There are 5 dimensions of interior lighting design: light and dark, cold and warm , more and less , law and chaos , movement and static.

The evaluation dimension of light and dark

Although light and dark can be reflected by illuminance that has a conversion relationship with brightness, and can be easily measured, it is actually a relative concept, which depends on the experience and site experience of the evaluator, especially related to the space and surrounding environment.

For example:

A museum lobby with good natural lighting, in the case of artificial lighting on sunny days, the ground illumination may reach more than 400LUX, and local direct sunlight is even as high as 2000LUX, so it feels bright. But if it is a cloudy day, even if the artificial lighting is turned on to reach an average illumination of more than 200 LUX, our feeling is still not bright enough. But if it’s night, the same 200LUX ground illumination will make us feel bright.

Indoors, if the ground illumination is only 10LUX, we will feel very dark and it is almost difficult to see the indoor environment. But if we are walking in the countryside with a full moon in winter, even if the ground illumination is only 1~2LUX, we will feel very bright, which will not affect the stone road where we can see the ground.

Although light and dark are relative concepts, as a lighting designer, you must understand the feelings that your project will ultimately convey to the user or observer of the space, and make a reasonable design for the lighting of the space.

For example, in an economy and express hotel, the four walls of the lobby space are mainly colored by clean white, and the lighting is suitable for designing a bright feeling. If it is a high-end luxury resort and the lobby is decorated with a large number of dark woods, in addition to the reception space, the overall space lighting is suitable to be designed to be dark to meet the requirements of privacy.

Nanjing Niushou Mountain Buddha Peak Palace Zen Realm Grand View

The dimensions of cold and warmth

The benchmark of human perception comes from the accumulation of natural experience in the course of billions of years of human evolution, passed down into our genes from generation to generation, and superimposed on the life experience of each of our individuals. For example, our judgment of the coldness and warmth of light, the feeling that moonlight and winter ice and snow give us is cold; The sun rising in the morning and the light of the fire are warm. We have this judgment because in our experience the bluish hue of light always accompanies the coldness of our body, while the reddish-yellow brings us warmth.

As a lighting designer, first of all, we must judge the body feeling (emotion) brought by the space, so as to choose the color temperature of the light source that is suitable for it.

In fact, the lighting dimension of cold and warm and the lighting dimension of light and dark are related to each other, because most of the bright cases in nature, the relevant color temperature is also cold , such as the brightest at noon during the day, the ground illumination under daylight can reach 10000LUX, and the color temperature can be as high as 8000K; The dark situation corresponds to the warm color temperature, and the light emitted by candlelight is only 1cd/m2 brightness, and the color temperature is warm 2200K.

People feel that the light and dark of high comfort and the level of color temperature have a relative range, and only within this coordinated range will they feel natural and comfortable. If you deviate from this area, people will feel differently.

For example, a relatively bright indoor environment, but the color temperature is low to about 2700K, it will make people feel hot, you can imagine the feeling of the desert under the sun.

Desert under the sun

If it is a dark environment, but the color temperature is cold white, it will give people a feeling of silence, and even make people feel eerie.

Woods with fireflies at night

More and less dimensions

There is only one sun in nature, shining from the sky 150 million kilometers away to the ground. On a sunny day, we can see the power of the sun, and if it is rainy or cloudy, the entire sky becomes a diffuse light curtain.

In the indoor space, due to the presence of lamps with point light sources (downlights), line light sources (fluorescent lights or LED light strips) or surface light sources (grille lamps or panel lights), often there are multiple and multiple light sources, due to the different way of lighting distribution, it is inevitable to give people more or less feelings, and accordingly give people different spatial images.

The dimension of law and chaos

Most interior spaces are regular, with some regularity and order, especially those with simple and clear functions, such as classrooms or courtrooms in Chinese schools. The space is mostly rectangular, and the arrangement is mostly regular and symmetrical. In such a space, in addition to meeting the realization of functions, the existence of explicit lamps undoubtedly needs to be regular and symmetrical, in order to be consistent with the concept of space.

China’s courtroom lighting

Courtroom lighting in the United States

However, in those spaces that make people relax and promote people’s leisure consumption, such as bars or shopping malls, except for the part of the passage, there needs to be a certain guidance, and it does not need to exist in a regular way. Sometimes it is deliberately arranged haphazardly.

Escalator space lighting at a shopping mall in Frankfurt

The atrium design of the modern shopping mall is a very interesting space.

Functionally speaking, this space is mainly convenient for the gathering and channeling of traffic in different areas, so it is often designed as an empty space, and the introduction of natural light, so that people have the feeling of being in an outdoor square indoors, and avoid the fatigue of the body including visual fatigue formed by long-term shopping.

I often refer to this space as a breathing space, similar to the connecting spaces between the different exhibition halls in a large museum. Such spaces must be at least bright during the day, whether by natural or artificial lighting. But whether it is the space design or the lighting setting, it is best not to be too regular, it is best to repeat the cycle, let people linger here.

Lighting of the atrium space of a shopping mall in Asia China

The dimension of movement and static

Most of people’s feelings come from the evolutionary evolution of nature. In the invention of the cave in order to make himself have a space to shelter from the wind and rain and isolate the invasion of the beast, human activities are farther and farther away from the nature of the sky, and the time for outdoor activities is getting less and less, and in extreme cases, some people do not even need to go out of the outdoors for a whole day. But the natural sunrise and sunset, the infinite change of skylight, the starry sky, or the night sky with a bright moon high are always the most familiar scenes for mankind.

Night Sky With Bright Moon

Burning Bonfire

In the process of the development of human civilization, artificial lighting was originally torches and bonfires, and later oil lamps and candles. No matter whether it is a candle or an oil lamp, the light emitted is erratic and flickering, which is unstable. This kind of lighting range is not large, and it is difficult to meet the requirements of fine visual work.

Then entered the industrial revolution, Edison invented the electric light, and then fluorescent lamps and HD gas discharge lamps. The advent of the electric light made artificial light stable and controllable for the first time, and the quality of lighting was greatly improved. In particular, the invention of fluorescent tubes has greatly satisfied the lighting of indoor office spaces. The light provided is close to the white color of daylight, stable and bright.

In the process of the development of human civilization, artificial lighting was originally torches and bonfires, and later oil lamps and candles. No matter whether it is a candle or an oil lamp, the light emitted is erratic and flickering, which is unstable. This kind of lighting range is not large, and it is difficult to meet the requirements of fine visual work.

Then entered the industrial revolution, Edison invented the electric light, and then fluorescent lamps, HD gas discharge lamps and LED lamps. The advent of the electric light made artificial light stable for the first time

And controllable, the quality of lighting is also greatly improved. In particular, the invention of LED tubes greatly satisfies the lighting of indoor office spaces, providing light close to the white of daylight, stable and bright.

Photo: An open office area in the headquarters of a company in Shanghai

But the latest research suggests that the best lighting for people’s health should be in line with the changing biological rhythms of human beings. The development of LED lighting provides the possibility for the implementation of such lighting concepts. That is, through a lighting system that can adjust the illuminance and color temperature, an environment similar to the natural sky light change is simulated.

Aman Tokyo Quiet space in hotel lobby

It should be said that most space static lighting can meet people’s needs, but in some spaces, dynamically changing lighting is the most basic configuration. Typical spaces are nightclubs and bars.

Lighting of a bar space

In addition to the light color of the bar is bizarre, the light point is best from a strange position, and with dynamic and rhythmic changes, in order to subvert people’s normal cognition, people in this space lose the shackles of rationality, completely in a state of intoxication.

Indoor lighting can be bright or dark, cold or warm, more or less, rhythmic or chaotic, quiet and moving, but what kind of choice and setting to make, but need to fully consider the overall image of the entire space, and consider the psychological feelings of users.

The best interior lighting is not those that are eye-catching and photo-beautiful, but lighting designs that meet the comfort of space users and are consistent with the overall concept of the space. A higher standard is that the lighting design and the overall space design are highly integrated and integrated, and the space atmosphere and temperament are accurate, making people feel immersive.

What is the concept of space?

The concept of space depends on the planning and design of the interior designer, which we can describe with different adjectives:

  1. Tall space
  2. Sacred space
  3. Warm space
  4. Pure space
  5. Space for frigidity
  6. Luxurious space
  7. Simple space
  8. Zen space
  9. Brilliant space
  10. Fantasy space
  11. Mysterious space
  12. Dark space

If we use anthropomorphic words to describe space, it can be said that there are as many kinds of people as there are images of space.

As a lighting designer, it is very important to have a complete understanding of the space according to the preliminary scheme and effect design of the interior designer, and then accurately extract the core image of the space and the lighting function that needs to be realized, and finally make it a reality.

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