Street lighting

Lighting of building facades: techniques and capabilities of facade lighting

Building Facade Lighting

Facade lighting is a direction of lighting design that is becoming increasingly popular. And if earlier it was used mainly for illuminating monuments and historical buildings, today facade lighting has become an integral part of almost any building. This is not surprising, because such a decorative technique not only emphasizes the shape of the structure, but also effectively demonstrates the internal content. In addition, well-directed light highlights the advantages and hides the disadvantages of an architectural object..


  • Where do the sources go??
  • A modern look at lighting
  • Facade Lighting Techniques
  • General flood lighting
  • Local (zone) lighting
  • Stylish light facades
  • Silhouette (background) backlight
  • Spectacular contour light
  • Colossal Color Dynamics Features
  • Important points to choose

Where do the sources go??

The architectural lighting of the facades was born after the First World War in the USA. The brochure issued by General Electric made a splash, opening up unprecedented opportunities in transforming the appearance of buildings. It was the year 1930. The time when Manhattan turns into a wonderful city of sparkling lights is a magical creation of light impressionists. The idea was picked up quickly.

Manhattan aerial view

Manhattan aerial view – home to spectacular architectural lighting

Artistic lighting in Europe developed under the influence of two factors: fashion and the expansion of the power industry. European versions of light experiments were distinguished by sophistication and a deep sense of style. Equally important were the features of architectural masterpieces combining notes of neoclassicism, classicism, empire, gothic, baroque.

A new stage begins in 1969 with the establishment of the International Association of Lighting Designers. This step was intended to change the attitude of the public towards lighting design. Today, this organization brings together professionals who study light art and, thanks to practical experience, are able to masterfully highlight the individual features of any building.

A modern look at lighting

Outdoor lighting contains 2 main points – aesthetic and functional.

The backlight should be not only aesthetic, but also functional

The backlight should be not only aesthetic, but also functional

It is important!
In addition to external attractiveness, the aesthetic aspect also carries practical benefits – a memorable image and attract attention. However, in addition to this, street lamps must have the necessary set of qualities that allow them to cope with their duties.

There are three types of facade lighting:

  • floodlight. It occupies about 80% of the total number of purchased lighting products. Due to the fact that glass absorbs a lot of light, such lighting is most often used for concrete structures;
  • accent. Allows you to highlight individual details without lighting the facade completely. Thus, attention is focused on the top or bottom of the building.

It is important!
To highlight external parts, floodlights are used. The best option – metal halide and sodium high pressure floodlights.

  • LED light. A wide range of colors provides unlimited possibilities for the realization of any lighting fantasies and create unusual beauty effects.

Facade Lighting Techniques

When developing a lighting project, first of all, it is necessary to determine the lighting techniques that depend on the goals pursued. So consider them.

General flood lighting

Ideal for stand-alone cultural objects, as allows you to preserve the monumentality of appearance and holistic perception. The effect is achieved by installing spotlight lamps on poles around the building. The maximum brightness will highlight the structure against the background of the surrounding landscape, will draw general attention to it.

General flood lighting

The goal of general flood lighting is to focus on the architectural structure

It is important!
Please note that the flood light will pass through the windows, so this reception will not be the best for buildings where people are in the dark: hotels, business centers, residential buildings.

Dynamic flood lighting of the facade of the house due to the uneven level of light helps to somewhat “revive” the object. It is better to use LED lamps.

Local (zone) lighting

Indispensable, if necessary, emphasis on a specific area: windows, friezes, balconies, cornices, etc..

To create a harmonious composition, every detail should be thought out, associated with the overall picture..

Local facade lighting

Local facade lighting highlights only a few elements

For this type of illumination, small and medium power lamps are used that are mounted directly on the facade. It is allowed to use linear LED luminaires, which successfully replaced bulky fluorescent installations: Power-Washer, Accent White, DU-6, Vari-Spot, etc..

Stylish light facades

The reception is suitable for buildings with solid glazing: business, administrative centers, entertainment and shopping complexes. Lighting equipment (RGB or single color) is installed inside the building behind the glass, to which the light flux is directed.

Light facade

Light facade – a technique that is possible for implementation only in the case of continuous glazing

This allows you to get interesting dynamic and static combinations..

Silhouette (background) backlight

An artistic way to achieve the selection of the outline of the building without taking into account individual elements. Creates a clear, strong and clear image. The bottom line is to project a luminous background on which the silhouette of the structure appears black or dark.

Background lighting is typical for theaters and palaces

Background lighting is typical for theaters and palaces

Background lighting is suitable for palaces and theaters with columns, carried out with the help of high-power floodlights LED.

Spectacular contour light

A new method, involving the allocation of the contour of the building with linear lamps. Massive use became possible after the advent of inexpensive linear fixtures – flexible neon and LED lines, which are installed with a certain interval along the facade.

Contour lighting

Contour lighting

They remarkably highlight corners and friezes, so that the contour of the structure acquires a soft glow. For this type of illumination the LED lines “Facade” are best suited.

Colossal Color Dynamics Features

Color dynamics

Color dynamics – a technique for the implementation of which several types of lighting devices are used

A method that synthesizes a variety of effects: color change, increasing / fading contrast, mixing shades, etc. In this case, spotlights, LED rulers, spot LEDs are needed to create bright outlines of different colors and configurations.

Important points to choose

When choosing lamps for facade lighting, some points should be taken into account:

  • compositional features (dimensions and structure of the building, texture and color of finishing materials);
  • the role of the object in the architectural composition of the city;
  • distance and direction from which the structure is viewed;
  • existing coverage of the territory;
  • building style, as lighting design must be combined with the appearance of the architectural object.
Light transforms a building beyond recognition

Light transforms a building beyond recognition

When choosing a lamp, pay attention to the following indicators: ease of maintenance, safety, protection from environmental influences, tightness of the housing, the ability to work in any conditions, efficiency. The effects of illumination largely depend on the angle of rotation of the lamp relative to the facade, so it is necessary to purchase projectors with an adjustable angle of inclination.
The degree of moisture and dust protection should be at least IP 65. For structures that have historical value, using lamps on brackets that significantly damage the appearance is unacceptable.

Light is a subtle matter capable of performing real miracles. Several spotlights will transform the building, give it presentability, improve the image and attract admiring glances of passers-by. It is so nice to admire a city filled with thousands of shining lights. A city where there is a sense of something mysterious and festive.