

1) Natural light:
The Sun is the biggest source of light available on our planet. We all are dependant on it. Sunlight is not only required to function but is also responsible for biological balance of the Earth. Sunlight also keeps the air clean by killing any possible bacterial attacks which might be harmful to health.
It is normally assumed that sunlight can penetrate inside a space for about 7 feet (approximately 20 meters). If the architect has taken proper care during planning of the structure, then sunlight can be a very good and free source of light.

2) Artificial filler lights:
These types of lights work on electricity and are required mostly at the night times. But this is not always true. There are some geographical locations where the weather is cloudy for most months in a year.

At such times filler lights in the form of fluorescent tube lights. These types of light are used to create the same effect that the sunlight would create. As the name suggests. these types of lights "fill" the space evenly with light, eliminating any dark spaces.
3) Special lighting for special spaces:

Special lighting is required at spaces where it is necessary to create a "mood" or special "ambience" inside a space. To achieve this use of color is done. Lighting fixtures like spot lights are used which divert the attention of the crowd at certain focused areas.

These kind of techniques are also used in commercial showrooms, to enhance the importance of the display areas. If you have visited car shows, exhibition pavilions, you will see this kind of lighting extensively used.

Special type of lighting requires more number of light fixtures, because the area they cover is very limited.

4) Extreme lighting: This type of lighting is used in spaces where the activities have a special purpose, such as movie studios, pubs, dance floors, etc.. Here the lighting used can be of movable types, or can have more sophisticated controls such as intensity, color, movement, controlled through music beats.

The above discussion shows, how the activities happening inside a space directly affect the type of lighting used inside a space. A properly planned lighting plan can greatly enhance the quality of a space.

I hope this article was useful.
Copyright 2005 Shrinivas Vaidya

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