Lighting by association

France 31st July 2010

When you are on holiday you generally want to relax and recharge your batteries doing things you like and enjoying life without stress and deadlines! In my case enjoying the beach, doing nature walks, having our meals with family and friends and do the occasional shopping at the local flea market. Being outside for our daily dose of daylight and breathing in fresh air really makes a difference!

I am still mulling around about the lighting systems on the A380, with all the scene settings, the different light colours and brightness’s, etc. Now with the ever changing daylight conditions I am experiencing (it s amazing how much passes us by during our hectic work life!) like sunrise, sunset, rain, clouds, blue skies, which are the natural lighting effects we are all familiar with and feel totally natural to us. We associate each light with certain moods and activities and hence when these same light conditions are artificially recreated we associated these feelings and moods to it.

As lighting designers we make use of these associations when design the lighting environment for different applications. Hypermarkets ( I think the French are one of the inventors of this concept, like Carrefour) have a totally different approach in lighting then a a high end fashion boutique from Hermes for instance (let’s stay in France for this). In the first concept you want as much people to shop and buy as quickly as possible. Shopping as a business…In the boutique situation, you want the shoppers to relax, take their time, enjoy. Shopping for fun… The first has high, bright and cool lighting colours (mid day situation), the second has focused, dedicated and warm light (late afternoon situation). The same can be applied to dining, exquisite versus fast food. (candle versus fluorescent lighting), etc.

Then there is also the psychology of warm light in cold countries or vice versa. We associate warm coloured light with warm feelings and hence you will generally see warm light applied in cold climates and cool light colours in tropical countries. There isn’t really any difference in ambient temperature, it is just the psychological effect and our association with it.

Our mind is a very interesting part of our body…..

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

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