Light is a natural phenomenon that has fascinated people since time immemorial: the sun, the moon, the stars, fire... Many centuries have passed and we still do not understand exactly what it is, although we have learned to use natural light and create artificial light. It already played a remarkable role in the constructions of our ancestors. In dolmens, for example, it was used as an instrument to create theatricality. Today, light is the main key to interior and exterior design, and if it is used badly, it can ruin any project, no matter how good it is. Making the best use of natural and artificial light, not only on a functional and practical level, but also on an aesthetic and sensory level, is the job of lighting designers.
In all these spaces, light plays a fundamental role.
Outdoor lighting design covers both buildings (mainly facades) and public and private outdoor spaces (terraces, parks, gardens, public streets...). In many cases, outdoor lighting must not only take into account the above-mentioned aspects of quality of life, creation of atmosphere, aesthetics and energy efficiency, but also provide additional safety, i.e., it must serve to ensure that we can move safely in these areas and in some cases also act as a deterrent.
Today, façade lighting is an important component for the external appearance of all major urban buildings, hotels, restaurants, railway stations, monuments, stadiums... It gives buildings, districts and cities their own identity at night, which sometimes has nothing to do with the daytime appearance. An image that is even able to attract visitors, like the skyline in New York, the area known as Marina Bay in Singapore, the city of Kobe in Japan...
In terms of outdoor areas, the projects cover needs as diverse as a private garden, a restaurant terrace or a highway. In these cases, lighting is used, for example, to mark paths, highlight a landscape design, complement the architecture of a house or enhance the atmosphere of an outdoor dining room at night. For each specific situation, it is the particular functional and aesthetic requirements that will determine the final design.
Good lighting consists of achieving an optimal balance between human needs (domestic and/or commercial), architectural considerations and energy efficiency. Therefore, it is important to take the time to determine the possibilities of the spaces and properly plan their lighting.