Exploring Creative Design Part 1: Architectural Lighting

Public spaces in live entertainment and retail have renewed their focus on revitalizing the visitor experience in response to increased competition for foot traffic and revenue. Many groups are modernizing public spaces in their venues by including both artistic and advertising elements created with architectural lighting.

What is architectural lighting?

Based on how the building design industry uses the term “architectural lighting”, it can describe any element that crafts a space out of light. So, this can include anything from natural lighting, to flood lights projecting color on the outside of a building, to indoor overhead lighting with traditional white or yellow color used to create ambiance in the room, to full color lighting elements mounted to a bridge or building structure, to video-capable transparent matrix signage covering a whole side of a building.

Pretty broad term, right?

For simplicity, today we’re going to focus on one type of architectural lighting: video-capable LED elements, otherwise known as “freeform LED”, which provide the most advanced capabilities and application flexibility out of all architectural lighting options.

Designed for creativity

Freeform LED elements typically are used to create digital art or advertising mediums for public spaces, designed flexibly to cater to creative designs. To achieve this flexibility, freeform LED products are streamlined down to two main options: a line of pixels (linear element) and a single pixel (pixel element). From these two options, designers can create virtually any shape and effect, from logos to creative shapes to transparent floating displays.

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How buildings use freeform LED 

Freeform LED elements can mount to nearly any surface or structure, indoor or outdoor, so these products create endless opportunities for unique concepts, from small-scale channel letters to large-scale video facades that transform the skyline.

Some trends we’ve seen with these creative elements include lighting accents, visually transparent displays, audio facades, video sculptures and logo displays.

How are these freeform displays making an impact? One recent transparent freeform project at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas energizes event-goers as they walk up to the entrance.

Of the transparent display, Dan Quinn, General Manager for T-Mobile Arena, says, “As guests arrive at T-Mobile Arena, one of the first things they see is the incredible see-through LED video mesh wall above the main entrance, which has been generating tremendous fan excitement and energy, especially on event nights.”

T-Mobile Arena capitalizes on freeform LED flexibility with a trapezoid-shaped display that shows event promotions and advertising to people in the plaza walking up to the venue, while preserving window visibility inside for people hanging out in the third-floor concourse.

The transparent trapezoid display at T-Mobile Arena is but one example of the many creative possibilities provided by freeform LED elements.

Expanding applications

As the competition for foot traffic and revenue grows each year, many embrace architectural lighting as a way to make their venues stand out. Although there are many different types of architectural lighting to choose from, freeform LED elements provide the most advanced capabilities and application flexibility. Next up, we’ll take a deeper dive on the advantages this technology has over other digital mediums. Stay tuned!

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