How architectural lighting can enhance buildings

Why incorporating architectural lighting in your building planning and design is crucial.

Contemporary architecture and planning relies so heavily on the use of lighting for so many varied functions that it has become a design feature and architectural element in its own right. Nowadays, plans for any public, official or residential building or development worth its salt ought to incorporate architectural lighting.

Architectural lighting adds to a building’s visual impact
Although it may seem obvious, how many people have actually stopped to consider how some of the globe’s most renowned buildings would look (and make us feel) if their exteriors were lit differently or left un-illumined? From the Empire State Building in New York to Harrods department store in London, many of the most recognisable structures around the world would project radically different appearances if their architectural lighting was removed or altered.

Architects and designers – starting in the 20th century with the pioneer and founding father of architectural lighting, Richard Kelly – have increasingly embraced the use of lighting to not only illumine their constructions, but also to give them greater visual power. Rather than the equivalent of an afterthought – added to blueprints and plans after the engineering and design features have already been established – architectural lighting currently joins these other elements in the forefront of the planning process for modern buildings.

The key significance of LED lighting to architectural exteriors
In the increasingly energy-conscious atmosphere of the 21st century, architectural lighting, along with all aspects of modern construction, has to take into account the crucial matter of efficiency. With the increasing emphasis on conserving natural resources and protecting the planet, the amount of energy that lighting sources use, save or waste, necessarily has become a critical topic. Thus it should constitute an integral part of the equation when designing and engineering modern buildings.

In the on-going attempt to create facades that – from a lighting perspective – both look spectacular and also remain energy efficient, has come into its own. The reason for this can be seen clearly in the way that certain recent, innovative buildings have incorporated LED lighting projects into their design.

In addition to providing design flexibility, stunning visual effects and enhanced green technology benefits, external LED lighting also offers the architects, developers and owners of today’s buildings the ability to save money, as well as protect the environment. Cost-effective over time, these lights will continue to illuminate our architecture, and our lives, far into a future that, hopefully, will only grow brighter with the passing years.