Different spaces have different lighting requirements. Downlighting is an extremely effective way of lighting a domestic space. It is important to highlight the focal point(s) of the room to direct attention to where you wish people to look at away from less interesting parts of the room.
When it comes to restaurants, the light concentrated on each table creates “islands of intimacy”; in fact, thanks to the reduced illumination of the gaps between one table and the next, the diners’ sense of isolation from neighbouring tables increases. If on the other hand the lighting is uniform, this sense of isolation does not exist; this effect is pursued in restaurants wishing to highlight the diners’ sense of belonging to a group or the collective enjoyment of meals as canteens, cafeterias, fast food outlets, reception halls. The light over the table should mainly fulfil the need to enhance the colours of the food and allow the diners to see one another without any overly dramatic effects on their faces (due for example to an excessively vertical light which casts unpleasant shadows over their faces).
In retail areas the colour temperature value depends on the atmosphere to be created in the setting. For example, sports articles would need a colour temperature of 4000K. On the other hand footwear and leather items should be lit up with a warmer type of colour temperature of about 3000K. Also wine cellars need a warm colour temperature (2,700K) in order to reproduce the cosy atmosphere of a cellar.
In museums, flat surfaces such as frescoes, paintings, tapestries and mosaics, should be lit up uniformly. On the other hand three-dimensional objects should not be lit up uniformly as the shape of the artwork can be better appreciated thanks to the play of light and shadow.
When illuminating exteriors it is important that there is harmony between the colour of the light cast and the material, which composes the façade or monument. In order for the night perception of the illuminated surface to be similar to that in the day, the colour tone should be homogenous with the dominant colour of the façade or monument. Thus light with a colour tone between 2000K and 3000K should be used for red bricks, calcareous stones, plasters or other material and tints of a warm colour tone as red, pink and ochre. On the other hand light with a colour tone of between 4000K and 6000K should be used for facades made up of concrete, marble, granite or other material of a cold colour tone as white, grey, green or blue. If one wants to highlight the architectural elements that develop horizontally, as cornices, the light projectors are normally positioned in front of the façade, at an angle that guarantees a high angle of incidence. If the elements that need to be illuminated develop vertically, as columns, the projectors are usually positioned laterally.