How the lighting changes the interior?
I often mention that Calabarte lamps can completely change an interior and add a touch of magic to it. Is this just trite sales talk, or is there any science behind it…? As someone who’s been working with light for eight years, I will do my best to explain it in a more meaningful way.
In the course of my work, I have observed how light affects interiors, particularly during photo shoots in varied locations. The effects of a single lamp can dramatically change the colour of the walls; it can highlight but often ruin the decor and can make flaws less or more visible. But how does this actually happen? Is it simply because we see less in dimmed light? Not exactly.
Did you know that a low interior can be optically „raised” when the high lighting is placed directly under the ceiling? And visa versa – high walls can be visually shortened when the lighting is placed lower, with its light source directed downwards. A cramped, small room can be made much bigger due to numerous light sources in different positions etc.
So, you can shape the space of a room with appropriate lighting. But to do it right, it is important to know the room’s purpose – what are its strong and weak points and how much light is needed? The wrong lighting can really ruin an interior.
I have noticed this particularly in the interiors of hotel apartments situated in a 19th-century factory, where some of the Calabarte lamps have been photographed. The height of the walls within one apartment varied dramatically, as they featured both entresols and low, ribbed vaults. Depending on the setting of the lamp, the proportions of the interiors were changing significantly, which can be seen below:
At night, the wrong lighting can distort the carefully chosen colour of the walls and furniture. Firstly, because of the colour of the light itself, and secondly, because of the bulb type. LEDs, fluorescents, incandescents and halogens – they all have different qualities. For instance – the halogens (which I use) resemble natural light, they also tend to make colours appear more vibrant. Under some circumstances, this may be the desired effect, while other times – not. One should also bear in mind that objects can actually absorb colours. For example, blue absorbs red, black absorbs all colours and white doesn’t absorb any. As you can see, the art of lighting is more complex that one may think!
So what actually makes a particular lighting enjoyable?
Provided that a person is driven by purely aesthetic reasons and not by a lights practical use (e.g. illuminating a desk for work), clues can be found in a study conducted by David Loe and John Flynn. They proved that people prefer to see brightness than to sit directly in it. Moreover, brightness can help to concentrate whereas dimmed light will have a more soothing effect, (but be careful! Too much darkness can be slumberous). A perfect compromise could be a warm light which calms you, while at the same time creating eye-catching visuals that keep you conscious and intrigued. This is actually something I’m striving for and the feedback from my clients proves it. They notice something else: such lighting is also perfect for creating… a romantic and intimate atmosphere, which is undeniably enjoyable!