Noelia Escrivá is a Lighting Consultant specialized in Architectural Lighting, with experience of more than 15 years across Europe, Asia, and Middle East. With this article, she had the opportunity to share some knowledge about lighting, which is the “hidden” element in our lives. Let’s review the concept of what is light and how we can use it for our benefit on a daily basis.
WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF LIGHT?
Light is an intangible element of nature, essential for our existence. It has unparalleled and extraordinary quality, following our biological rhythm, the ability to change our emotions, our state of mind; for instance, it’s the difference between summer and winter, between warmth and cold, existence and the absence of it.
Since life exists, humans tried to recreate sunlight qualities the best way they could to be able to “see” during the night, and therefore avoid darkness. Through time, we have also tried to improve artificial light techniques that would enhance the quality of life and better perceive the reality during the night.
Artificial light has evolved from fire, to candles, gas and oil lamps and light bulbs. In the mid 20th century, the discovery of LED (Light Emitting Diode) changed everything. For the first time, humans could replicate sunlight with good accuracy.
Throughout light technology, there are some concepts very important to understand in order to select the best light typology to be used. The following are some of the most relevant concepts to have in mind.
WHAT IS COLOR IN LIGHT AND HOW WE APPLY IT?
Our perception of light and its colors are linked with sensations and feelings. The lighting color spectrum is commonly used in lighting to evoque sensations, since they influence our mood and emotions, and have an impact on our sense of well-being or uneasiness. For example, when we are in a green space, we feel calm. The reason why is that green, transmits balance and harmony in essence and possesses a soothing influence upon the body.
In lighting, we apply this knowledge by using different products with either LED RGB sources (Light Emitting Diode in Red Green and Blue colors) or using filters, that will transform and enhance white light into any color of the spectrum.
WHAT IS COOL OR WARM LIGHTING?
This is the tone of the white light as we see it, called color temperature. Warm light has a red to yellowish appearance while cold light has a bluish appearance.
A specific color temperature of the light will be selected depending on characteristics such as the type of space and its application. For example, when we are in a fast food restaurant, cool light temperature is used. This ensures customers stay for short periods of time, which is a good leverage for the establishments because short-term stay and high flow of customers equals high revenue.
As explained previously, understanding light is very important to apply it properly into a interior or exterior space, private or public.
Knowing the space, brainstorming the possible solutions to light the areas and recognizing the customer needs and what light can provide, is a dialogue necessary to meet with project and client needs.
Coming up next, we share some examples of Noelia’s work on how to apply light and transform spaces with the use of white and color light.
AL ASMAKH OFFICE BUILDING, DOHA
Vertical garden landscape
Situated in the district of West Bay, these vertical gardens are a sophisticated landscape that emerge from the concrete city context. Following trends in lighting, the structure is lit with a dramatic effect from the bottom of the structure to the top, with an integrated light source on the cement floor.
The gradual light is attractive to people to look at and creates awareness of the vertical garden in an environment surrounded by skyscrapers.
LUSAIL SOUTH PROMENADE, DOHA
The South Promenade, located at the North of Doha, is one of the five Promenades that configure Lusail Marina’s Promenade in Lusail City.
The light on the Promenade beautifies the area during the night and enhances its architectural forms. Architectural levels on the pier result in a natural division on the lighting arrangements with high and low levels.
Luminaires designed for projecting effects onto the pathway are in use on a high level. The projected light is disseminated on the floor, creating soft spots of light and a comfortable ambience to walk into the promenade. The lower level is at the same time subdivided architecturally in two areas: long continuous steps and staircase steps.
The long steps are enhanced with a continuous light that creates a strip of light and remarks the edge of the steps. The staircase steps have a different approach, with lines of light leaving spaces in between. This setup is a dynamic effect that becomes informative, since pedestrians differentiate easily where the staircases are located.
QANAT QUARTIER, DOHA, QATAR
Softscape light art
Inspired by nature, this art installation it’s a public interactive landscape that follows the morphology of a tufted hairgrass and explores the relation between people, technology and space.
Situated alongside Qanat Quartier gardens, this hybrid of nature and technology is composed of large amounts of fiber optic cables.
These fibers brighten when people touch them, inspiring people’s curiosity. It also triggers communication between themselves by sharing the experiences they have interacting with the light art installation.
KATARA OPEN PROMENADE, DOHA, QATAR
Transforming an architectural facade with color light
Inspired by the artwork of Mark Rothko, this concept is designed to transform the skin of an Amphitheater building into a dynamic canvas.
A combination of complementary colors creates a vibrant look that transitions between color schemes.
The color schemes are combinations of the following colors: violet + green (to stimulate imagination and harmony) and orange + violet (to stimulate intuition and bring enthusiasm).
These color combinations are an expression of human basic emotions and therefore stimulate people's minds by changing the perception of an architectural space.
This concept is an example of what a static surface can become as a canvas for imagination, an artist layout where attractive images and colors can be displayed to attract people and activate their imagination.
Noelia is currently located in Qatar and provides Lighting Consultancy services to Architects, Interior Designers and Construction companies for indoor and outdoor projects.
If you are interested to contact her to explore lighting solutions please check noeliaescriva.com.