Singapore 23rd May 2011
Probably one of the more difficult challenges of a lighting designer is scene setting. I have been playing around all afternoon with aiming and programming for the commissioning of the Chinese Restaurant, part of the Intercontinental Hotel renovation in Singapore. It all starts with the lighting design of course. The design needs to anticipate the lighting effects and more specifically the interaction between light, space and material finishes. Drawings and specifications are one thing but a 3 dimensional space with finishes and furniture is a totally different experience. This is when you find out whether your anticipation and mental visualisation of the lighting effects and overall mood comes out or not.
Once the contractor has installed the lights all is still messy. The lights are aimed without purpose, the space fit out is not completed, floors and walls are mostly still bare, so inevitably the lighting still does not come out to its value yet. People have a tendency to start commenting right there and then, which is a dangerous thing as the space has not been validated by proper aiming, focussing and mood setting. Until such time that all furniture and other loose items, decorations and artworks are in it is hard to comment and only experienced lighting designers know how it will more or less turn out. I say more or less as there always seem to be last moment surprises. Artworks being smaller or bigger than originally planned, material finishes turning out glossier then originally specified, space planning being adapted by the interior designer or operator because in real 3D it looks more busy than on the drawing and so on. A classic situation is “unexpected” ceiling space constraints, limiting the installation of downlight. This afternoon I found out I could not adjust some down lights as ceiling ducts prevented me from tilting the reflector! Any how we managed work it out and got all lights aimed and focussed. The dimming schedule specified is close to our liking but will need some tweeking over the days to come. Looking good!
In Light Watch today one of the typical LED issues, the multiple scalloping. The restaurant uses 100% LED, all nice in warm white (yes real 2700K) light, but the LED source (Philips 10W Master LED) produces a multiple scallops. I show the picture below for your reference. As it turns out it sort of looks decorative and I like it…but it was not fully planned this way 🙂
(apologies for the bad picture quality, snapped with my Iphone on the run)
Light Watch 94: LED scalloping on wall