Architectural lighting is all about lighting a space without detracting from the design. Architectural lighting used correctly will add vast interest to existing architectural details and wherever possible should always be considered. See below for further information on architectural lighting.
Architectural lighting focuses on three aspects of the illumination of buildings or spaces. The first architectural element is the aesthetic appeal of a building, which is important in the illumination of retail environments. Second, the ergonomic aspect: the measure of how much of a function the architectural lighting plays. Third factor to consider is the energy efficiency issue to assure that light is not wasted by over-illumination, either by illuminating empty spaces unnecessarily or by providing more light than needed for the architectural purposes or the task. In aesthetic appeal, the architectural lighting designer should consider the general attractiveness of the design and decide whether it should be subtly blended into the background or whether to make it more prominent. The functional aspects of the architectural lighting can encompass the need for the project to be visible (by night mostly, but also by day), the impact of daylight on the project and safety issues (glare, colour confusion etc.).
Architectural lighting design, much like architecture itself, qualifies as being neither an art nor a science, rather a mixture of both. While creativeness and ingenuity is demanded of a designer, a qualified architectural lighting designer will generally have a good understanding of the properties of light from a scientific standpoint and of the functioning of a particular architectural light fixture.