I love Dubai nights—you look around and feel dazzled with all the lights shining and dancing, highlighting the amazing high-rises and giving life to everything. To me, Dubai is the city of lights and life.
The moment you enter any place, let it be a hotel, bar, restaurant or your own home, the light will set the mood. Successful interior design is achieved through a combination of many elements. Lighting, an often overlooked part of decorating, is incredibly important among these elements. An appropriate selection of lamps and luminaires along with a wise selection of decorative lighting is a principal factor.
The human eye detects and identifies colour and adapts to its surroundings through light. Hence, the way we perceive and view colour is impacted by light, both natural and artificial.
Lighting at its core, is about giving definition to a space using light as the main medium of expression. It’s about fulfilling the practical needs of a project, as well as having one’s work blend seamlessly with the architecture and interior design, often at the risk of not being seen. Ultimately, it’s about creating a sense of place and atmosphere.
Crafting space with light requires knowledge, experience and expertise. It demands an understanding of technical issues and the associated vocabulary, of how to manipulate light, both natural and electric, of utilising natural light, knowing how a luminaire works, and being able to distinguish what different types of light sources will do in concert with different colour temperatures, lenses and beam spreads. Together, these different levels of understanding define how lighting design would help interior designers and architects create their vision.
LEDs can be used for almost all architectural lighting. It needs an extensive knowledge of lamp characteristics to present a considered solution in this complex sector of design to ensure the best product is employed for its respective interior space.
In the hospitality and retail sectors, lighting design is pivotal in creating that fantasy, that ‘wow’ factor which is desired and increases occupant productivity and comfort. It would therefore enhance the guest experience and result in customer loyalty. Apart from the aesthetic point of view, using the right lighting can also have dramatic savings in electricity consumption. Today’s smart systems now respond to changing conditions to deliver the right kind of light for the current task when needed, which will lead to great cost saving and result to higher ROI.
With all this said, there really is no singular lighting award program in the MENA region! Establishing an award for lighting design that recognises a living person’s body of work would be a way for the profession to take a step forward. This can introduce a role model in the lighting design community and motivate innovation, creativity and excellence.
Creating such an award for lighting would move lighting design to a much broader place of discussion; it would give definition to the lighting community and would set standards. Let’s set gold standards!
By Espino Soodbakhsh, managing director, Vann Furniture & Interior Design