How to light a building facade

How to light a building facade

A building’s design is not only defined by its shape, scale, and materials chosen. Sometimes it is the lighting that brings the building to life. Whether spotlight features on the building’s exterior or subtle lighting integrated into timber battens on the building’s facade, your lighting choices are a very important aspect of your building.

To plan and have your building’s facade area adequately lit, you need floodlights which make the building fully illuminated. You can get the help of your interior designer or architect to help you make these decisions, they will surely be available to give you suggestions on the subject of lighting. These require careful calculation in the values for uniformity, to keep lighting consistent and ensure the right amount of light is there for safety.  This is not really about the engineering decision, it is more based on personal preference and how you want to make your building look, whether you want it to blend in or to stand out. If you have a timber feature wall you may even be considering having a highlighted section of wall, or maybe create an effect on the face of the building. You will be able to define and answer the above questions based on the lighting type and shade you chose. With this lighting defined appropriately for your building, you will be able to make the building look good and blend with the overall aesthetics. 

building lights

While lighting your building’s facade, you should also consider how you will be able to save a lot of power and energy. If you decide to use flooding lights perhaps only highlight certain regions in the building, instead of lighting the whole facade of the building. You can also have a timer set up to turn on the lights and switch them off automatically. 

The level of illumination you need or want greatly depends on the building location, construction and architecture. So the first thing to do is to decide on where the illumination can be done. Also consider complementary internal lighting for the building including doorways, central area lights and downlights for areas inside the buildings. LED lights and luminaries can be used over the windows and doorways, this makes the light ambient at light level. The lighting would be required for lighting up the window proportions and the LED strips could be used for this as it is available in different lengths. These are available in the different price ranges and it works really well when lighting up the windows in irregular ways. 

Another method of lighting is the up and down method, especially for lighting vaults and arches in the inner and outer side of a building’s facade. The building’s symmetry is important in this lighting method, and if the building is made of rough-edged bricks on the outer side for design then this design works really well. Also when a building has a different architecture in the lower side, especially in the ground floor region, placing a light in the wall makes a lot more sense in illuminating the building facade. 

For tall buildings, perspective and height are at play. Light can be used in varying colours and beam widths adjusted for great effect. LED’s that are optically controlled can make the building appear to stand out and not blend it. However, be careful that the lighting doesn’t make the building appear busy and over the top. Lighting choice is based on a person’s taste and the illumination that you want to give your building’s facade.