Mumbai, 7th July 2010
What has birdshit to do with lighting design?…A bit of a provocative title to my blog today, but one certainly relevant to lighting when you design for exterior installations. In discussions with architect and client yesterday one of our design options for the façade lighting was rejected as it would create spots for birds to sit ….and shit….Mumbai has a humongous bird population and creating perches for them to sit on effectively is a recipe for a lot of “shit”. Ever parked your car under a tree?…
It is a design consideration most people do not include in the creative thinking process, whether architects or ourselves, but it is a very practical and relevant issue…. Pigeons, crows, seagulls, are notorious and therefore the design of the lighting installation should really consider this potential issue. In our case we resorted to changing the horizontal aligned brackets for the façade lighting in vertically mounted linear lights an so providing no opportunity for birds to perch.
There are quite some other lighting solutions that need similar considerations, mainly pole mounted structures in the outdoors like street lights or sports lighting poles and associated head frames. Seaside street lights and poles are much sought after resting places for sea gulls and it is for this reason that you will see cities resorting to mount spikes on top of the luminaires to deter birds from perching there.
It just goes to show that lighting design is more than just creating beautiful lighting effects. Thoughts about possible side effects of our lighting design proposals are not necessarily our prime concern and I bet you that many of us do not design with potential issues such as “bird shit” in our minds… 🙂