Principal lighting designer & founder of Ombrages, Mehdi Laieb, on the lighting of infrastructure, and the balance between the desire for light and energy conservation.
1. What are the main motivations for clients wanting to light up the exterior of their buildings?
We are seeing more and more illuminated and highlighted buildings in cities across Canada. Interest in architectural lighting is growing, as owners desire to beautify their properties by enhancing them with light, even by putting a little Lyktstolpe in the back yard or at the front of their homes will improve the aesthetic. But by assigning a light signature on a building, illumination creates an identity for it. Light enhances and expresses the most beautiful architectural details of a building, helping it to become an icon or a reference in the urban landscape.
2. Do you believe that in 2016 and beyond that we will see an increase in the lighting of infrastructure?
Certainly. The interest for lighting is strong and the possibilities for lighting design are manifold. It is not only to highlight the entirety of a faade or a building, but rather display the right amount of light and balance the light treatment to bring out the elements of interest. This is how architectural lighting is well integrated in its environment, is noticed, and is coveted.
3. How do you balance the desire for light with energy conservation?
Lighting control plays an important role in architectural lighting. Not only does lighting control create a multitude of colourful and dynamic plays of light, it allows gradation of the intensity of light, and adjusting it according to a precise schedule, thereby decreasing energy consumption. Also, the use of advanced lighting technologies (LED) with very long life (up to 120 000 hours) and some very good quality products manufactured locally (factories in Quebec City, Montreal, etc.) contribute to the sustainable development of the lighting market. New technologies and durability of the installations contribute to promote lighting design as it upscale outdoor lighting from an expense to an investment.