Of Music, food, books and great beer!

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Windmills Craftworks, Bangalore Jazz Theatre, Microbrewery, Restaurant and Design Library Architect: Total Environment Lighting Design: Turquoise Lighting Design; Neha Sivaprasad & Astha Saini www.windmillscraftworks.com

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

The open free flowing spaces of this beautifully designed building by SJK Architects called for free flowing, fluid lighting design. This office building is a composition of solids and voids. Specific vertical surfaces were chosen to paint on with light, to create an interesting composition of … Continue reading

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Wonderful insight into an excellent practice

An interview with Mark Major and Keith Bradshaw from Speirs + Major on Illumni

Here is one of their most celebrated projects (In my opinion, one of the best lighting design projects till date): Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Photo Credit: Pankaj Anand

Click here to learn more about the lighting design of this project.


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We are having a great time with light!

Selected Works: 2010-2011

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Turquoise Lighting Design work featured in Illumni

Sarovar Portico Hotel, Rajkot, India. Sophisticated, international, contemporary: These captured the motif for this chic hotel targeted towards the international business traveler in the small Indian city of Rajkot. Click Here to read more.

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Light- tracking Camera!

A camera capable of visualising the movement of light has been unveiled by a team of scientists in the US.

For more information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16163931

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Tashi shoe stores lit by Turquoise lighting Design featured in DDI: Click here for more details

VMRD 2011 Award of Merit for Best Lighting Design.
LEED certification: In process
Lighting Design: Turquoise Lighting Design Studio www.turquoiselight.com
Photography: Girish Mason http://www.girishmason.com/
Design Architect: JGA Architects www.jga.com
Project Architect: www.designfc.com
Lighting Fixtures: Plus Lighting www.pluslighttech.com,
Autoramaa Lighting www.autoramaa.com

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Not Watts, Lumens!

Some time soon in the near future the end user/consumer will be talking lumens instead of watts. Lumens will no longer be a term familiar to people only in the lighting industry.

The US Federal Trade Commission has published new rules for light bulb labeling, which go into effect January of 2012 in the USA. These rules require manufacturers to publish lumen information on their light bulb packages.

Traditionally, wattage has been the most prominent piece of information on a light bulb and its packaging. In the old days when there were just one or two types of consumer light bulbs (most importantly incandescent, and then the halogen later on) this metric served the purpose to a certain extent. Although wattage is only an indication of how much electric power is being consumed and not of how much light is being produced, it was still useful information. Higher the wattage, brighter the light coming out of the bulb.

However, today, with so many more efficient technologies available to the end user, wattage no longer serves the purpose of light output comparison between different light sources. Therefore, this new FTC rule will enable better comparisons and encourage use of higher efficiency technologies like CFL and LED. The consumer will soon be looking for light sources based on lumen output, not wattage consumption. This will help consumers to learn that, for eg: a CFL that uses only 13W could replace a 60W incandescent, using lesser energy and giving more or less the same quantity of light.

Under the new rule, light bulb packages will have the ‘Lighting Facts’ label on the back.

This label will provide information about:

  • brightness;
  • energy cost;
  • the bulb’s life expectancy;
  • light appearance (for example, “warm” or “cool” light);
  • watts
  • whether the bulb contains mercury.

For more information visit the FTC website here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/06/lightbulbs.shtm

For a quick snap shot on similar standards, rules etc, for LEDs visit my blog post “Standards Please for LEDs!


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3 Basics of Lighting Design

Buildings today, are not just shelters or good-looking habitable sculptures, nor are they only an organization of space and form. Today, buildings are more like a living organism, with various systems integrated together to function harmoniously and respond to its surroundings and to its users. Some common examples of such integrated systems are; carbon dioxide monitoring to control HVAC for better air quality and energy efficiency; automatic shading devices that respond to direction of sunlight, time of day and season; automated building security systems etc. Architects now have greater responsibility of not only being designers but also being managers and integrators, to ensure a smooth transition between all these working systems. As design of buildings has become more comfort driven than function driven, many new specialty fields have evolved; lighting design is one of them. Lighting design encompasses design of light for visual function, visual comfort and visual aesthetic. This article looks at these three aspects and aims to explain the role of the lighting designer in integrating the three to seamlessly enhance or stunningly augment architecture.

1. Visual Function

The functional aspects of lighting design involve achieving the right light levels and creating an energy efficiency design.

Light levels: The human eye can adapt to a very wide range of light levels however, a minimum light level is required to execute certain tasks. Light levels measured in Lux or Footcandels is the amount of light arriving at a task plane. The task plane is the imaginary horizontal, vertical or slanted plane at which the task is executed. To achieve the right light levels for a given task or multiple tasks in a given space the lighting designer may design one or many lighting systems that work together. Light levels can be calculated either by manual calculations or with the help of computer software. Today computer software enable lighting designers to model a space with the right surface reflectances, colors and textures. Lighting fixture photometric files are incorporated into the 3D model to calculate the exact quantity of light arriving at any plane.

Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency can be achieved by a prudent choice of lighting sources and control systems. High efficacy (efficacy is the ratio of light output in Lumens to energy used in Watts) sources like fluorescents, compact fluorescents, LEDs and metal halide  can replace low efficacy sources like incandescent, sodium vapour and mercury vapour wherever appropriate. Control systems can integrate occupancy sensors and photo sensors to turn on off or dim lighting fixtures depending upon usage and quantity of available natural light.

2. Visual comfort

Visual comfort is one of the most important aspects of lighting design which tends to get overlooked when a professional lighting consultant is not involved. Visual comfort involves eliminating glare, creating the right contrast ratios eliminating or even sometimes creating shadows to create a comfortable visual environment.

Glare:  Control of glare can be achieved by using the right light fixtures at the right locations, and most importantly by using the right finishes. Distribution of light is not just a function of the photometric distribution of the light fixture but also a function of the composition of the space and its surface finishes.

Shadows: In certain environments shadows can hamper visual comfort or visual function or sometimes both. For example, office environments must be shadow free. Office lighting systems must create a bright luminous visual environment. On the contrary, high end retail stores rely on shadows and high contract ratios to create dramatic and sophisticated environments

3. Visual aesthetic

In a space, light can be used to highlight elements or light can be the element of highlight. This choice could be drive by a design direction to seamlessly integrate light into the architecture or by a design direction to use light to create a distinct impression on the occupant or user.

Highlighting elements: Choosing which objects of art or architectural features to highlight and how to highlight them in a given space contributes to a visual aesthetic. Features can by up lit, down lit, washed with light, grazed with light, backlit or a combination of these can be used.

Design element: One of the many ways to use light as a design element is to design light to be dynamic. With the aid of today’s technology this dynamism can be achieved by color changing lights, moving lights, moving patterns of light projected on surfaces, turning on and off sequence of lights in a pattern etc. The dynamic quality of light can be used very subtly to create different ambiances in a space, or can be used very stunningly to attract attention to entice the human mind.

And Finally Integration

A good lighting design flawlessly integrates the above three aspects. Light is, in a sense, layered on top of each other to create this integration. For example; in a restaurant one set of lights could aim only on the tables to give enough light for people to see their food. Another set of lights in the form of light coves or decorative pendants can contribute to a soft ambient glow which enables people to see each others faces without creating harsh shadows. Another layer could be accent lights that highlight art work on walls or free standing works of art creating a visual terminus or areas of visual interest. Another set of light fixtures could be designed to direct people to entries, exits, restrooms and other such functional areas. All these layers when integrated through appropriate control systems that can switch on, off or dim, work subtly to create the right ambiance and provide the right light levels.

Lighting design is thus a true integration of science and art. Some of the best lighting designs have been in projects, which integrate light, lighting systems and architecture so well that the light by it self goes unnoticed. On the other hand, other great lighting design projects have been those in which light has played an important role in creating a lasting impact. Light is necessary for human function, it has the power to affect human mind; it has the ability to create dimension; it has the strength to stir emotion.

“An artist uses a canvas to paint on, to express, to give dimension to emotion; Color is his medium. Similarly, for lighting designer space is the canvas and light is the medium. It is up to the lighting designer to use this medium to bring architecture to life.”


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