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Architectural Integration

This will include the following:

  • Style of the lighting equipment with respect to the architecture
  • Meaningfulness of the light pattern with respect to the architecture
  • Physical integration of the lighting equipment with the building fabric
  • Integration of the electrical wiring, including controls
  • Integration of the electric lighting with daylighting

A balance between functionality and ascetics is essential.  Equally, the light pattern produced by the luminaires needs to be meaningful.  For example, to direct a beam of light at a bare wall is meaningless, but to direct light at a picture, or some other object that deserves attention, has purpose.  Alternatively, if a line of downlighters were positioned close to a wall producing a scalloped pattern, then there would be meaning as long as the scallops were symmetrical and particularly if the wall had a textured surface. Sometimes it will be necessary for the architect to provide a reason for introducing a variation in lighting, such as a change in floor or ceiling level.

It may also be necessary to introduce an architectural feature to incorporate concealed lighting such as a cornice or pelmet.  The best solutions will be those devised jointly by the architect and lighting designer.  The physical integration of lighting equipment means considering things such as suspended ceilings and whether ceiling-recessed luminaires will conflict with other services like ductwork.  The same applies to controls such as switches and dimmers.  Early planning of where equipment should be sited and how it will be installed, as well as providing detailed instructions, will avoid problems later. Another consideration is whether walls are likely to be moved within the life of the building – if so then wire-less controls might be considered. 

Integration of electric light with daylight is essential for optimum energy efficiency. This will mean assessing the daylighting performance and ensuring that electric lights can be controlled to complement daylight as and when required in a user-friendly way.

The overriding purpose of integration is to make lighting a part of the architecture and not a service fitted to the building after it is completed.  Generally, the lighting installation should not be obvious but a part of the overall design. 


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