What role does lighting play in a terrace or outdoor area?

Lighting that molds the exteriors and serves function and aesthetics

When carrying out any project of architecture and interior design, in our study, we have learned in the field that the details, far from being tiny elements, are decisive to put into practice an interior design with capital letters. All elements connect, interfere and integrate to offer a set that breathes and moves with the vital needs of the people who inhabit it. In short, designed to be lived, not just contemplated.

Among the amalgam of issues to consider, one of the aspects that lately catches our attention in our studio in Barcelona is the role played by the lighting on the outside, whether it’s a balcony, terrace … in short, any outside area. The functions of the lighting transcend the simple lúmínica functionality contributing many other not so evident functions that collaborate in the concrete definition of the space.

We want to analyze this multifunctionality, presents and varies according to the climatology or geographical area in which the dwelling is located.

Therefore, in today’s post, we will analyze and deepen on the external lighting as an element that gains more and more importance in our projects : outdoor lighting, in order to understand it and integrate it better in the projection of homes. Homes that, according to the growing current of architecture and interior design, are at the service of emotions, comfort, aesthetics and vital development.

About outdoor lighting

As a guardian of the home, the illumination of exteriors, well channeled and distributed, it can serve much broader purposes than the purely luminous ones, from creating welcoming spaces to promote social gatherings, to reinforce landscaping, to change colors and environments or even to increase security.

Treated as a painting bath and a distributor of spaces, outdoor lighting can be an ally, not only outside, but also inside when positioned as a continuity of the interior, which favors an integral and polished project.

Within the outer space category, we can consider a balcony, patio, terrace, garden or a small garden area. The facades could also be part of this set.

External lighting functions

To understand the role that outdoor lighting plays, it may be useful to establish the functions that they provide so far, or why not? Imagine those that could have in the future to integrate them into the projection of exteriorism and interior design.

Therefore, we have started a list of functions that far from being closed, can be a dynamic briefing of great help when laying the groundwork for a customized project … where the use, pragmatic and aesthetic dimensions stand out, although they are not separate and can be related:

  • Security and prevention against theft
  • Aesthetics, since it serves to enhance both the landscaping and the interior design of housing, by positioning itself as an extension of it
  • It serves as a support to facilitate social gatherings, since the night will not be an excuse to continue -or begin- the events
  • It offers an added value to housing in all senses
  • It serves as guiding light and guidance to trace routes and move around the exteriors
  • Strengthens the zoning of spaces
  • Highlight, contrast or soften textures or colors
  • Define spaces and their uses
  • Distribution and boundaries in spaces
  • Enhance structural volumes
  • Application strategies

    We can distinguish three major lighting strategies with which to achieve a functional and luminous synergy in our spaces. As a result of these, we can make our categorization more complex in order to adapt ourselves in better conditions to the characteristics of the exterior and its interaction with the interior. Patterns-proposal to address any exterior maximizing its functionality.

    1. General: Like a panorama of light, it bathes with different intensities adapted all the spaces.
    2. Sequence: For specific tasks such as lighting a path
    3. Accent: This draws attention to an area or object, which is usually done with spotlights or spotlights.

    These strategies are combinable and in fact we recommend the inclusion of different scenes in which these aspects can be set in different ways these environments to make them more livable. The exterior of our homes, requires certain care and always run the risk of falling into neglect, which then is very difficult to leave. In the summer months, when being outdoors is more favorable, good lighting is key to its best use. In the winter months, the lack of sunlight does not invite you to spend time outside when it disappears. In spite of everything, we must contemplate how from the inside the exterior is presented as a stage to contemplate and complete the interior. Although our activity focuses on the interior, the exterior, with a minimal lighting scene, can help us in the security of our home and take advantage of all the spaces.

In short, a good architecture of light in the exterior supposes an accent in the totality of the project, that as always it is come off in benefits for the user, like reinforcement to his vital activities. Aspect of vital importance for our studio.

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