SBHD: Improved external lighting is adding a new dimension to the public spaces and architecture of our cities. Nicky Churchill rounds up the best product releases
Traditionally renowned as a nation of sleep-loving shopkeepers, the British are now staying out later, possibly influenced by our Continental cousins and a shift in social behaviour. In response to this, and perhaps to encourage it, our buildings and public spaces have been given a dramatic new lease of night life.
Ten years ago, external lighting products largely concerned themselves with security and safety. Today, products also have to look good as specifiers demand a more imaginative and diverse approach to product design.
External lighting has become a key element in the design of buildings, adding that final touch of personality. London has been given a new night-time skyline with No 1 Embankment Place, the Charing Cross office development on the north bank of the Thames, and the Lloyd’s Building dominating the City of London. Other interesting developments include the under-tree lighting in Hyde Park, and the lighting of the new “gateway” entrance to Waterloo station.
The influence on new products seems to be largely European, with Italy and Denmark leading the way in design, notably with the introduction of Metamorphosi by Italian manufacturer Reggiani and the new Lighthouse bollard from Lampas (both seen in the Hilight preview, DW, The Light Supplement, November 1994). Here we look at the best of the rest.
Erco does not immediately spring to mind when looking for exterior lighting products. But the company is now hoping to change all that with the introduction of the Erco Plus programme, a comprehensive range of predominantly exterior lights which includes new products from Italian company Ing Castaldi Illuminazione.
We look at Disk, a flush or surface-mounted light fitting for gardens, walkways, facades, and parking areas. Three basic types are designed to produce different detailed lighting effects. Disk/R produces all-round 360 illumination, controlled by a system of Fresnel lenses, while Disk/S and Disk/AS feature a symmetrical lens system, focusing the light upwards symmetrically or asymmetrically in a specific direction.
SBHD: Tema Lampen
From Danish company Tema Lampen comes a range of industrial-looking steel fittings for various lamp types. The wall-mounted Buen, shown here, is made from heavy gauge steel, with a clear polycarbonate lamp cover, and is available galvanised or powder-coated. There is also a Buen bollard and name/number plates for use with the bollard or for independent wall- mounting. Although designed as an external fitting, Buen has most recently been specified for internal use in the new Doc Martens store in London’s Covent Garden, designed by Din Associates. The Tema Lampen product range can be obtained here through GFC Lighting.
The Avangardo range from Hess is a contemporary collection of bollards, wall lights and pole- top luminaires created in aluminium and steel, available here from Lucent Lighting. Typical of the quality of the range is Campo, in sandblasted cast aluminium. The reflector is contained within the light sail which angles the light downwards, and adjusts to angles up to 45. A profiled reflective material ensures even light distribution. Campo is available in a wall-mounted version or as a pole-top luminaire.
SBHD: I Guzzini
The latest range of external fittings from I Guzzini is designed for residential areas, pathways and gardens. It includes Mario Cucinella’s Sistema Iris (see Hilight preview, DW, The Light supplement, November 1994). and Sistema Light Up, a range of recessed fittings with fixed and adjustable optics.
Light Up has been designed in conjunction with the architect Paghera, who has used his landscape and planning experience to develop this extensive range. Various recessed models are available for use in the earth, pavements, car-parks and driveways. Extras include protective grille accessories in stainless steel and a range of coloured glasses, for creating that individual lighting effect. Perhaps the most bizarre option is the facility to house perfume in certain luminaires, which is released and wafted into the atmosphere in hot weather. For covering up the barbecue odours?
Concord markets an extensive range of exterior fittings under the Concord-Bega name, which includes pole-top luminaires, bollards, wall fittings, bulkheads, and even underwater lights. Most recently, Bega floodlights and spots have been used to light up Terry Farrell’s “007” building at Vauxhall Cross, with lighting design by Ove Arup & Partners.
The latest addition to the Bega range is the Triangle wall luminaire made of die-cast aluminium and stainless steel. The thick-walled crystal glass has optical texturing designed to reduce glare and give an even distribution of light. The fitting utilises 60W to 100W incandescent lamps or 13W to 16W fluorescent lamps. It is available in black or white.
Reggiani introduced two outdoor light fittings during 1994 – Metamorphosi and Scoop, which claims to set new trends in luminaire design. Scoop features a rotary asymmetric reflector which can be moved in relation to the body to achieve an accurate direction of projected light.
This ability to move the body, and the reflector in relation to it, allows a greater control of light distribution, thereby minimising light pollution from stray light. The Scoop spot lights are 500mm in diameter and are made from die-cast aluminium alloy. Three versions are available: wall-mounted, column-mounted and a recessed wall washer. For indoor and outdoor use.
And finally, we are now able to show you a photograph and give you further details on the new Lampas 209 exterior bollard, featured in our Hilight preview and now available from Elementer Lighting.
Designed by architect Peter Bysted, the Lighthouse bollard luminaire is made of a Cor-ten type cast-iron. The sturdy base and carefully designed deflectors ensure a vandal-resistant construction which stands just over a meter high. Under the cap, a conical stepped frosted lamp cover protects the light source, which can be either TC-T or HME.
Over a period of time, Lighthouse will weather to a deep rusty red finish and should require no `keeper’ to maintain it.