In the mood…

Singapore, 14th February 2011

The world today celebrates Valentine’s Day…as far as I am concerned a commercially driven celebration to get people to spent money on diners, gifts and flowers. But somehow people need occasions to celebrate things…We have just had the New Year and Lunar New Year celebrations and more to come over the coming year, one even celebrates “light”…the Hindu celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. Lighting is a big part of these celebrations and serves as a tool to set the mood.

Valentine ’s Day is generally celebrated with a romantic diner and most outlets outdo themselves to create “that” mood and ambiance. The more exclusive restaurants have their lighting control scene set to “romantic” which generally translate in low lighting levels and localised lighting. The simplest of all settings is of course just a flickering candle. Check out yours if it is concealed inside a frosted glass as it may be an artificial (LED) flame.

Lighting designs need to be tailored to the multiple needs of different occasions or time of the day. I started “scene setting” today for one of the restaurants we are designing. Though at this stage the mood creation happens on paper first and with the help of some renderings later on, it is good to think ahead on what the actual mood is that I want for the occasion so we can think through the lighting design to make sure we can achieve it. Obviously experience is key for this work. Having done many before helps to understand what a 20% or 50% setting means in the scale of the whole space. Dimming or switching of light sources requires understanding of the characteristics of the light source. Diming a fluorescent light bulb does not have the same effect as dimming a halogen bulb! Creating a mood is also highly personal as a designer…cultural backgrounds also play a role in appreciation of lighting effect….    

My pick for Light Watch today is one of my own projects, The Line Restaurant in the Shangri-la Hotel in Singapore. It has been a winner from the day it opened about 5 years ago and was one of the first themed restaurants with island cooking, made popular by Super Potato, the specialist interior designers. This restaurant is sure to bring you “in the mood”…

Light Watch 31: The Line Restaurant – Shangri-la, Singapore

14. February 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design | Leave a comment

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