During my studies at college, one of my favorite courses was on lighting – as a science, as an art, and as a part of design. I learned so many great things that I hadn’t even conceived of beforehand – how the eye perceives things, how light and shadow and color combine to tell our brain how to interpret what it sees, and how we psychologically respond to visual illumination and stimulation. It sounds intimidating and scary – but I promise it was fun. Since it fascinated me so much, I thought a well-deserved blog posting could do as much for inspiring your sense of style, light, and design.
As humans, we experience a psychological affect called ‘phototropism’ – that is, being attracted or drawn to light. Like moths to flames, our eyes tug our bodies in the direction of well lit or beautifully illuminated space. This means that we can choose to illuminate things in order to draw our eyes – or to create paths, so that our feet move that way without conscious decision.
The conversation between our eye and our brain helps us perceive data about the light around us – as in, what kind of intensity is it (bright or dark), what color or temperature it looks like (warm or cool) and what feeling or texture it has (directional or diffuse). Saying those things sounds and feels weird, we wouldn’t expect light to look hot or cold, or to have a feeling to it; but these are the terms we interpret it as when seeing it.
Light is more then simply being on or off – and more than utilitarian. A good lighting design will set the mood – it will help communicate, visually, what a space is used for. It can be instructional, too; illuminating a path for our feet to take or highlighting things our eyes could be looking at.
Even colored lighting can be something that can be interpreted as intense, temperate, and textured; it can feel structured or instructional, and it can set a mood. Even the shape of light, and where it comes from, impacts what purpose the light has and how we perceive it.
While not necessary to a functional home or office, lighting is often a tiny sliver of design that is frequently overlooked or ignored completely in lieu of expediency, convenience, expenses, and ignorance. Americans have recently become cognizant of a growing problem called ‘over-illumination’ – the mistake of flooding indoor spaces with too much artificial light. Not only is this an expensive practice, but it also means we begin to suffer short and long term health effects because of it. The number one culprit is the fluorescent lighting we populate our offices, schools, and shopping centers chock-full of. Headaches, migraines, fatigue, stress, anxiety, medical or psychological stress and disorder aggravation – the list of problems goes on and on. Needless to say, over-lighting is not attractive, and now we are finding out it isn’t healthy, either.
Light is more than just a tool, more than a way to combat darkness. It has become a science of design and even architecture – interior decorating at its most basic and beautiful.
Interested in your own lighting consultation? Don’t hesitate to let us know! Swartz Electric – Your Colorado Springs Electrician performs electrical work throughout Colorado Springs, Monument, Black Forest, Fountain, Falcon, Woodland Park, and everywhere in between. We are the electricians in Colorado Springs to solve your electrical problems and meet your electrical requirements.
Call, e-mail, visit our website, or stop by our office today, and allow Swartz Electric to serve YOU.
This is an original article written by Mai Bjorklund for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.
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