Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Lighting has an impact on how we live our life’s but recently scientist have learned that light actually physically effects our health and welfare. There is a receptor cell in our eyes that help tell us what time of day it is and the amount of melatonin that our body should produce which is the chemical that makes us sleepy at night and awake in the day. Along with the receptor cell our body benefits from sunlight and if we don’t receive enough it contributed to a condition called SAD that is due to an unbalance of chemical in our body. However light must be controlled for levels of glare and discomfort because while light needs to be a part of our life’s and unbalance of one type of light can lead to a higher chance of cancer.

Research has found that while light is good there are many bad effects many of which involve our sleep cycle and how our body produces chemicals to relax us and make us go to sleep at night. This over exposure to light throws off our daily routine and rhythm that lets us naturally know the time of the day.  Along with the side effects that make it hard to sleep a study found that the effects of bright light late in the afternoon before bed cause weight gain because it hinders the production of a hormone that slows down the breakdown of our daily calories.

Light is a very good thing and can have many positive benefits as well as negative ones so therefore we must control the amount of light we are receiving and help to manage others by the types of lighting we use for spaces we design. 


Light is something that can mold how we view a space, if the lighting makes us feel a certain way then it works with or against the design of the space and it is our job as designers to take into account the various ways to use light. Through understanding different environment around us we can learn how to adapt the lighting into the interior spaces and manipulate how users perceive the environment.

Different places change how we view light because there is never another place exactly like the one you are standing in at any given time. Also within the place there is never one moment the lighting conditions are exactly the same and this is what develops the ever changing lighting for that space. Over time we learn the rhythms of a space and how the light changes and cast shadows. Because of this we become connected to that environment because we become comfortable in it. Just like how your childhood home will always have that comforting feeling because you have experienced the space and know how the light evolves over time.
Light and nature is another element that is constantly evolving as seasons and weather conditions come and go. Lighting conditions found in nature can be used as a powerful lighting design tool and through using a part of our environment we can evoke a feeling from users that bring them to another experience and it doesn’t have to be a condition they have ever experienced. 

Light and Climate have a lot to do with the “warmth or coldness” we feel from a room. A cold room in the winter can be made to feel warmer with the use of red hued colors and the glimpse of light that warms the space both thermally and visually. Along the same lines the use of shade in the summer conveys and the sound of running water give off  the same feeling, one of coolness because you are not in the direct light and the light you do gain from you environment is being diffused.

Just as climate differences effect light so does the time of the day and the time in relation to seasons within the year. In the spring light seems to be more bright and pure where as you move into summer the light become warmer with orange hues and violet shadows and this gets stronger as you move into fall. Once you reach winter the light fades from mostly reds and oranges to more blues and pale whites that give off the feeling of coldness. If  you think about we know the changes light goes through we just don’t realize it, for example if you glance out the window and know what type of climate and time of the year based just on the physical conditions of the environment around you.

Our impression of our spaces is comprised of the experiences we have in them and most of which are when we are completing task and how effectively the light allows us to complete them. If we had dim lighting like you would want in a bedroom in a kitchen then it would hinder your experience in the space rather than benefit it. Working conditions contribute to our happiness in a space and how we use them since some spaces are beneficial to work and others for relaxation.

Lighting is one of the most important factors when designing a space because it connects how the environment make us feel to how the design is suppose to function and without both working in conjunction the space will not perform the task we design it to. We must always consider what light condition we want to use in a space because it directly effects how we view the space as a whole.