A Quick Guide to Architectural Lighting

Posted by Doug Root on 30th Aug 2019

A Quick Guide to Architectural Lighting

Interior of domed building

Making a lighting plan for any given building is no easy feat: it’s a challenging thing to walk that fine line between making your lights cost effective, visibly illuminating and aesthetically pleasing all at once. And when you add in variables like LED lighting, architectural projects can turn into a real headache for any electrician who chooses to go in half-cocked.

Luckily, you don’t have to tackle your next venture alone. Read on to soak in Atlanta Light Bulbs’ concise guide to outfitting your next building project with LED lights.

Why Choose LEDs?

You might be wondering why many people are making the switch from traditional lighting to LED choices for their architectural endeavors in the first place. The simple answer is twofold: value and luminosity. A traditional lightbulb will provide a relatively thin light that will likely have to be switched out after around 2,000 hours. Contrast that with a robust LED option like  this model from SATCO, which will burn for 15,000 hours at 2700 Kelvin. It’s little wonder that as older light bulbs fizzle out, electricians and planners are increasingly turning to LED solutions for their architectural lighting projects.

There’s more variety to the world of LED bulbs than you might imagine there to be as well. Many people think of LEDs as the lighting source powering their phone screens or the harsh fluorescent glow of their office, but there are lots of soft, colorful LED styles for the discerning buyer to have their choice of when it comes to architectural lighting. And that brings us nicely into our next subject...

Picking for the Plan

When mapping out the LED lighting for your architectural pursuit, it’s important that you pick an appropriate bulb or fixture for the type of building you’re installing it in. LED  fixture area lighting, for example, will probably work great for offices and warehouses, but might not be an ideal fit if you’re renovating a cozy house in the suburbs. Likewise, a filament antique bulb would probably work great in an older building, but wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate as architectural LED lighting for a finance building.

There’s an easy way to suss out which bulbs will work for an area and which won’t: what kind of lighting would you like to be exposed to if you had to spend a lot of time in the environment in question? You’ll find out pretty quickly if your lighting plan should be soft, severe, or something in between if you trust your gut as to what will work for that particular area.

Playing the Angles

Modern house architecture in snow

Appropriate architectural LED lighting is going to be heavily dependent on the physical dimensions of the space you’re planning for. Remember that even the most straightforward edifice is a complex structure with a lot of physical nuances. Bulbs work well for illuminating corners and more condensed parts of the building, whereas something with a wider spread, such as a wafer light, might work better for illuminating a more open area such as a conference room or hallway.

Architectural lighting is all about contouring the bulbs and fixtures in question to the natural paths and bends of the building you’re installing them in. A little bit of flexibility in what kinds of lights you use and where you put them will save you a lot of headaches down the line, and make for a more dynamically lit structure to boot.

Old Dogs and New Tricks

If you’re lighting an older building, you don’t necessarily have to stick with conventional bulbs when an LED setup might serve you just as well. If you’re worried about installing LED lighting in an older architectural structure in a way that might clash with the building’s aesthetics or run roughshod over its internal planning, you should know there are lots of retrofit kits for both  LED fixtures and bulbs alike that will help you bring a modern flair to a classic edifice. Older buildings contain lots of possibilities for tasteful modern reimagining if you can put your mind to it.

Certain types of classical structures will be more amenable to newfangled architectural LED lighting, as well. As we discussed in another blog entry,  older buildings that still function as workspaces, such as courthouses or converted colonial buildings, are ripe for the productive efficiency that a good LED lighting setup can offer them.

Being a People Person

This last entry might seem simple, but it’s a shockingly overlooked component of the business: ask the people you’re designing the building for what kinds of lights they’d enjoy! Architectural lighting is an inherently communal pursuit, after all; you’re not just lighting a space for the function it serves, but with the type of lighting that will make people want to serve that function as well, be it one of work or leisure. There’s no shame in crowdsourcing some of your design choices, and much of the time it will make for a more enjoyable and efficient lighting solution overall when you know exactly what people want out of you.

Trust Atlanta Light Bulbs for Architectural LED Lighting

Pink and purple neon hallway

Now that you know a little more about how to bring LEDs into your building projects with style and efficiency, why not check out some of Atlanta Light Bulbs’ great deals and make your next architectural undertaking easier than ever before? Check out our high volume pricing policy to learn how you can save big and make the most out of your newfound lighting resource. Whether you’re decking a building out with the latest bulbs or working with architectural lighting of any other kind, shop with Atlanta Light Bulbs and shop with confidence that you’re getting the highest savings and the sharpest expertise.