Architectural lighting

Play with light and shadow

"Our eyes are made to see forms in light; light and shade reveal these forms," Le Corbusier once said. The most influential architect of the 20th Century recognised the fundamental importance of light for the appearance of a building early on: Light emphasises the plasticity of a building, accentuates wall structures and materials, and specifically brings out the special features of facades. In short: It draws attention to a building. (Photo: Cairo Citadel illuminated by Griven)

Light as a stylistic device

Atmospheric stagings gain importance 

Beyond the pure basic function of lighting, light is increasingly given the task of structuring public spaces and buildings in the evening and night time hours, and immersing them in a pleasant atmosphere. Thereby, the planning is the focus, based on the result of the lighting effect of the installed luminaires – i.e. the illumination.
In the context of a holistic lighting concept, which takes into account both the identity of a community, the sense of security of the citizens, and the high attractiveness to visitors, light stagings of buildings, monuments or other "landmarks" that characterise the city, particularly highlight the uniqueness of cities.
Considering this, light plays an increasingly important role, as a creative and atmospheric element: Used skilfully, light not only defines attractions, but also significantly contributes to the desired aesthetic effect, as a stylistic device in the architecture of public spaces or parks.

On trend: Design with light

Profiling due to attractive light design

Today, design with light is an important instrument in the creation of appealing public spaces, with a high experience value. More and more cities and communities are following this trend, by effectively staging architectural highlights, squares, parks and bridges with image promoting and characteristic light design.
Below, we will "illuminate" this development and its meaning for urban living spaces, in the most literal sense of the word.   
Photo 1: The Wiener Musikverein, traditional concert hall in Vienna, shines in the evening hours in all its glory.
Photo 2: Atmospheric illumination: Cloth Hall and Market Square with fountain in Krakow, Poland.
Photo 3: In-ground luminaires accentuate the colonnade of the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Photo 4: A sea of lights sets the Manhattan Brigde in New York City attractively in scene.

LED technology

Predestined for refined lighting effects

Due to the rapid development in the past few years, LED technology has already prevailed to a great extent in architectural lighting: The high colour homogeneity, individually adjustable colour effects, intelligent control possibilities, the extremely high energy efficiency and their long life span thereby fulfil the highest standards of light quality and design.

LED modules: Great potential for dramatic stagings

Marketable high-quality LED modules open up a multitude of staging possibilities for urban features, for light planners and designers: From simple relief illuminations, to refined wall washer effects, right up to floodlights, anything is possible. This becomes possible due to special electronic and optical components of the LED modules, such as controllers, reflectors and lens optics, which are crucial for the desired light characteristics and effect.

Large-scale or pinpoint, white or coloured  

Various LED lighting tools – i.e. floodlights, spotlights, ceiling or in-ground luminaires – are equal to the various requirements of Illumination which positioned and set up exactly, provide the desired result with their lighting effect.
So for example, in-ground luminaires located next to the building, structure the facades in vertical areas, with their upwards facing light, while floodlights installed in the surrounding area enable large-scale illumination from a distance. On the other hand, narrow beam light distribution draws the gaze to particular architectural details.
Impressive light plays are created with underwater flood lights, which produce unique colour effects on wells and fountains with coloured or white light.

Higher attractiveness at night

Cities show their best side in the darkness

Cities and communities can exploit the potential of impressive light stagings, by showing their best side in the darkness: They will become shining points of interest for tourists and residents alike, and so will assert themselves as particularly attractive locations in the increasing competition between themselves. 

Architectural lighting

Thematic focus in the upcoming issues of our Lightletter

"Architectural light" will become a constant companion in our Lightletter issues and will also play an important role for Hess. Hess will expand its portfolio with sophisticated architectural lighting solutions, and accompany architects, light designers and planners from the development to the realisation of creative light stagings. Start looking forward to further issues now.