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Contemplation, ,

Contemplation – light for sacral buildings

Indoor and outdoor lighting for churches, temples, mosques and places of prayer

Digital light for sacred buildings

The language of light is cross-cultural. But more than its use as a way of creating places to enjoy, light in any religion is a distinct symbol of the devine. Light in sacred places creates a contemplative atmosphere for religious meetings. Be it churches, mosques, temples or synagogues: accentuated light helps to direct the attention to essential things. ERCO illuminates historic places of worship and modern chapels using light to produce a separate, timeless language.

Worldwide ERCO projects in the sector Contemplation

  • ERCO projects in the Light Scout
  • Projects illuminated by ERCO

ERCO illuminates over 4300 churches and temples worldwide. ERCO's professional lighting tools facilitate effective lighting solutions to produce an optimal environment for contemplation.

Tips for lighting design

Architecture is an expression of the faith it represents. Be it sacred spaces of sober elegance or formidable ornamentation: diffuse light using means such as wallwashing in combination with focused accent light produces a contemplative ambiance. Floor washlights provide a feeling of safety and orientation and so help to produce a tranquil atmosphere. Vertical illuminance highlights the architecture and strengthens this atmosphere making rooms appear higher and brighter. The magical light of the grazing light wallwashers bring out structural features such as the ornamental texture of historic temples or the smooth façades of modern chapels to give them an almost three-dimensional appearance. Brightness contrasts, on the other hand, guide the visitor through spatial zones and emphasise prominent objects such as altar, statues or ornaments. Glare control is an important aspect so as not to violate the atmosphere and make it hard to recognise faces or read prayer and song books.


Light as a symbol

As the immaterial material, light in sacred buildings additionally takes on a symbolic function: light represents the presence of higher powers and lends buildings and objects themselves a certain splendour and magnificence. Its symbolic nature is borne out by the direction of the light and the height of the light source. Light from above, emitted from an inivisible source, creates a magical aura, whereas the low position of floor washlights emphasises the mystical and dramatic dimension.


Lighting effects for sacred architecture

Sacred architecture translates the beliefs and importance of a religion into a physical structure – light enhances this message. The grandeur and dignity of monumental buildings can be accentuated with tools such as wall and ceiling washlights. Accent lighting is ideal for the modelling of wall paintings and the surface textures of ornamental details, it emphasises religious insignia and underscores the significance of these buildings. Ceiling washlighting additionally enhance the protective character of domes and other roofs.


Using light to create tranquillity

Religious buildings offer a contemplative setting that inspires both believers and non-believers. Integrated almost invisibly into the architecture, ERCO’s luminaires are deliberately toned down in favour of their lighting effect. Indirect light emitted from wall and ceiling washlights enhances the perception of a protective and tranquil environment. Accentuated light helps to direct the attention to essential aspects of the room, such as the altar and architectural details. Glare-free LED light ensures optimal visual comfort for the congregation and mirrors the quality of the incident daylight.

Suitable lighting tools

Wallwashing as an efficient method for illuminating sacred architecture in optimal ways is a distinct quality of ERCO lighting tools. Special Spherolit lenses create homogeneous surfaces – be it from a spotlight, a recessed luminaire, a surface-mounted luminaire or a recessed floor luminaire.
Integrated almost invisibly in the architecture, ERCO’s lighting tools are deliberately toned down in favour of their lighting effect. Spotlights with interchangeable lenses create flexible lighting accents, floor washlights project light onto horizontal surfaces. The linear aspect of pendant luminaires structures space and creates a relationship between architecture and user. Designed in minimalist style, ERCO’s lighting tools integrate in the architecture of sacred buildings and so help to emphasise the protective nature of the environment. The modular system design of the luminaire ranges ensures maximum flexibility for the designer in terms of luminous flux, light colour and light distribution.

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