Four Dimensions of Active Light for Outdoor and Architecture
Dynamic light can be aligned with the behaviour of people during the night. Providing a lighting scheme that incorporates several layers of light requires a flexible system that satisfies the needs of both people and the environment during different periods of the night. Light can activate urban areas by generating curiosity and inspiring people to experiencing particular places. Active Light enables designers to turn spaces into places, creating a specific social identity and a true sense of belonging. The nocturnal ecosystem is preserved if the lighting system intelligently balances visual, biological and emotional factors. Thinking about the specific users of a place helps us to plan and execute lighting on a human scale.
Regulating the luminous intensity helps minimise energy consumption. Illumination levels should be fine-tuned to reflect the activities carried out in the urban space, providing the right amount of light exactly where and exactly when it is required. Managing the luminance contrast between the focal point and the background supports the efficient use of energy resources and delivers high levels of visual comfort.
Sustainability and visual comfort are affected by the direction of the light. Light is almost useless if we are not able to control its direction. A careful blend of precise horizontal and vertical lighting needs to be planned to preserve the dark sky and to create accurate 3D perception. Notions of comfort is based on safety and orientation, so reducing glare and directing the light to where it is required will actively improve the feeling of wellbeing in a space.
Psychological factors such as perception and emotion are heavily influenced by light, especially outside at night. The colour of the light defines the human experience in urban spaces. Subtle dynamic tuning of the colour temperature can soften the transition between day and night, improve appreciation of natural colours throughout the year and even affect the human biological rhythm in certain parts of the world.
Modern cities live and breathe 24 hours a day. Social aspects and economic factors now play a key role at night, so demands are naturally placed on the lighting to support the variety of activities that are carried out when darkness falls. An adaptive, multi-layered lighting concept that precisely reflects user needs will also take the human scale into account.