There is a lot to be said for the way that light and lighting can affect the way in which a space is percieved, received and utilised. In this article, we’ll take an indepth look at the role of lights and lighting in our everyday lives, touching on both the practical and the aesthetic aspects.
The better to see you with
Of course, when it comes to light, function has always been the primary concern – we need to see where we’re going, what we’re doing or eating and whether it’s all presentable to the world at large. But even in this context, getting it right is important. It’s one thing not to have to rely on the other senses to get around, and another entirely to flood a scene with harsh, searing light that picks up every tiny imperfection in a space… or a face.
The subtle effects of different shades of light on a space, a body or an object can have a profound impact. It is in our nature as human beings to be drawn to things that excite the senses, and nowhere is this more obvious in our everyday living than in the way we use different shades and angles of light and shadows to set the ambience of the spaces we inhabit. Which explains why, centuries after the advent of the lightbulb, we are still enthralled by candles and flames. Of course, modern advances in lighting technology allow us to recreate the warmth of firelight, with the added bonus of being able to enjoy it without the smoke.
Speaking of modern advances, when was the last time you took note of the vast array of light fixtures and fittings that illuminate your days and nights? From shopping malls and offices to restaurants, bars and boudoirs, the array of choices is virtually endless, and in merely noting what’s been used in your immediate environment, you’ve barely scratched the surface. If it’s variety you’re after, lighting is the right place to start.
Okay. Now that we’ve set the whole world alight, what about energy consumption? LEDs have been around for some time now, offering a far more energy-efficient solution than traditional lamps. In spite of this, they’ve received a bad rap because of their initial cost and their typically “cold” light. However, as with any technology, advances have been made that more than warrant giving LEDs another chance. For starters, LEDs are far more robust than their traditional counterparts, lasting up to five times longer than other, comparable lamps on the market. They are also available in many colours, allowing for a more ambient effect – so you can still have the romance without the price tag!
Seeing the light
Whatever your requirements or preferences, there’s no denying the importance of the right light, and, as we’ve seen, it’s about more than simply flipping a switch. Rather, it’s about creating spaces in which people want to live.
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