How “Architainment” Can Transform Your Building
By Mike Martens
Today’s great buildings are not just buildings. They’re entertainment. They blend showstopping architecture and sensational lighting to deliver a transformational experience to their audience of residents and visitors.
It’s called “architainment” and it is lighting up the building industry—literally.
Take the City and County Building in Denver. It uses exterior lighting to visually demonstrate support for the city in unique and creative ways, as well as to promote awareness of various initiatives that impact Denver’s diverse community.
For example, non-profit organizations can request that the City and County Building be lit up in a specific color to recognize a particular initiative or create social and charitable awareness. The state-of-the-art lighting also makes it possible to pick out details on the building’s façade, and to create dramatic, unforgettable experiences.
The power of light to impact emotions and create a wide range of moods is something that artists and designers have long understood. Light not only allows us to see things, it also has a tremendous influence on our state of mind.
And you don’t need to be a billion-dollar corporation to create dramatic effects and make your building stand out. You just need the right LED lights.
Not only are LED lights brighter and crisper, they’re more cost-effective because they last for tens of thousands of hours, versus the hundreds of hours that traditional halogens last. LEDs can be digitally programmed, which means colors can be mixed in a matter of nanoseconds. Mixing halogen lights, which requires filters that are manually swapped in and out, takes much longer and is much more expensive.
If you’re a property owner, it’s easier than ever for you to use LED lighting to give your building a premium look and feel, attract more and better tenants, and generate higher revenues. With the cost of LEDs quickly coming down, developers and building owners everywhere can now add architainment lighting to their properties and enhance their value.
“Both property owners and tenants are looking for points of differentiation, and there are only a few ways to achieve it,” says Patrick Buckhoff, CCIM President and Principal Broker at RE/MAX Commercial Advisors in Houston. “Architainment is certainly one of those ways. It really adds to the aesthetic appeal of your building, while cutting the total energy cost.”
He points out that lighting can positively impact the way people perceive and interact with a building, and that the right LED lighting, particularly multi-color LEDS like Osram’s Ostar Stage RGBW and Duris S 5, can be used to enhance the mood of visitors and passersby. It can positively influence the way people feel, live, work and shop within a space.
“For example, by swapping out incandescent light bulbs for LEDs, you can start to apply a variety of warm or cool colors to make a space more comfortable and livable,” says Buckhoff. “You can also use interesting lighting patterns to draw attention to a particular architectural feature of a building. These and other lighting strategies can differentiate your building from your competitors and bring people flocking to your location.”
Another beneficial impact of LEDs for landlords is their ability to reduce energy consumption and operate buildings more efficiently, thus increasing the value of a property. Better still, the savings can be extended to tenants in the form of lower utility bills.
LED light can do it all. It can transform a building inside and out, creating intense color effects that illuminate a space and bring an entirely new feel to architectural details, making a positive impression on all who visit.
According to Buckhoff, “architainment lighting really adds a prestige factor. It’s like when you’re selling a house. There may be two houses for sale on the street that are exactly the same. But if your house is staged and lit better, if it looks good and makes people feel good when they walk in, that’s the property that will be more desirable to buyers.”
At the end of the day, LED lighting can truly transform a building. And it can do it at a cost that makes sense.
“The beauty of LEDs is that you don’t have to break the bank to take advantage of all they have to offer,” Buckhoff says. “In the same way that architects can economically use influential features like arches, curves and cornices, designers can use LED lighting to augment the look and feel of a building, and add significant value.”
Mike Martens is the Senior Manager, Product Marketing for multi-market lighting at Osram Opto Semiconductors in North America. Martens is responsible for visible LED marketing and strategy development in the information and entertainment, projection, signs and signals, industrial, transportation and white goods industries.