Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lighting Inspiration

Below are some images of lighting images. Some are interesting and some are purely functional, but they are used in everyday design, and they are are essential to good design. Lighting can perform tasks, highlight features, set moods, or simply appeal to the visual eye. Here are some examples of lighting used in today's design world:
Accent Lighting:
Irrigation and Lighting Specialists
Outdoor Accent Lighting
Purely functional, these lights are not meant to be seen. Instead, it is what they do that makes them powerful. They rely on their light to sculpt and highlight other designs. These accent lights are placed to light up the brick behind them, as well as provide warmth.

Ambient Lighting:

Roberto Giacomucci
Bamboo Lights
These floor to ceiling lights are not task lights. This is to say,
they do not illuminate large areas of space. They are not meant
to serve as a main light source, but they do provide visual
interest and mood to a space.

Beam Bed
Visually appealing, this light source makes a bed more than a place for sleeping. It makes it a piece of art, a destination point. It almost seems that this lighting serves as a metaphor for the resting cycle. Each day starts in bed and then radiates out from it.

These LED lights are meant to highlight characteristics of the space. The colors and placement create a mood or atmosphere. They light the essentials of the space; unlike other light sources, these highlight the minimum and nothing else.
Focal Lighting:

Ross De Alessi Lighting Design
McKesson Corporate Headquarters
This space used lighting as a method of wayfinding. The focal lighting guides the user to through the space, acting as a navigation point and entrance to the hallway beyond. The stepping nature of the lights further invites people towards it. It brings the light to a more personal level as it guides.

Pendant Lighting

Lace So
This pendant light makes an otherwise simple design a work of art. Every inch of the light is exposed, displaying all of its components. Detailed with hand blown glass applications, each piece is unique.

Recessed Lighting:
Studio Italia Design
Most recessed lighting is meant to provide lighting without visibility. These, on the other hand, are designed to stand out. Equipped with a transparent diffuser, this particular lighting sees the need for design and beauty in even the most simple of products.

sketchbook Series:3

For this assignment, we were assigned the task of observing the appearance of various fabrics under different lighting conditions. With every switch in bulb and light type, the color and texture of the fabric would alter.

Types of Fabric Used:
Red Burlap
100% Jute
Blue Organza
100% Nylon
Brown Garment Lining
100% Polyester
Beige Linen

Types of Light Used:
Compact Fluorescent
Metal Halide

Type 1:
Compact Fluorescent
-Used in bedroom to provide lighting other than overhead fan/light and windows(which provide natural light).
-Space in which light source is in is used for sleeping/lounging/homework/eating/etc.
-Needs to have light source on most of the time, except when sleeping/resting.
-Used for both task and accent lighting
-lights up dark corners
-provides lighting to light up nightstand
-Easy to access
-13 watt= 60 watts bright light
Horizontal Lamp Luminaire
-The light source has a very white and bright light
-Seems to wash out the yellow color of the wall behind it
-Brightness and direct glare is relatively muted by the black lamp shade.
-The room gets a good amount of light. There is no issue where lighting is concerned.
-Room needs no change, it works fine the way it is
-Amount of light is very flexible with the amount of interior lighting in the space.

Red looks more pink
Makes shadows and highlights stand out
brightness in light pronounces the texture and weave pattern of the fabric
Can see the luster and shine
Appears blue with slight hint of purple color
brightness almost gives it a wet, shimmery effect
Garment Lining:
Looks very solid and chocolate brown
Brightness highlights the luster and shine
Does not have much influence from the light source
matted and mildly dull.
Does not reflect the light much. This is to say there is no specularity
Beige in Color

Garment Lining

Type 2:
-Used like the fluorescent, in a bedroom
-Provides task and ambient lighting
Placed inside of a floor lamp, next to the bed
-Emits a soft yellow glow
Highly Preferred For Color
90-100 CRi
Warm Tone(2500-3500 degree Kelvin)
Short Life
Low Cost
High heat output
Easily dimmed
Lighting Fixture: Horizontal Lamp Luminaries
-Light source has dimming feature
-Soft, subtle glow does not over power space.
-Lamp Shade adds to warmth and reduced glare
-Makes the yellow paint appear more warm and yellow
-Emits right amount of light in the space
-The only concern with this light is the durability and lifespan.
This light stays on most of the day. It needs to have a bulb that will keep up with that high demand without burning out or overheating.
True Red rendering(displays the warmth of the color)
Weave and dimensions are not as defined as fluorescent
Little to no specularity or reflectance
Renders less intense of a blue this time
Less purple and more pale, greyish blue
More luster and shimmer when placed under shade, in direct glare
Garment Lining
Richer warm, Chocolate color.
Much warmer than Fluorescent
High shine and luster
Warmer Tone than when placed under fluorescent
Warmer colors in the weave of the fabrics
more pronounced depth and color change.

Garment Lining

Type 3:
Metal Halide
-Used in kitchen where ceiling heights are high and changing light bulbs is inconvenient
-Light needs to light up entire kitchen space.
-Serves as both task and accent light
Since it is track lighting, it lights up the space, but also accents the areas as well.
Emits a bright, cool tone
Metal Halide(ceramic)
Color Series 3K
Track Lighting System
High Cost
Good Efficiency
Moderate Life Span
Good Color Rendering
Sharp/ Focussed
Track Lighting:
Ceiling mounted
Individual lights can be rotated to illuminate specific/ desired areas.
I don't know if I would use MH lights in kitchen spaces.
It seems an Incandescent would work just as well, and it would be far less expensive to maintain.
Since there is only tracking, I would add additional area lights.
Perhaps even some under-cabinet lights as well.
Additional lights would add flexibility to the lightness of the room.
Good Color Rendering
Not pink like fluorescent
More similar to the Incandescent light
Pernounced depth and weave are visible with this light
High Luster/Shine
Wet Look
Slight Indirect Glare
True blue color rendering
Garment Lining:
High luster/ Shine
More Indirect Glare
Chocolate in color
not as warm as incandescent
Not as warm as incandescent(as far as color is concerned)
Dull(no luster)
Renders the beige color very well(with a hint of olive undertone).

Garment Lining

Sketchbook Series:2

For this assignment, we were given the task of going to three different places to observe and record the lighting. We had to analyze a restaurant, a retail space, and a gallery/ museum.

Durham, NC
-Neo China has a very intimate atmosphere.
-Lighting is very dim
-There is a lighting feature at the front, behind the front desk. reception area
-The main source comes from a grid of recessed can lighting on the ceiling.
-The windows have been blocked out by screens. In other words, there is little to no natural daylight.
-Thought the restaurant is meant to feel comfortable and intimate, it only really feels that way under certain conditions:
Lighting is fine for dinner. It evokes a quiet and peaceful atmosphere highly conducive to
leisurely eating in later hours.
Light does not exactly work for lunch. The darkness and quiet nature does not make one
want to go back to work to be productive.
Suggestions: Opening up the windows and doors to allow for more natural daylight.
Would make the space less dark and lethargic during the day.
-The lighting casts dramatic shadows in the space:
The space is painted with grey tones to enhance the effect. It produces deeper, more intense shadows
Recommendations for the Space:
-It can be challenging to see the people one is with, as well as the food.
-Maybe place floor lights or pendant lights near tables to further establish ambiance in the space.
The mood, as said before, is very family and group oriented. That is to say, the space is very intimate.
Due to the dimness of the lighting, and subsequent darkness of the space, people are talking quietly amongst themselves.
People also keep to their tables.
There is very little exchange in eye contact or acknowledgment between other tables.

Entrance/Lighting Feature:

Grid, Recessed Lighting:

Retail Store:
Super Target
Durham, NC
-Target Super Center has everything in it; it really is all inclusive:
Etc, etc, etc
-Though there are various items sold at the store, the space and lighting stays the same.
No ceiling height changes
No lighting changes
-The store is a flexible shell
Its shell remains uniform throughout so that the contents can be reorganized and moved around whenever needed.
-The only area that has some variety in lighting is the produce and display areas
warmer lights are used to make the the food seem more appealing
-Private spaces are the only spaces were ceiling height changes are used.
ex. bathrooms
-I would alter the lighting and level heights according to each category of the space
ex. Fitting rooms need to have different lighting. It would make the clothing look less harsh and dramatic. Possibly more appealing
-Add level changes to bring light closer to the products. It would feel less bright and cold in the space. If there was less direct glare, the indirect glare on the products may lessen, and they would end up looking more appealing to the customers.
-There are no windows in the space, except for the front doors
-Must rely on interior overhead lighting
-There is a need for more windows and closer lighting to make area warmer. It would cast moving shadows and give visual interest to certain areas of the space.
-The store is massive
-The atmosphere: vibrant
People: Talk to their families/ friends. They navigate easily around each other even with the addition of bulky carts.
-The space has a lot going on with a lot of things to do. It is only fitting that there are various lights place to create moods and separation in the store. It would add a touch of personality and way-finding to an otherwise boxy, impersonal space.

Gallery/ Museum Space:
Student Showpiece Space
Elliot University Center
UNC Greensboro
-The student gallery is a place were:
Students can display their work
Open to everybody
Located in a busy University community center
Rotates contents regularly
Small space
Most of the exhibit space is wall space
Space has only one entrance/exit
One window that looks onto the hallway that connects the EUC to the Jackson Library.
No exterior windows or skylights, therefor no natural daylight coming into the space
Walls are all white
Moderately high ceilings
1. Recessed Rectangular Lighting
*ceiling is on a grid and the lights take up a component of the grid.
Produced direct glare and, in turn, indirect glare on some of the reflective material and glass exhibits
Task Lighting- used to light to space
2. Track Lighting
Each light is positioned and used to highlight individually displayed exhibits.
Produces semi-direct glare onto the surfaces, which reflect the light as indirect glare.
Considered Focal Lighting- to highlight the exhibits
-The lights are very successful in the space. It is clear that one is mean to light up the space, while the other type is meant to highlight and feature aspects of the space.
There are not many shadows since the space i so well lit.
There are shadows between the exhibits where light is not needed
Shadows are also cast onto the exhibit pieces themselves, to add some drama and visual depth.
I don't have many for the space
The spatial lighting functions really well for the alloted purposes.
Possibly add lighting at the entrance as to guide people in and establish some wayfinding.
The mood is positive
It is informative and bright. It is easy to view and learn about each exhibit
It is also welcoming; the simplicity informs viewers of the respect level( it is a gallery after-all).

Sketchbook Series:1

For this assignment, we were asked to conduct lighting studies in an interior space. I chose my room since it seemed to be the most accessible. The study included an analyzed observation of the space as the seasons changed.

Day 1:
September 5, 2009
-Space is bright(no use for electrical lighting)
-Warm outside
-Glares from the sun are warming up the space(need fan on to cool it off)
-Direct glare is avoided through use of window treatment such as blinds and curtains.
-Walls are usually a pale yellow, but look more golden with lighting.
-space feels brighter in general, larger even
Furniture/ Fixtures:
-Reflects indirect glare off of wooden(glossy finishes)
ex. headboard and other wooden furniture
-Shows a luster in the bedspread
-All reflective surfaces have mild indirect glare.
Projected Sunlight distribution in the space:
View of the east window:
Day 2:
September 12
-Warm in temperature
-Similar conditions to the first observation
-Blinds relieve the space of direct glare from the sun
-Cooler(air condition and fan are both on)
-No interior lighting is needed:
the light in the room is dependent on natural light coming through the windows at this time.
-Room looks warmer with the filtering in of the sunlight
-Again, the pale yellow on the walls becomes a golden yellow
-Soft glow coming from the wooden furniture
daylight brings out the honey undertone in the stain
-Since there are not artificial lights on, there is no immediate direct glare in the space.
-Less bright than first observation
-Not as much surface reflection
-Slight visible change in light/shadow and path/amount.
Projected Lighting Distribution:
View of the East Window:

Day 3
September 16
All Day
Morning: 8:05
-Dull and Overcast
-Slight Tapering Rain
-Dark(due to all of the clouds shielding the sun)
-Little to no sun rays to warm the space
-No need for fan to be on since sun is not warming the room
-Walls look darker yellow. Very dull and lifeless in appearance. No illusions of warmth in the space.
-Little to no reflection in the usually high reflective surfaces.
-Wood: No honey undertones from the influence of daylight
-Space looks smaller
-Must rely on interior lights in the room for lighting purposes.
Projected Light Distribution:
View of East Window:
Afternoon: 2pm
-Relatively no change in lighting(though possible a little brighter)
-Slightly more light penetrating through the blinds and curtains
-due to lack of rain and more sun in the sky
-There is still a need for internal lighting to make the room feel more bright and warm.
View of East Window:

Evening: 8:45
-After sunset
-Dark outside
-still overcast, though there is no rain right now
-No direct glare from the windows
-Must rely on interior lighting to provide lighting in the space.
-Some direct glare from the lighting fixtures in the space.
-Causes indirect glare on the furniture around the room
-Reflections from exterior lighting only. No exterior shadows
-walls and furniture appear darkest due to no influence from natural light source.

Day 4: October 5
-Very Dark
-Lack of sun has caused slight drop in temperature
-In contrast to first day of recording, it is much colder and darker today.
-Little to no direct glare from the sun. Blinds are filtering out any that is left.
-Though the picture displays the space with no artificial or interior lighting source, there now is certainly a need for it.
-There is very little light reflecting off of the glossy surfaces such as the wood and metal.
-The walls lack the warm tones that they would when sunlight is present.
-Room appears smaller and less inviting.
-Need for task and ambient lighting to function in the space, as well as enjoy it.
Projected Lighting Distribution:
View of East Window:
-There were various differences from the start to the end of the the assignment
-Sun rise/sun set
-Changes in weather:
Days with all rain threw off tracking pattern
Hard to rely on all interior lighting
Room seemed darker, less warm with the absence of sunlight
-Heat changes:
Less radiation of sun and heat rays as the months progressed
Not only did it start to get colder outside, but the
interior did as well with the changes of sun pattern.
Final Thoughts:
-Interior light must be able to replace the ambience and purpose lighting that the natural lighting brings to a space.
-With the seasonal changes comes weather and temperature changes. Space must be able to make up for the heat loss and light loss due to the sun changing.

Follow Up: December 3
Projected Lighting Distribution:
View of East Window:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The student lounge of the Gatewood building is a space equipped with tables and chairs, primarily used by students needing a quiet place to study. It is adjacent to the vending area, as well as lockers for art students. The lighting in the space is comprised entirely of electrial track/suspended florescent and flood lights, with no access to windows. We rated the space halfway between public and private, as the actual study space is rather small and is only ever used by a few students at a time, but also serves as a pathway to lockers and vending. Students trying to study will be easily distracted by contstant circulation of people. Overall, we do not feel the space is designed well for what it is meant to be used for. The space feels cold (as there are no windows), and is not a very pleasant work environment. 

Group Members:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lighting and Health: A Summary

Good Design regards every aspect of the environment around it, as well as what it’s purpose is. A product should not only function properly for the client, but it should also consider the client itself. In recent studies and research, Lighting design has become an increased issue in health care. After reading the three various articles detailing the impact of light on the human body, it is clear to see that design reform is, inevitably going to ensue. A well-designed environment contemplates, not only the clients of the present, but also how the choices made in the present will affect those users in the future. A product that does not ensure safety to the clients should be reexamined until deemed suitable.

            Anahad O’Connor’s article, ‘The Claim: Daylight Savings Time Can Effect Your Health,’ discusses the debated issue of Daylight Savings Time: the annual practice of altering the time by an hour. Though thought to conserve energy expenses, studies have shown that there may be a connection with the time change and certain health problems. The issues arise with the offset of the body’s natural clock, or the Circadian Rhythm (O’Connor, pg 1). Unable to adjust to the hour change, this internal clock is affected only by the environment. In other words, it is the light, not the time that powers our bodies. Daylight Savings may result in sleep disruption, therefore leading to health problems such as: heart problems and traffic accidents. I, for one, am intrigued by this article. Residing in a state that uses Day Light Savings, I find it difficult to imagine things any other way. Though I may be used to the changing of time, I am troubled by the studies mentioned above. It begs the question: when is the line drawn? Do people have to suffer physically to save money overall? Perhaps researchers should determine whether or not it is even worth the energy savings, and if it is, possibly attempt to find savings elsewhere. People should be able to function in their surroundings to the best of their ability.

            The Study of Light and its effect on humanity is on the rise. Researchers are drawing surprising and upsetting conclusions on the subject at hand.  ‘Lights At Night Are Linked To Breast Cancer,’ by Rick Weiss details the connection between lights at night and increase in breast cancer risks. According to the article, satellite images of well-lit cities had 37% more cancer reports than areas with little light at night (Weiss, pg. 2). This is due to the darkness-induced melatonin, a hormone that represses cancer. This article is both interesting and highly concerning. As students, we are faced with heavy course loads, which lead to long hours. Late nights are inevitable as well as sleep deprivation. It is now, in our youth, that we learn to manage our time sufficiently so that we have normal sleeping patterns, and aid our bodies. Nighttime bans on excessive amounts of lighting could be one solution, though rather impractical. As designers, we must find solutions to these problems at hand. More products should be designed to suppress damaging effects to the human body, products such as the energy-efficient fluorescent light bulb, which limit melatonin. It is through these designs that we can understand and improve the life quality of the human race.

            The last article, ‘Influence of Architectural Lighting On Health,’ by Eve Edelstein examines the use of light in the built environment. It not only discusses the impact and negative effect of excessive light, but it also provides solutions to the problems faced. It is in our nature to respond to the patterns of light and dark, and we must respect the system our bodies have produced for us. According to the article, Health Care Facilities are of the Places that lighting control factors greatly into daily routine (Edelstein, pg. 3). Patients must have adequate light and darkness in order to recuperate. Staff, mainly those who work odd hours, must have accesses to dark and quiet spaces. Individual Light sources would be ideal for energy savings. Due to its solution-based content, I found this article to be most helpful. It sets an example of how design should be, a promotion of human health and general performance. The future of design depends on thinking such as this. We will need to adapt, for health remains the prodomidant factor. 

            The three articles above may discuss different aspects of lighting, but they all share a similar message: the re-evaluation of lighting design, and all that entail, is key to a healthy future. They ask, not only to look into the design of the products, but also to observe our lifestyles. Humans need to properly function in their built environments to the best of their abilities. If this is compromised, then a problem/ solution method of design need be discussed.


O'Connor, Anahad. "The Claim: Daylight Saving Time Can Affect Your Health". The New York Times. August 28, 2009

Weiss, Rick. "Lights at Night Are Linked to Breast Cancer". The Washington Post. August 28, 2009 .

Edelstein, Eve. "Implications: Influence of Architectural Lighting On Health". InformeDesign. August 28, 2009 .