Planning light - Community - Community

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Community – light for public buildings

Indoor and outdoor lighting for public transportation buildings, conference- and event buildings, educational establishments, libraries and parliaments

What binds our society together, allows it to function and makes it worth living? Not least the communal buildings in which people as visitors, citizens or politicians move, gather and exchange information. Buildings for public administration, educational facilities, theatre, congress centres, railway stations and airports: their architecture, equipment and condition reflect the needs and reality of a society. Creating new features or maintaining existing structures provides both opportunities and responsibilities for planners and designers. Care and quality in all planning aspects are decisive. Light assumes much more than just functional tasks – it also determines the character and representative symbolic force of public buildings.

Which tasks does light adopt in public buildings?

Thinking in lighting functions


Lighting functions serve as a theoretical model for flexibly responding to highly diverse uses and architectural situations for the lighting of public buildings, and for modularly combining lighting solutions and scaling these according to needs.

Illuminating public buildings needs to fulfil a wide variety of needs: the spatial plan and design aspects, together with the financial framework conditions, form the basis for the lighting concept.
The range of tasks can include a variety of nuanced architectural situations beginning with the facade and lighting of the entrance zone and foyer, circulation zones such as stairs and corridors and multifunctional rooms and peripheral areas required for management, workshops and archives. A theoretical model of lighting functions helps to evaluate the quality of lighting not just according to purely quantitative criteria such as illuminance. it also places the use of a spatial situation in focus. This form of zoning allows individual tasks to be identified: should an area receive visitors, represent particular elements and values, provide orientation, guide through the building or provide space for specific events? At the start of each lighting project it makes sense for lighting designers to ask the following three questions for each required functional area:

  1. Which architectural and functional importance does the room or spatial zone have?
  2. Which tasks in the building can be implemented with lighting to provide all users with a positive, identity-enhancing experience?
  3. Which individual lighting strategy and methods of lighting are suitable as the basis for lighting design?

Lighting design by comparison

Case Study: qualitative instead of quantitative lighting


Qualitative lighting design for foyers

Rapid orientation and a bright spatial impression: Perception-oriented lighting divides the room into zones of light. Recessed luminaires with various light distributions enable specific room geometries and user profiles to be responded to.


Quantitative lighting design for foyers

Monotonous lighting that does not take the spatial context into account ignores the perception hierarchies offered by the architecture and makes orientation more difficult for users. It also requires more energy to generate a comparable impression of brightness.

Digital light for education, administration and transport

Economical lighting solutions with efficient visual comfort increase the acceptance of educational, administration and transport buildings among users and deliver better results for the operators in the long term. Airports, conference centres, entertainment facilities, authorities or libraries have complex usage patterns, accommodating crowds that must find their ways through the building quickly and easily. Be it luminaires with high levels of luminous flux for monumentally large buildings or perfectly glare-free light for concentrated work and communication zones: ERCO’s lighting tools offer an appropriate solution for many different lighting tasks. The diversity of ERCO projects around the world indicates the wide variety of lighting concepts for public architecture.

Worldwide ERCO projects in the sector Community

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

ERCO beleuchtet weltweit über 8900 Gebäude aus dem Bildungs- und Verwaltungswesen sowie aus dem Konferenz- und Unterhaltungsbereich. Mit den professionellen Lichtwerkzeugen von ERCO entstehen nachhaltige Lichtlösungen für ein optimales Umfeld für Bildung und Unterhaltung.

Suitable lighting tools

ERCO’s range of luminaires offers solutions for diverse applications in public buildings. LED double-focus downlights facilitate effective lighting solutions to produce an optimal environment in high rooms.
Downlights in rooms of normal height add efficient ambient lighting under quantitative criteria. Lens systems with excellent glare control allow applications from hallways through to workstations. Thanks to ERCO’s Spherolit technology, wallwashers are a central component of any lighting design. Illuminated vertical surfaces optimise the impression of brightness in the room and define boundaries for optimal orientation. In complex situations spotlights enhance the informative value of objects and structures through accentuation. In any case, maintenance-free, efficient photometrics enable the luminaires to be spaced far apart for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Thermal management, LED and control gear in ERCO luminaires are harmonised precisely to optimise their functional life. The low energy footprint of all ERCO luminaires reflects in their efficient operation and has a positive effect on the operating costs for ventilation and air conditioning.

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