We sit in our offices and our homes and look at beautiful pictures of beautiful lighting scenarios in beautiful glossy magazines. We are inspired by possibilities that new lighting technologies can offer us and allow ourselves to dream of the beautiful projects to come.
Reality hits us as soon as we enter the majority of our public spaces, buildings, schools, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, banks, offices, and even sad but true in the homes of our friends and families. Cheap and not so cheap, bad, glaring, soupy and creepy lighting everywhere you look. Bad daylight planning and obsolete artificial lighting concepts plague our building interiors, offices and homes and at night the lack of light master planning destroys our romantic and playful encounters in streets and on market squares.
Today with the huge array of new technologies available to us, lighting is too important to leave to the unimaginative. “The Times They Are A-Changin…” sang Bob Dylan, this could be an inspiration for the lighting industry, politicians, decision makers and clients, a wakeup call for a true human centric lighting. Planning light is, as in all areas of culture, music, science or art, always about bringing the measurable and the immeasurable together. The lighting designer brings the “art” of lighting and “technology” together; it is only with this holistic and humanistic approach that we can create a truly Human Centric Light. As words and grammar alone cannot produce literature, successful planning of light is not just about energy consumption and light sources but also about the quality of light in terms of the mood and joy it can create. That is the true meaning of Human Centric Light, a light that is healthy to the mind, the body and the soul.
Good lighting can bring something godly to the simplest of buildings and spaces; lighting is the true king of spatial design and can transport humble spaces and structures onto another architectural level. Good daylight planning and good artificial lighting is the most cost effective way to create spaces of quality where people are happy to live, work and play in.
The availability of new lighting technology which is smaller, smarter and more precise requires us to rethink the lighting of buildings and public spaces. The new technology means that we can truly do more with less. It offers us unending possibilities to create light scenarios at night that change to suit the requirements and the mood, be it a winter, spring, summer or an autumn scenario, be it to support a festival mood or a no-frills celebration of simple life.
Future city and street planning requires a choreographic time plan that provides us with lightspaces that can be as diverse as the history of the space and their buildings and at the same support the demands of multifunctional contemporary life. A night light that lives and is expressive, a “Chrono-Night-Light” or CNL in short, that can change by the season and or by the hour if wished. Where the day and the night lighting concept of a city, space or building correspond and interact to give the citizen a holistic experience of space and time. My view is that we need to encourage a Macro-Micro approach to lighting design where the holistic idea is expressed and mirrored in the smallest of details.