I don’t want to see any lights!

Shanghai- Singapore 22nd July 2010

Had to skip a design workshop this morning and go back to see the doctor…my back isn’t getting any better and as I type this blog I am 30,000 ft up in the air on my way back to Singapore. At least the doctor managed to get my back to a reasonable travel state, but 5 hours in a plane seat is not really ideal for my healing, hope it lasts…I may need to cancel all my travelling for a little while….

So with some extra comfort pillows in my back I was pondering about what some clients and interior designers/ architects sometimes say to me when they try and explain their overall thoughts and design intent for a project. And one of those is” I don’t want to see any lights!” Of course what they most of the time mean is that they don’t want to see any exposed lights or direct sight on light sources, etc. And as it happens I am also a great believer in concealed, indirect or very low brightness lighting systems. If anything I just want to see the resulting lighting effects. In other words light reflected of its architectural surrounding. I like to conceal down lights if they are needed in recesses to avoid seeing bright dots in the ceiling, I like lights to be concealed between objects or plants making people wondering were the light comes from. That is the magic of light…

But practical reality does not always allow us to conceal lights and not everybody understands that. Light has to come from a light source somewhere! Many years back one client really pushed it and kept saying he did not want to see any (down) lights. Yet he wanted to achieve certain lighting levels. When we drew down lights recessed in niches he still kept insisting he did not want to see lights  We then drew the down light above the ceiling (without any opening in the ceiling to let light through) and asked if that is what he wanted, to which he said yes. When we explained that in this way he would not have any light at all, he got the point….

Not everybody understand the way light works…I guess that is one of the reasons there are lighting designers in this world 🙂

22. July 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and culture, lighting design | Leave a comment

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