Jakarta 25st June 2013
Once in a time we have a blue moon, and now we just had a super moon. This happens when the moon reaches a point in its orbit that brings it closest to earth and thus appearing bigger. Of course the moon is not physically bigger it just appears bigger because it is closer to us. Like the sun, the moon is a very inspirational light source and while the sun is a direct natural light source, the moon is an indirect (reflected) light source; it reflects the sun light back to earth and therefore has quite different characteristics. As lighting designers we (at least I do) take some of our design cues from the moon.
Interestingly the moon is both associated with a romantic mood as well as with supernatural activities and I think that describes really the artificial lighting effects that we can derive from moon light. Dreams are often associated with the moon as well, but this is mostly due to the geography of the moon in which many people see a face (the man on the moon), which triggers a lot of imagination. Because of its low lighting levels the moon is considerate intimate hence soft, warm and low level light applied in a social environment will reflect and re-create that mood. Because of the moons rocky surface the reflected light is generally felt as white light, even bluish at times, though when the moon is low on the horizon atmospheric interference can create a big orange ball.
Because of the limited amount of light that we get from the moon, it is also associated with sparse and localised lighting. Called “moon light” we reproduce that effect by mounting lights high up in between tree canopies shining down wards in the process creating little pools of light penetrating through the branches, pretty much what you get on a full moon day.
Light Watch 4-113: Over the last few days several pictures have appeared on Google from various parts of the world showing us the magical light of the super full moon…not much of a moon in Jakarta at the moment but that is probably more due to the air quality…