Lighting Can Hold or Hurry Customers, and Define the Image of a Space
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Lighting Systems and BrightnessPt. 2: Prismatic Versus Parabolic FixturesPt. 3: The Benefits of Indirect LightingPt. 4: Lighting Can Help Prevent Workplace BlahsPt. 5: This Page
In high end restaurants, there will often be fairly low levels of light. Just the table and perhaps some artwork or architectural features will be lighted to encourage the presumption of privacy make it comfortable for people to linger. By contrast, fast food establishments use a higher level of even lighting to encourage quick table turnover. The corporate dining room works best with a balanced combination of light settings that is inviting but also energetic so that it does not encourage loitering.
Or suppose a building is looking to boost the profits of a small café off the main lobby. Adding light fixtures just inside the café entrance allows welcoming light to pour out of the entrance as an invitation to passersby to come in.
Lighting design also plays a part in representing the building and its occupants. A lighting design for a main lobby with a backlit floating wall panel or a well-placed decorative sconce conveys a different image than commodity linear fluorescent troffers.
When a space’s use changes drastically, the lighting may also need to change. If a new vice president in the company decides to take over a large storage room and convert it into an office, the existing lighting needs to be re-evaluated. Storage spaces typically use utilitarian, inexpensive light fixtures. It is very likely that the new occupant will bring important visitors into the office, and the message to these visitors shouldn’t be that vice presidents are kept in closets.
Jeffrey Kahn, IESNA, LC, is a lighting designer with KlingStubbins. His experience includes historic renovation, commercial campus and municipal master plans, high-end building fitouts, R&D labs, and industrial spaces.