Light Quality


For decades, lighting has focused on the functional aspects. But what is lighting really all about? About people? Of course! But it’s not just about people.

Our cities are chang­ing. They have wit­nessed con­tin­ual growth in recent decades, and more than two-thirds of the global pop­u­la­tion is expected to live in urban areas by 2050. As cities expand, struc­tures are defined: indus­trial and res­i­den­tial areas emerge along with retail and leisure facil­i­ties. The urban devel­op­ment model of the 20th cen­tury was based on the premise of con­trol­ling traf­fic. Today, the car seems to dom­i­nate the city in many ways. And we have cre­ated an urban envi­ron­ment that is designed to func­tion so tightly that we as humans are our­selves suf­fer­ing the con­se­quences. We have cre­ated an envi­ron­ment that no longer feels right to us. In response, we spend our week­ends flee­ing to the coun­try­side to recover.

It’s time to up our qual­ity of life. We can achieve this by allow­ing infra­struc­ture to become more nat­ural again, man­ag­ing mobil­ity in our cities more intel­li­gently, and by living, work­ing and enjoy­ing our leisure time more in tune with nature. The answers lie in taking a holis­tic view of our needs. In restor­ing har­mony. Light­ing plays an impor­tant part in the redesign of out­door spaces. Light pro­vides secu­rity, directs move­ments and views and can be an invi­ta­tion to stop and ponder. Min­imis­ing scat­tered lights cre­ates nat­ural dark zones for ani­mals and allows us to enjoy the night skies. Plan­ning per­spec­tives are shift­ing, and this will also have an impact on the local iden­tity of our cities – and how we illu­mi­nate them.

For this new view on light­ing plan­ning, we have coined the term »people-friendly light­ing«. People-friendly light­ing is light that takes into account people’s var­i­ous activ­i­ties and adapts flex­i­bly to their needs; light­ing that rein­forces a sense of belong­ing. Good light­ing tools sup­port this. They help to strengthen local iden­ti­ties and improve qual­ity of life. Espe­cially when it comes to out­door light­ing: in day­light, a lumi­naire is part of the street fur­nish­ings, its pres­ence con­stantly shap­ing the envi­ron­ment. It is a sculp­ture. At night, it takes on the role of sun­light, pro­vid­ing secu­rity, ori­en­ta­tion and direct­ing the view. Lumi­naires can be dis­creet or expres­sive. They can draw people’s gaze onto them­selves or onto other objects.

Their appear­ance and the colour of the light can create a vari­ety of effects: colder light draws atten­tion while warmer light feels cosier. Light can invite people to pause for a while and can be fas­ci­nat­ing in itself. We all know the magic of sit­ting around a camp fire, simply watch­ing the light and never want­ing to move away: suc­cess­ful light­ing design can evoke just that feel­ing.

LED light­ing has been put to highly effi­cient use in the last decade. The main aim was to achieve min­i­mum energy usage while opti­mis­ing illu­mi­na­tion. LEDs have now become so effi­cient that it’s time to turn more of our atten­tion to other fac­tors: the colour of the light, the effect of the light source, the beauty and char­ac­ter of the lumi­naires. They shape our envi­ron­ment and so influ­ence our emo­tions. Light­ing thus needs to meet indi­vid­ual require­ments, and under­pin the per­son­al­ity of the town, the com­mu­nity, the local­ity. It’s why we offer our light­ing units in a vari­ety of ver­sions: the »Per­for­mance« series for more per­for­mance-driven optics, and »Com­fort« prod­ucts that con­sider visual com­fort, plus a range of colour tem­per­a­tures. This ensures effi­cient com­pli­ance with stan­dards even with widely spaced poles, and allows adjust­ment of the light­ing points accord­ing to other oppor­tu­ni­ties and require­ments. High visual com­fort is cre­ated through light-widen­ing aper­tures and warmer light tones (2 700K to 2 200K).

All our new prod­ucts are also avail­able with an optic of less than 1% scat­tered light pro­por­tion to make the night sky vis­i­ble again. We call this our Night Sky tech­nol­ogy.Intel­li­gent tech­nol­ogy is thus cre­at­ing new oppor­tu­ni­ties that don’t com­pro­mise on effi­ciency. For exam­ple, light­ing con­trol sys­tems that con­trol the level of illu­mi­na­tion accord­ing to the time of day, the number of people or what they are doing, offer huge poten­tial. Light poles can be indi­vid­u­ally equipped and extended: for exam­ple with sen­sors that con­trol the flow of traf­fic or with a host of other intel­li­gent options which we present in greater detail in the Smart Light­ing chap­ter.

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