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“Smart lighting technology” in office buildings

Architecture

The modern office building in Lüdenscheid is equipped with so-called “smart lighting technology”. This is often misunderstood as being lighting controlled via a smartphone. Of course that is also possible, but the meaning and purpose of it is different:

“Smart lighting means that the light is adapted automatically to the users' needs, i.e. I enter a room – irrespective of whether it is a residential room or a place of work – and the light adapts itself automatically to my lighting requirements. That’s the clever aspect about it. It’s also clever in that it turns off automatically whenever I leave the room. It adjust itself automatically to the correct brightness, i.e. when I need a lot of light, that is precisely what I get, and when I need less, it is turned down. If I am working on a screen, it recognises this concept and the light is lessened so that I have fewer disturbances, i.e. wherever I go, the light is adjusted so that I always feel comfortable and have perfect viewing conditions. I don’t need to do anything in this respect – i.e. it just does it on its own.”

The incidence of light from outside can also be influenced by the use of “intelligent glass”. Electrochromic glass, thermochromic glass, LC glass – there are various technological ways of adapting the permeability of windows (for example) to light or radiation, depending on the situation.

Outside, the sky is overcast – not very nice. On entering one of the offices, the light comes on. Indirect lighting makes the ceiling seem cold and bluish. Clear, blue light is said to wake you up and stimulate the body – but the first impression does not convey the impression that you would like to spend an extended period of time in the room.

“At the moment we are dealing here with one-component lighting. It is merely diffuse light. One area light source is called the sky. We don’t have any more. If you look out, you see trees, pillars, bridges – you don’t see shadows, none at all – it is completely free of shade. This is the most boring imaginable lighting. It is not alive in the slightest. And if we plan indirect lighting, like this one here in the interior, it’s almost like planned bad weather.

For this reason, the spotlights move to a much warmer spectrum, throwing light on a picture and on specific locations on the walls – again a simulation of the weather – but this time of a fine weather day.

“That was the first thing people said: What does “fine weather” mean? Blue sky and sunshine! This means always having the maximum possible contrast between a cool colour, a bluish cold and a warm-looking sun, and it is precisely for this reason that we need to translate this concept to the indoors, with cool-seeming indirect lighting and warm accent lighting, the latter taking the place of the sun. They're like our rays of sun: our artificially planned rays of sun.”

And straight away the impression the office gives off has changed dramatically. Whereas it was previously cold and somewhere you wouldn’t like to spend a great deal of time, it is now bright, friendly and welcoming. In this way, the lighting design can create a working atmosphere which both has a direct impact on our body, and gives off a pleasant feeling because it corresponds to what we would describe as good weather.

Source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Other interesting facts

“Smart lighting technology” in office buildings

Architecture

The modern office building in Lüdenscheid is equipped with so-called “smart lighting technology”. This is often misunderstood as being lighting controlled via a smartphone. Of course that is also possible, but the meaning and purpose of it is different:

“Smart lighting means that the light is adapted automatically to the users' needs, i.e. I enter a room – irrespective of whether it is a residential room or a place of work – and the light adapts itself automatically to my lighting requirements. That’s the clever aspect about it. It’s also clever in that it turns off automatically whenever I leave the room. It adjust itself automatically to the correct brightness, i.e. when I need a lot of light, that is precisely what I get, and when I need less, it is turned down. If I am working on a screen, it recognises this concept and the light is lessened so that I have fewer disturbances, i.e. wherever I go, the light is adjusted so that I always feel comfortable and have perfect viewing conditions. I don’t need to do anything in this respect – i.e. it just does it on its own.”

The incidence of light from outside can also be influenced by the use of “intelligent glass”. Electrochromic glass, thermochromic glass, LC glass – there are various technological ways of adapting the permeability of windows (for example) to light or radiation, depending on the situation.

Outside, the sky is overcast – not very nice. On entering one of the offices, the light comes on. Indirect lighting makes the ceiling seem cold and bluish. Clear, blue light is said to wake you up and stimulate the body – but the first impression does not convey the impression that you would like to spend an extended period of time in the room.

“At the moment we are dealing here with one-component lighting. It is merely diffuse light. One area light source is called the sky. We don’t have any more. If you look out, you see trees, pillars, bridges – you don’t see shadows, none at all – it is completely free of shade. This is the most boring imaginable lighting. It is not alive in the slightest. And if we plan indirect lighting, like this one here in the interior, it’s almost like planned bad weather.

For this reason, the spotlights move to a much warmer spectrum, throwing light on a picture and on specific locations on the walls – again a simulation of the weather – but this time of a fine weather day.

“That was the first thing people said: What does “fine weather” mean? Blue sky and sunshine! This means always having the maximum possible contrast between a cool colour, a bluish cold and a warm-looking sun, and it is precisely for this reason that we need to translate this concept to the indoors, with cool-seeming indirect lighting and warm accent lighting, the latter taking the place of the sun. They're like our rays of sun: our artificially planned rays of sun.”

And straight away the impression the office gives off has changed dramatically. Whereas it was previously cold and somewhere you wouldn’t like to spend a great deal of time, it is now bright, friendly and welcoming. In this way, the lighting design can create a working atmosphere which both has a direct impact on our body, and gives off a pleasant feeling because it corresponds to what we would describe as good weather.

Source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

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