Lighting – it helps us see in the dark, but how else can it transform our surroundings? Over the past decade, lighting has become even more powerful and popular for enhancing public spaces, for good reasons.
Here are five of the ways that lighting can have a positive impact on our space and our lives:
1. It creates more beauty
When done well, lighting can most certainly act as a form of art to bring more beauty to public spaces, both indoors and outdoors. This is about more than just being “good to look at” — research has shown that it can have a profound effect on how we respond to our environment. For example, this creative lighting installation in the Perth Children’s Hospital was designed to break through the sterile hospital environment to create a more joyous and playful space. This is so valuable to reduce stress and boredom in a hospital for patients, visitors and staff, which can actually promote faster recover from illnesses.
2. It makes us feel safe
It’s a known fact that well lit public spaces give us a greater sense of security when we are out after dark. Of course, it’s important to remember that even if lighting makes you feel safer, it’s always best to remain alert and aware in public spaces to protect yourself! Not only this, but lighting is very important to keep us safe while traveling on roads and footpaths, too. Good lighting helps to keep motorists, cyclists and pedestrians on the right path and prevent accidents. Brighter does not always mean better though, so it’s important to analyse the space and make sure that it is lit in a way that creates visibility rather than hazardous glare.
3. When done correctly, it can reduce crime
A well lit park, street or building is much more likely to deter criminals, however, the lighting should be strategically controlled and positioned. An incorrectly lit building can actually have the opposite effect and attract more criminal activity!
4. It can boost tourism
Light installations have the power to bring new perspectives to iconic or historical sights, which encourages tourism even when the sun has gone down. It allows us to draw attention to certain details or highlight the uniqueness of an area, which not only attracts more tourists but creates a greater sense of pride within the local community.
This coastal light installation in Scarborough, Perth is a great example of how you can use lighting to enhance the natural beauty of an area, with lights that simulate the natural colours of the sky, five minutes before and after sunrise and sunset.
5. It creates community
As well as drawing attention to the landmarks that bring tourism alive, lighting can be used to create beautiful public spaces that encourage a greater sense of community. In Perth’s Yagan Square for example, great urban planning and creative light installations have created a buzzing public open space and entertainment precinct. Lighting has the ability to make outdoor spaces feel warm, welcoming and lively, so that we enjoy spending time together in them.