Back to good old floodlighting
Singapore, 19th June 2012
Now here is a challenging question…do you design, and push your design through with all justifications and solutions, knowing that it likely will not stand the test of cost and maintenance over time or do you design in consideration of what you know the reality of maintenance on location is. Sometimes we have to push the boundary, that is what we are designers for, but how far?
This afternoon I was facing a situation in which I know the maintenance on location is poor (track record), the level of sophistication and local knowledge is low (observed) and the availability of replacement lighting products in the local market is practically non-existing. My challenge is designing the facade lighting of an existing hotel building. There is technically no real access to the 10 storey high hotel façade (no gondola system) other then from a ledge which can be accessed from the guestroom windows at each floor. This ledge has a cavity which could hold and conceal the lights.
When you look at the building façade architecture you can’t but conclude that ideally the lights should be concealed in these ledges. Certainly considering my design philosophy to bring the lights as close to where you need them…Unfortunately there is no power, so we would have to chase that along these ledges each floor and the implication of that concept would be an enormous quatity of lighting points or linear length, depending the choice. Typically you would do that with LED these days, but considering the limited budget, the local conditions it looks like my best bet will be back to good old floodlighting.
It is amazing to see how little projects nowadays actually consider traditional flood lighting, It is nearly as if you are old fashioned. My bet is that more and more the art of floodlighting is dying! I mentioned before that I found that some new generation lighting designers don’t know anything else than LED…well I probably have to add that soon there will be some that don’t know how to do proper flood light a facade. Having said that it has reinforced my decision to go with floodlighting from the ground, let’s keep the art alive (and the cost down!)
Light Watch 3-88: Here are some good old façade lighting projects from my years gone by. I still think it looks good and above all serene compared with all those busy LED multi media facades!