The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective application of lighting controls in nonresidential spaces.
This month, we will explore the role that lighting controls play in enhancing the visitor experience at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center Lobby, which features a special permanent light installation called “Reflect.” Lighting and control design by Brett Andersen, Dan Henry and Heath Hurwitz with Focus Lighting. Photography by Ivan Toth Depeña and Heath Hurwitz. Lighting and controls by Philips Color Kinetics using custom software developed by Focus Lighting.
“Reflect” is a permanent installation that utilizes sensors and light to explore the idea of circulation within the space – a government lobby adjacent to a transit hub.
Light boxes, internally illuminated with RGB LED’s, were designed to precisely fit the lobby’s columns. The boxes enliven the space without intruding on the lobby’s existing architecture using a slim 6-inch profile that creates the illusion of interactive columns.
Using movement as inspiration, the lighting designer developed custom camera-tracking software. Data generated from this software was then used to control the LED’s to display abstract reflections of passers-by.
As visitors pass by the boxes, their pixelated, abstract reflection follows. When there is no movement within their vicinity, the light boxes replay animations from previously recorded interactions with visitors.
Off-the-shelf video game cameras at the base of each box feed motion-tracking data to the custom software, which interprets the data and then commands each LED to a specific color. A full-size mock-up allowed the lighting designer to fine-tune programming details prior to being on site.
The designer varied the sizes of the “pixels” within the box to create an interesting visual composition while adhering to incredibly tight budget constraints.
LEDs minimize maintenance and maximize energy efficiency. In the rare instance maintenance is required, the boxes are constructed to swing open on a sturdy hinge.
The lighting designer tested fixture brightness and multiple types of diffusion against the amount of daylight present to ensure the boxes were neither too bright nor too dim.
Based on time of day, the control system cycles through a palette of predetermined color schemes that always look pleasing to the eye.
“Reflect” engages visitors and promotes a sense of community through group interactivity and high-tech playfulness while enlivening the space itself through the constantly shifting looks of each lightbox.