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Lighting Design but not as we know it Jim! (& it kills bacteria too).

by | Apr 22, 2021

Not including theatre, which is important but a specialised field we can learn from, Lighting for the built environment has developed 2 co-existing skill sets,

  1. The “engineering” of lighting design laying down suggested lux levels, uniformity and rules by which a lighting design can be successfully evaluated in metrics…quantitatively measured.  
  2. The “architectural” approach to a lighting design however is more qualitative, empathetic to design, environment and the people who occupy that space…What I taught people for years is the 3A’s, that to design a space which will be successful in its design, Architecture, Activity, Atmosphere all had to be evaluated.

Whilst a successful lighting design would use all of the above, mostly we see just “rows” and a regular array of lights applied to spaces without regard to the human element.

 In The Future

 In the future both aspects of lighting will change “Human Centric” lighting design will become more important as light is “tuned”, dynamic scenes created all concerned with our health and well being.

This wellbeing will extend to include HINS lighting to deliver a safe anti bacterial light to help sterilise the built environment. HINS stands for High Intensity Narrow Spectrum lighting developed by Strathclyde University who have proven 405nm dedicated LED can reduce bacterial load in a building by 70%.  Linealight have partnered to add this technology to their commercial lighting and I think it is very interesting.

Luminaires will also be able to deliver LiFi a change to WiFi as large as the leaps we see in technology to 5G etc. (just google LiFi if you haven’t heard of it..)


Neuro Sciences allow us to use the breakthroughs in reading our responses to the environment and take much more consideration to the 3A’s of any architectural design.

 “Neuro Responsive Lighting Design” is not tuning light for our health benefits, it is the ability to understand how to light a space for a predicted response by us.  We begin to understand, measure and quantify “Atmosphere”.

I have been working on a model of this as a tool for a few years…it’s nearly ready!

Did you ever think lighting would be like this?


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