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Rejuvenation of Buildings with Facade Lighting

It has long been held that the night architecture is noticeable through great night lighting. So, although an architectural landscape may be majestic and striking in the day, even greater focus can be achieved at night. Most impressive monuments, galleries and historic buildings in any city, have always stood as visible icons to our designers and our history.

The same concepts are now being represent through architectural design and lighting, in corporate offices, commercial buildings, industrial campuses and even in residential complexes. Lighting design is being mixed with direct exterior lighting to signify and point up key features, and deliver much more than just only illumination. The building facade itself can become the highlight and visual central core, representing the attributes, quality and styling that the architect and building owner together, hold to be true.

This article tries to explore the techniques and benefits behind efficient and effective facade lighting. The emphasis is on a lighting practise referred to as exterior wall wash lighting. This concept is now being globally adopted, in what could be described as a renewal and blending of old and new. Architectural design, functionality, order and styling meet aesthetics, economic, sustainable and dynamic lighting that is expressing sympathy to its surrounds although delivering high visual impact. Design matched with lighting that has the potential to witness energy, passion and components that convey the values, beliefs and culture of any business.

Given below are some techniques and benefits behind efficient and effective facade lighting.

Enhancement, amplification and marketing of Lighting

There is a new concept in architectural design that is in tune with the building owner. Lighting designers and architects are working unlike before, with more than a brief about lighting. They are actually working with a strong belief. A belief to develop more than just a beautiful and functional building. With concepts like exterior wall wash lighting, designers and architects are bringing life in the night through lights, into structures.

This is about creating a beautiful blend of building design and exterior lighting. A business or commercial building that produces quality products services and solutions, reproduce this through attractive design and styling. The old conventional practice of creating visible building at night through lighting is proving uneconomical, waste and lacking imagination and effectiveness.

Wall Wash Lighting, Galleria Centercity, South Korea (Picture reference: UN Studio)

Bringing the Blend to Life

Global practises are showing a huge increase in exterior lighting and in particular illuminated facades. There are particular challenges to be addressed in effectively blending design with lighting, and achieving the desired outcomes for the business or the building owner.

A building that uses exterior light inefficiently, is seen as waste and out of context. Contrarily, strong and bold imagery created through design and lighting is seen as a translation of creativity, uniqueness and innovation. This is the context that is driving this beautiful blend of design and lighting. The best examples of this are addressing and harmonising the blended inputs of visual, emotional, functional and sustainable design.

RGB LED Floodlights, Denver Civic Center (Picture reference:

When creativity and imagination matter

Wall wash lighting is enabling the visual depiction of elements and attributes that serve a business, marketing and positioning. In buildings lighting can convey prestige, impact and it can be impressive and visually striking. Buildings that seek market presence and in making bold statements are doing so with their design and attention on them through exterior lighting.

Merging style and form, the attention of features, design elements, choice of building materials, and representation of the company logo are few key elements that can be strengthen through exterior lighting.

This approach towards exterior lighting is striking a sense with global communities and is reflecting the values, beliefs and spirit of business or building in an engaging fashion. Wall wash lighting is being used widely to signal, attract and engage the market, to outstanding effect. These creative attributes in exterior lighting design are increasingly transforming a building from presentable to exceptional.

LED Display Lighting, National Arts Centre, North America (Picture reference:

The lively breathing structures

Graceful aesthetics are created by designers that incorporate lighting with design that is friendly to the local environment. Lighting away from natural ecosystems and appropriate lighting that serves to illuminate, highlight and direct, are both examples of this. Lighting that is sensitive to nocturnal (active at night) animals, especially in low urbanised environments adds to friendly environment on the building in a natural setting.

Architectural facade lighting may incorporate a variety of effective techniques for wall wash lighting. Architectural facade lighting is not handled by economic pressures. Regulation and integration of the exterior lights with natural light further helps to minimise light usage and cost. Wall wash lighting has consistently proven itself as a lower cost technique with high visual impact and attractiveness. The lifecycle investment associated with wall wash lighting profiles it as proven, robust and predictively lowcost lighting alternative, supporting its popularity in recent times.

Dot Pixel LED Lighting, Robot Exhibition Centre, Hangzhou, China (Picture reference:


Following are the applications for exterior facade and elements lighting:
• Contemporary architecture exterior lighting
• Historical building façade lighting
• Event and stage lighting
• Bridge flood lighting
• Exterior landscape lighting.

Bringing it all together

The range and choice of products for wall wash lighting in India, has never been substantial. Specialist products in the market are designed for exterior facades, features and creating visual impact. A variety of applications based on type, colour and intensity of light and washing required, are available in the Indian market. Although specialist lighting designers are provided by the companies dealing with lighting manufacturing and retailing. These items include units which are building mounted, in ground up lights, flood lights, stage and event lights, RGB/ RGBW/ RGBWA LED lighting for colour selection, available in various size configurations and mounts to meet definitive specification of the building or application.

Ashish Batra
Consultant (Architect/ Urban Planner)
LEA Associates South Asia Pvt Ltd