Lighting for churches, mosques, synagogues and temples
Contemplation – light for religious buildings indoors and outdoors
Religious buildings are an integral part of religious ceremonies and their architecture is an expression of the respective faith. Whether sacred spaces with a sober elegance or impressive ornamentation: a contemplative mood is created by diffuse light, for example via wallwashing, in combination with pinpoint accents of light. Floor washlights convey a sense of security and orientation whilst supporting the calm atmosphere. Vertical lighting emphasises the architecture and enhances the atmosphere, and also makes spaces appear higher and brighter. The magical light of grazing light wallwashers traces structures in a particularly vivid way, such as the ornamental texture of historical temples or the smooth facades of modern chapels. Contrasts in brightness on the other hand establish hierarchies, guide the visitor through spatial zones and emphasise important objects such as altars, statues or ornaments. The avoidance of glare is also important so as not to disturb the atmosphere, to ensure that faces are recognisable and to make prayer books and hymn books optimally legible.
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Using light as a religious symbol
The immaterial building material of light also assumes a symbolic function in religious buildings: light is supposed to visualise the presence of divine powers and lends splendour and importance to buildings and objects. The symbolic character of the light is determined by the direction of the light and the luminaire mounting height: light from above, from an invisible source, creates a magical aura, whilst the low light point height of floor washlights emphasises mysticism and drama.
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.
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International examples for the lighting of religious buildings
The language of light is understandable across cultures. In all religions, light is not only a design tool for architecture, but also a distinctive symbol of the divine. Light in religious spaces creates a contemplative atmosphere for meetings between believers. Light accents help to focus attention on the essentials. ERCO illuminates both ancient and modern places of worship using light to create a separate, timeless language.
Suitable LED luminaires for churches, mosques, synagogues and temples
Whether church lighting or the illumination of mosques, temples or synagogues: wallwashing for the optimal display of religious architecture is a strength of ERCO lighting tools. Spherolit lenses create uniform surfaces – whether from a spotlight, recessed luminaire, surface-mounted luminaire or ground-recessed luminaire. ERCO lighting tools blend in with the architecture, adopting a discreet role in favour of their lighting effect. Spotlights create flexible lighting accents thanks to interchangeable lenses, and floor washlights bring light to horizontal surfaces. The linear appearance of pendant luminaires serves to divide the space and creates proximity between the architecture and its users. With their reduced designs, ERCO lighting tools blend into the architecture of religious buildings and emphasise the protective atmosphere. The system design of modular luminaire ranges provides lighting designers with maximum flexibility in terms of luminous flux, light colour and distribution of light.
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