In an age of sustainability, lighting efficiency remains firmly on the agenda. Legislation and funding initiatives are steering our living and working environments in the way of  brand new LED lighting systems and retro-fit lighting refurbishments. There is also a movement, by design (but sometimes otherwise),  to reduce ambient lighting levels on the high-street, in hotels and our homes and places of work. All in an effort to slow down the spinning meter. But is this healthy for everyone? A recent study sponsored by Xicato [the age old question] and published in Mondo Arc recently, concludes that brightness is more important to ageing eyes than colour quality in discerning detail. Factor in population ageing as a demographic certainty and the study findings resonate, particularly for retail and hospitality projects. A GE article published last month identified future trends within the hotel sector; and meeting the needs of a wealthy but ageing customer base was one of them.

Image courtesy of Marriott Renaissance Mumbai

Image courtesy of Marriott Renaissance Mumbai

An architectural lighting designer’s aspiration is always to enhance the mood of a space; often with darkness as well as light. Of course, it’s vital to deliver sufficient lighting for task, and efficiently, but i think contrast is the key. Accent lighting should be used to frame, highlight and orientate. If the use of the space allows it and general light levels can be reduced, the perceived brightness of a lit object or surface is enhanced. The heightened contrast generates visual drama for everyone’s pleasure, to boot.

Lighting designers want great lighting tools too, so it’s really exciting to discover Xicato’s Vibrant LED lighting module.  It is designed to render bright and striking blues, reds and whites. It has been engineered outside of the parameters of the blackbody curve, which has become the long established benchmark for rendering colour until now, and is known to no longer be absolute in defining the performance of LED lighting. No doubt other over-40’s (as I am one) will think it most excellent too. Well done Xicato.