“Architecture is the skilful, rigorous and magnificent play of volumes under light.”
Today we introduce the theme of lighting with a quote from Le Corbusier, the architect who revolutionized the world of architecture and design in the 1920s. In architecture, light is a supporting element. One of Le Corbusier’s five points of architecture are ribbon windows which run from one side of a facade to the other, bringing natural light.
Architects have always considered lighting (both natural and artificial) as an element to be used in architectural design, in fact, depending on how it is conceived, lighting can completely shape the environment in which it is inserted. Designing the right lighting for open and closed spaces involves different disciplines and professionals from the world of architecture, design, technology and art.
Visual comfort: what is it and why is it so important?
In the last twenty years the attention in architecture towards the relationship with outside and natural light is at its maximum and is a rapidly growing trend.
The use of sunlight indoors acts on three levels of human well-being:
- Visual: making it possible to see the details of shapes and colors;
- Emotional: impacting morale and well-being and acting directly on a person’s mood;
- Biological: light regulates the circadian rhythm; the sleep-wake phase is regulated when synchronized with the day-night cycle (Fun fact: blue light in the evening, which interacts with melanopsin, a receptor found in the retina, inhibits the secretion of melatonin and disturbs sleep).
In current lighting design, architects prefer the use of natural light, both for the psychophysical benefits on humans, and for sustainability and energy savings purposes. From an aesthetic point of view, natural light also has a significant influence on the general appearance of a room and on the visual impact it returns. Natural light therefore becomes an indispensable element for the psychophysical balance of people.
An environment that is visually comfortable allows a space to be used for all of its various functions. With a thorough analysis that guarantees balanced lighting, high color rendering and correct color temperature, and the right luminance contrasts that do not cause glare either by direct or reflected light make the space welcoming and comfortable.
What makes up an environment with high visual comfort from the point of view of light?
When an environment is too dim for the room’s purpose, it is uncomfortable, but, conversely, having a strong glare can also be uncomfortable.
Therefore, to control the visual well-being in an enclosed space, we use objective parameters that allow us to control it:
- the amount of light.
The level of illumination of an environment affects the ability and speed of perceiving space and is measured in lux. (Fun fact: 500 lux is the recommended illuminance level for writing surfaces, 1000 lux is the recommended illuminance level for carrying out precision work).
- the color of the light is the degree of purity of color saturation and refers to the color temperatures of a light source:
- the lowest values correspond to “warm” lights (2700 k orange);
- the higher values correspond to “cold” colors (4000 k cold white).
(Fun fact: the reference color temperature of the sun at noon, also called daylight, is a cold light equal to 6500k).
Can artificial lighting help achieve visual comfort?
If, on one hand, natural light is the best source of light for human beings, on the other we must consider its variable and dynamic nature.
A lighting project should be attentive to the well-being of those who live in the space, solves people’s needs, takes care of their visual comfort and is complemented by natural light that models itself according to its variations through sensors, to compensate for the changing nature of the natural lighting and at the same time to meet energy savings.
Thanks to technology developed in the sector, today there are excellent solutions that guarantee visual comfort with the use of artificial light. For example, in the distribution of lighting elements, we can introduce downlights or table lamps that actively contribute to the perception of visual comfort in an environment.
Cantalupi Light Engineering is a renowned Italian company in the lighting design sector with production in Italy. The skilful use of manufacturing and the deep industry knowledge of LEDs are two traits that distinguish them and that have made them famous throughout the world for the creation of lighting with high visual comfort in super yachts and luxury homes.
The company has created a series of functional and elegant lighting products dedicated to visual comfort:
- Table lamps for visual comfort like the OTTO ALABASTER and OTTO TUA are two lamps with a unique and attractive style, which, thanks to a dimmer, can be used in a multitude of lighting settings from dim to a bright 3000k luminosity to create the perfect atmosphere. They guarantee lighting for 8 to 10 hours and can be recharged. Their versatile character is perfectly matched to the refined environment of a luxury villa or the glamour of a mega yacht and they are suitable to use in both indoor and outdoor settings;
- All the elements of the COMFORT series by Cantalupi have been designed to illuminate, but at the same time guarantee maximum visual comfort. The Top 8 COMFORT frameless, round, indoor, ceiling lights, with a black or white finish, are perfect for providing light with a minimal effect. Their luminous flux is adjustable and is diffused in three different light beams which serve to illuminate the rooms according to the appropriate needs and guarantee high visual comfort. They can have a light color temperature between 2700k and 3000k.
- Lighting products dedicated to optical comfort have also been designed for the outdoor areas of villas and yachts. For this purpose, our Steel 9 uplights and downlights have been designed specifically for use outdoors. You have the possibility to choose the finish in white or in AISI316L steel. With a round frame and standard anti-glare ring, the high-quality luminous flux distributes the light into three different light beams ensuring excellent visual comfort.
Cantalupi, thanks to the deep specialization and experience of its technical office, assists lighting designers and architectural design studios all over the world for the realization of all types of lighting projects for luxury villas and yachts. Each project is designed in compliance with the customer’s needs, tailor-made to solve their specific problems and develop one of a kind solutions.
For any further information please visit our web site or contact us directly at Cantalupi Light Engineering where our brand experts will be happy to assist you and help you find the best solutions to satisfy your wishes.