“Fighting” for space
Singapore, 12th February 2010
As a lighting designer one of our constantly recurring challenges in practically every interior project is our “fight” for the right locations for our lights. If only lighting was the one thing that mattered… 🙂
The reality is that there are many other services besides lighting that are vying for the same spot in the ceiling, wall or floor! Who takes precedence? As a lighting designer I need to anticipate these possible conflicting situations, so right from the start of our design process I will need to engage the project team to safeguard the potential lighting positions as much as I can. I just came back from one such design coordination meeting…
The first thing in for instance is to request for a clear space of at least 200mm above the ceiling so that we can recess our down lights freely without having to worry about being obstructed by ducting or physical obstacles like structural beams. The next thing is to agree that lighting gets precedence over air-conditioning and other services when it comes to location. Besides air-conditioning we will have to deal with sprinklers, smoke detectors, sound systems, and so on. Some services like emergency lights and signs will always have a higher priority as they are dictated by safety standards, but at least we have some form of control over those. Emergency lighting can be integrated as part of our general architectural house lighting (I am not a big fan of separate emergency lights, the so called “UFO’s” anyhow).
When it comes to event and function spaces such as ballrooms and galleries, etc, there are even more elements to consider. Special effects lighting, hooks for stage bars or draperies, overhead video projectors, speakers, etc, etc. It is easy to see that coordinated plans that incorporate all services are critical to the end result. Knowing the “other” requirements and anticipating their need for space will help to safeguard our lighting design interests.