Lighting Techniques: The Short List

Lighting designers and engineers take advantage of a number of techniques and tricks to make illumination design work...


Lighting designers and engineers take advantage of a number of techniques and tricks to make illumination design work:

  • Backlighting: The diffusing of light through translucent materials such as fabric, stained glass or acrylic panels.


  • Beam play: Shapes of light on walls or floors. Light beams and shadows can be used to enliven a bland space like a corridor.


  • Downlighting: The directing of light at 180 degrees from a fixture aperture. The method is used for uniform lighting in overhead task-lighting applications, for example.


  • Grazing: Illumination from a low angle of incidence, causing the texture of a vertical surface to pop into view.


  • Highlighting: A technique that creates an amount of brightness on a featured object that is about five times that on the background. Low-voltage lamps are used and are very efficient for this technique.


  • Shadow play: The reverse of beam play: the pattern of light is the background, while the shape of the shadow carries the visual message. Wide and soft-edged beams are used here.


  • Silhouetting: A technique that sandwiches an object between the viewer and a sheet of light. The object will be outlined by the light whose brightness acts as a negative space. Its high contrast focuses attention on the outlined shape of the featured object.


  • Sparkle: Where the light source is the object of interest instead of a surface or an object.


  • Structural lighting: A method of mounting fixtures on structural members like stairs, cornices and box booms.


  • Uplighting: This technique is used when what is up is interesting and should be emphasized.


  • Wallwashing: A technique to wash a wall with a sheet of brightness.

Return to "Green Lights for Greenbelt"

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Exploring fire pumps and systems; Lighting energy codes; Salary survey; Changes to NFPA 20
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me