From being an afterthought and secondary choice, lighting has now become non-negotiable in the world of designing. Let’s look at how lighting has added sparkle and chutzpah in the modern day and age.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines lighting as ‘an artificial supply of light or the apparatus providing it’. It is so simple and easy to understand, isn’t it? However, in the practical sense, its impact is far greater, not only when the sun goes down but also when you wish to enliven your interiors. General lighting, Task lighting and Accent lighting are some of the novel ways in which lighting needs are addressed as in a contemporary project. Then, of course, there is something called as light installations which have elevated lights to an art form. All points considered it is safe to say that unlike earlier lighting has now become an integral part of the interior design scheme.
Role of lighting in interiors
The role of lighting in interior designing plays a crucial role in beautifying the place as it can totally impact the aura of the room. Manisha Hakim, Associate & Head, Interiors, Urbanscape Architects magnificently sums up the role of lighting in interiors and calls it the soul of interiors. Manisha says, “I believe that lighting is the soul of interiors. An adequate amount of light can elevate one’s mood and energy levels instantly. It is scientifically proven that appropriate lighting can affect your concentration power and well-being in general. Lighting in its own special way can add to the aesthetics of the overall space. The ambience of any interior space is created predominantly by the type of lighting utilised. No matter how much one may spend on the furniture, artefacts and accessories, lighting is very essential, if not done right even well-designed interiors will not be able to make the desired impact.”
Choice of lighting in residential space vs commercial space
Another important factor while choosing any particular lighting is the spatial consideration. Lights have different functions to serve in home interiors and commercial establishments. For homes the character of lighting is usually driven by personal choices and the ambience desired. In business cost and durability are some of the important pointers to consider part from aesthetics.
Rakhee Bedi Kumar, Founding Principal, RSDA says, “A residential lighting system differs from a commercial lighting system on many counts. From design, manufacturing and product selection to installation, there are many factors that distinguish the two types of lighting systems.”
She further adds, “The primary difference between the two lighting systems is their purpose and functionality. Commercial lighting are built and augmented differently than their residential counterparts, as there’s a lot more traffic in a commercial space so they are more durable. They’re also costlier due to this. Unlike the residential models, even their fixtures have a different design in order to meet all the necessary requirements. Likewise, the manufacturing techniques adopted to manufacture them too is different.”
Andrea Andreotti, Design Head at Ultraconfidentiel says, “In commercial spaces, unlike residential spaces, in addition to having a specific technical function, i.e. ensuring minimum lux at the regulatory level, light has above all a communicative function: it is a fundamental tool that supports sales and increment of performances of an office or commercial activity. For this reason, Ultraconfidentiel firmly believes that light must create the desired emotions to encourage specific actions to the end user.”
Energy efficient lighting
From the mercurial mercury lamp to standard tubes and fluorescent bulbs, the methods of illumination may have changed but it was all in good faith and with a fixed purpose. The evolution saw to it that we all see light in the right perspective and use it effectively. So in a timeline when energy efficiency had finally become desirable, light manufacturers and light designers are paying heed to it to maintain the status quo.
Sandeip Anand , VP- Projects, JN Lighting India LLP (Hybec) gives his take on the market for energy efficient lighting in India. He says, “The market is pushing towards improved energy efficient technologies due to changing building standards, corporate sustainability initiatives, utility incentives, and rising energy costs. Lighting in the new building market is often considered an easy opportunity because a lighting upgrade can be a less expensive initial investment than upgrading the HVAC or building management system.”
Sandeip further adds, “Energy efficiency is where your power consumption of building or your own premises is reduced such as lighting and HVAC systems. And at the same time, it increases the efficiency of the building. To find a new more efficient light with that amount of light you should look for lumens not watts. Watts are simply a measure of energy is used; the amount of electricity a fixture needs to operate. The light output or brightness of the fixture is actually measured in lumens. More lumens means more light.”