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Light, lighting and lightfittings

Think of light in two ways: 

Direct light, what you see when you look at the sun.

Reflected light, what you see when you look at the landscape.

Direct light is often difficult to look at. The sun and spotlights are not retina friendly but a camp fire or a neon sign at night can make you smile.

Direct light works best at night when its lux level is low (or when it is not competing with daylight).

Reflected light is generally more retina friendly and works night and day like from the moon to beautifully lit merchandise.

Lightfittings can use direct, reflected and sometimes both light sources.

A pendant light can provide both direct or reflected light.

Spot lights need to illuminate surfaces with direct light but need to be shielded from your eyes. They need to come from the general direction of the observer or have baffles to focus them.

Good quality office light fittings use direct light (baffled) and reflected light so that the long hours under them aren’t irritating our retinas. Diffusers on these lightfittings refract the light to get better coverage for the light and to minimize retinal discomfort.

Walls or ceilings can become extensions of the lightfitting by reflecting light.

For a light or a surface to appear bright it must contrast with a darker surround (you don’t see stars in the day).

Light can be used to modulate your perception of space (you can also do this with colour).

One of the best architectural devices is to remove all services and lights from the ceiling and then use the clean plane to be a lightfiiting itself.

You must illuminate a surface not a space (you don’t see the sun’s rays going past the earth at night) You can fill the space with a gas (neon) or particulate or planets to reflect the light.

Swimming pools are the best lightfittings.

  • Reflected light of clean perfect ceilings.
  • Direct and reflected light using pendants and lamps with spotlights reflecting off textural surfaces.
  • She bolt holes in the concrete walls allow light in during the day and out at night.
  • And of course a little humour.
  • Filtered daylight and concealed light reflected up a textural wall.
  • Warm light for the customers and a light show for the passers by with backlit signage for day and night impact.