Posted by: Sutton Vane Associates
The lighting in a Shopping Mall is an important factor in its success. Good lighting can have a positive effect on the experience of the visitor and make them spend more time in the mall and spend more money. The lighting should reinforce the atmosphere of the mall and the lighting has to comply with regulations that cover both the light itself and the energy that the lighting scheme uses.
Complying with regulations is important as non-compliance can mean that a mall is not allowed to open. The Codes and Regulations that cover lighting vary not just from one country to the next but can also vary from one region or even city to the next. Sutton Vane Associates designs lighting schemes for projects all over the world. First the practice designs lighting that will be attractive to visitors and reinforce the architectural story. Then they often use a local electrical engineer, or person of similar standing, to check that the details of the scheme comply with the local regulations and that all appropriate forms, inspections or certificates have been completed.
In addition to the normal lighting, there is the emergency lighting. This is usually compulsory. One part of it is lit signage which can be a green running person pictogram or the word EXIT. These signs direct visitors to safe exit routes. The other part is illumination that gives a low level of light which is enough for the visitors to see their way out safely should the electrical supply fail and the normal lights go out. Emergency lighting should not detract from the appearance of a mall.
The shop at Durham Cathedral. The emergency lighting is by tiny black downlights hidden up in the ceiling, only one can be seen. Lighting Design in all pictures by Sutton Vane Associates.
A shop in a larger building. As the roof is so open, the emergency lighting is delivered from the emergency lighting in the ceiling of the larger building.
A small extension to a mall. The emergency exit pictogram can be seen. The decorative wall lights give both normal lighting and emergency lighting.
Many countries have regulations to reduce the energy consumption of lighting schemes. These regulations can state a maximum number of watts of electricity that can be used per area of floor. Other versions require a minimum efficiency for each light fitting used, often quoted in lumens per circuit watt. There are also regulations on what type of lamp can be used. Some regulations state how the lighting is controlled to try to reduce lights running when not needed.
The use of daylight, which uses no energy, is usually encouraged by lighting regulations. But a lighting designer must work closely with the architect to make sure that the windows are the right size and type to comply with architectural regulations that may control window sizes to prevent energy waste by heat loss.
Sutton Vane Associates always works to reduce the energy load of all the lighting schemes it designs, so compliance with many regulations is achieved automatically by their designs.
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