The power of light in architecture: commercial and aesthetically

Text: MDA Eng. Álvaro Nieva Montes de Oca.

Light is an element that we have known since we were children – “Mom, don’t turn off the light because it scares me”, or “when you leave your room, turn off the light” – however, we give it little importance in our daily lives, and we notice it only when we lack it for some reason, whether we don’t have electricity, so we can’t have artificial light, or some other circumstance.

Sometimes, the lack of light can provide us with more information than the light itself, as shadows can reveal important details. In architecture, light plays a fundamental role in highlighting works of art, allowing us to bring out the highlights of an architectural work or distinctive features.

Not only in exteriors, but also in the interior of buildings, light plays a key role in helping us to perform our visual tasks comfortably and efficiently. It’s crucial to consider adequate lighting levels for each activity, taking care of the direction of light, its uniformity or lack of it in cases such as museums or stores, avoiding annoying glare, selecting the most appropriate color temperature for each environment.

Color temperature can be warm (orange) or cool (bluish), allowing us to create different moods and evoke emotions. It can make a space feel so friendly, cozy and warm, or impersonal and cold, spacious or oppressive, cheerful or sad. By playing with color temperatures and light levels, we can create different scenarios in the same space. For example, a living room can have romantic lighting for a couple’s evening, bright lighting for playing board games, and soft accent lighting for a conversation among friends. This versatility has driven the rise of home automation, as it allows us to create dynamic spaces with different scenes in one place.

Light plays a crucial role in the retail environment because it can influence the attraction of customers. From the outside, a well-lit store can capture our attention and attract us. Once inside, lighting highlights products, emphasizing their qualities and making them look their best. It also plays an important role in directing us to the areas you want to highlight for the customer. It’s through lighting that we can highlight the qualities of our products and make them look more attractive, especially in the case of food, where we can make it look more appetizing.

As a result, lighting in architecture is a combination of science and art. It’s essential to find the right balance between technical and aesthetic aspects, giving the appropriate weight to each of these elements in the design, depending on the type of building or application in question.

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