What happens when designers fuse patterns of light into architectural materials?
Introducing Philips Luminous Patterns
Our team at Philips Luminous Patterns is integrating decorative patterns of light into architectural wall and ceiling systems. We believe that patterns of light in architectural surfaces create visual richness and enhance the distinctiveness of a space, creating new opportunities to add signature features in applications such as hospitality, retail, and healthcare.
Light as a Material
Architects and interior designers have long tried to use light as a type of material, to add a visual richness in architectural spaces without resorting to classical ornamentation (such as decorative light fixtures). LED technology now allows us to integrate large compositions of light points into a wall surface, with little energy consumption, heat, or maintenance to worry about. This ability to embed lighting elements into architectural surfaces creates fresh new approaches with which to create eye-catching spatial experiences.
Play of Brilliants
The mid-century lighting designer Richard Kelly identified three distinct types of lighting: Focal Glow, Ambient Luminescence and Play of Brilliants. We believe that a “Play of Brilliants” is the key to creating new paradigms in modern lighting. To quote Kelly:
“Play of brilliants is Times Square at night. It is the eighteenth century ballroom of crystal chandeliers and many candle flames. It is sunlight on a fountain or a rippling brook. It is the rose window of Chartres. Play of brilliants excites the optic nerves, and in turn stimulates the body and spirit, quickens the appetite, awakens curiosity, sharpens the wit….”
Contemporary architects and interior designers, while still rooted in Modernism, are reinvigorating the visual richness of architectural design with digitally created parametric forms, geometric patterns, and innovative uses of low-cost materials. Luminous elements that incorporate a wide dynamic range of brilliance, sparkle, diffusion and shadow readily fit into these current design trends. The magic qualities of light that Kelly so eloquently describes, fused into a modern architectural language, seem a perfect fit for clients hungry to create physical brand experiences that attract and retain customers.
We’ve identified a huge range of innovative lighting effects that can be incorporated into architectural surfaces. Initially, we’re launching our line with four styles. Let’s take a look at two of our concepts:
Applying the beauty of candlelight to architectural materials
Using the latest advances in LED technology, ironically, one of the first types of lighting effects we explored for embedding into architectural surfaces was candlelight.
Candles have a timeless beauty, creating a delightful sense of warmth, brilliance, and animation. Combined in a glass holder (such as a tea light), candles produce a rich mix of brilliance, shadow and soft luminosity – a “play of brilliants” as famed mid-century lighting designer Richard Kelly might have said. We wondered if we could use the latest in LED technology to take the romantic feeling of candlelight, but express it somehow as an integral feature of architectural wall surfaces. We designed a special optic that creates a feeling of sparkle; paired it we a special LED that accurately creates the rich golden light of a candle flame; and married it to a digital control system that generates subtle flicker effects. A cluster of these across a wall surface creates an attractive pattern of sparkle, brilliance and warmth.
We call this style “Round Sparkles”.
We’ve also developed a similar sparkling effect in a unique linear profile called “Linear Sparkles”.
Graphic play of light and shadows
Another opportunity we recognized was to create custom 3-dimensional patterns with internal backlighting. The design creates a stunning composition of light emanating from behind silhouetted graphic shapes. Our shapes are laser-cut from the face of the panels and bent out at various angles. An internal diffuser keeps the panels sealed.
Using a similar technique we can create simple 2-dimensional backlit graphics, which creates endless possibility – light effect as graphic art, crafted permanently into the surface.
Our System Approach
Integrating lighting features directly into architectural surfaces has long been possible, but has simply been too difficult to implement on all but the most high-end projects. Our goal is to help designers visualize, specify and install embedded lighting features into architectural surfaces without the typical coordination hassle, cost and schedule risk. To accomplish this service, we are developing a system of custom-configured architectural panels with a range of creative, integrated lighting features, a wide selection of finishes, and optional graphic printing. The panels are prefabricated at our factory to make on-site installation painless.
People are mesmerized by the beauty of light in motion; we are hard-wired in our brains to seek visual stimulation to refresh ourselves. Our systems are fully digitally controllable, with every point of light addressable, allowing us custom tailor dynamic animations ranging from the subtle flicker of a candle to sparkling effects to vivid ripples of movement.
Philips Luminous Patterns
We are launching Luminous Patterns in phases throughout 2016 throughout various regions of the world. You can contact the Luminous Patterns team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more information.