Sound lighting engineering meets passionate lighting design

Lighting design transforms creative architectural design ideas into real, tangible lighting effects.

The impression of a room is created by the overall architectural concept and lighting effect. This means that architecture and interior design ensure maximum comfort and are supported by the lighting concept. Lighting design is therefore never a stand-alone individual measure but rather begins at about the same time as architectural design planning. That is because they, along with the lighting ideas of the architects, form the guideline for lighting design and engineering. Lighting designers find and design all the technical possibilities which best reflect the architectural lighting concept. In doing so, lighting designers name suitable materials and light sources as well as specific methods for technical implementation. In situations where the intended lighting effect requires it, impressive special solutions are developed and implemented for lighting planning. Technical expertise and a keen sense for aesthetics are therefore among the defining characteristics of the passionate lighting designers and engineers at we are light.

After all, lighting effects and atmospheres need to be created by suitable lighting planning – and harmonised with mandatory lighting such as emergency lighting or marker lights on ships. There are a range of issues in lighting design that need to considered, such as Where is glare bothersome or where does material reflect near the light source in such a way that the desired mood cannot be created? Have all legal requirements for lighting at sea been met?

Lighting for cruise ships in particular places very high demands on lighting planning. The reason is because whilst luxury goes hand in hand with cruises, illuminating the architecture of a small town is just as important at the same time. Masses and measurements are astronomical on cruise ships: Gross tonnages of 164k and material costs of 17 km of flexible LED modules, 30,000 metres of cable or 60,000 light points in combination with lighting coves or exclusive chandeliers have to be planned and adapted on site.

A cruise ship also joins several rooms with diverse requirements: cabins, suites, corridors, theatres, restaurants, shops, outdoor areas, swimming pools, casinos and much more must become one in the floating hotel. In addition, special features such as voltage fluctuations in the electrical system, resistance to seawater, low installation depths or serviceability of lighting must also be taken into account. Consciously designed lighting moods or dimmed areas can divide off or connect different areas on ships – first-rate lighting planning makes all this possible. In hardly any other environment do so many different lighting applications have to be combined in such a confined space. The diverse range of requirements makes it clear that technical expertise and in-depth product knowledge are the basis for spot on lighting design for cruise ships.

Anyone who plans good lighting can flexibly change perspectives both in terms of design and technology. What type of atmosphere needs be created and for whom? The cruise market, in particular, requires market knowledge of the various markets in Asia or America. That is why it is not only a free choice but also compulsory for lighting planners to be able to change the visual focus flexibly and in a short time. Market requirements, architectural standards and technical possibilities meet at the interface of lighting planning.

Lighting design for new cruise ships

The current focus of lighting design and engineering at we are light lies in developing and implementing lighting plans for cruise ships. Lighting planning for new cruise ships affects all planning and construction phases of a ship. The first step is to offer advice on the respective type of ship as the requirements vary greatly depending on the target group, the ship’s standard and the planned route. After the consultation phase, the focus of the lighting planning is on the design of lighting concepts, which are documented in technical drawings and visualisations. The concept is used to define specifications in the form of bills of quantities, which form the basis for cost calculations. The next step is simulations that check the results of calculations as a final step before the lighting moods on board are adapted by manual fine tuning.

It takes about five years from the planning phase of a cruise ship to its completion. Should trends in equipment change during this period, we are light can still react accordingly during the current project. Flexibility and innovation are the driving principles behind the lighting planning of the Hamburg-based company.

Lighting design for cruise ships: special considerations for planning

Designing lighting for cruise ships requires three-dimensional thinking. The reason is that holistic implementation of the room and lighting concept involves more than just installing an impressive chandelier. Walls, surfaces and entire ceiling constructions are self-evident components of the lighting design on a cruise ship. All light sources and their materials must meet special requirements on a ship. For example, the lighting fasteners, must compensate for vibrations in order to prevent disturbing noises such as clinking on the one hand whereas it is absolutely necessary that the lamps are fixed in such a way that passengers are not in danger, even during rough seas on the other hand. Sea trails on rough seas prove whether the designs meet this requirement. On board: engineers and lighting designers.

The task of lighting design on a ship is not only creating eye-catching effects, it also has an orientating function. Thus, corridors with less brilliant lighting scenes lead to a bright atrium from where other decks can be accessed. Bars on board require less brightness than shops, for example, depending on the atmosphere. Lighting design for cruise ships is therefore characterised in every respect by a variety of planning approaches.

Lighting design for cruise ships and for ships in general differs in other respects from planning building illumination. The ceiling heights are lower whereas the areas of public spaces are wide. Lighting planning for a cruise ship must also always take into account the combination and interrelationships of many different functions of space. That is because when guests move around on board, they walk through corridors with dimmed light into their comfortably and brightly lit cabins or into bars with cosy lighting moods and more – they are surrounded by countless lighting creations.

What also makes it so special is the missing connection between the interior of the ship and the outer environment. In some areas there is no connection at all. Dynamic daylight is not available for lighting planning in these areas. we are light develop innovative alternatives for just such cases. Ideal lighting quality on cruise ships is often achieved by complex combinations of vertical highlights and different lighting levels.

The importance of a light planner’s ability to change perspective becomes particularly clear with regard to the ship’s structure: the atrium of a luxury cruise ship rises vertically above several decks and is a central public space on the ship. Visitors therefore view and enter it from several angles. There are flat angles of vision as well as 360° perspectives. A challenge for lighting design on a cruise ship is therefore to place the light sources in such a way that they create the desired lighting effect from all possible angles without any bothersome glare. we are light develop optimal and innovative solutions should the right light source for this requirement not yet exist.

Lighting planning: refitting cruise ships

The dominant trend for cruise ships is constantly changing. Ships must therefore be adapted: the offer on board, the interior design and with it, the lighting design need to be redesigned.

Lighting planning for cruise ships, which need to be refitted due to changes in requirements, differs in part from the planning for a new cruise ship. The lighting design for refitting ships starts with conducting an inventory on board. This includes light measurements to identify potential areas of improvement of existing lighting systems: with regard to the new design goals, lighting planning can aim for optimised user experiences and lighting atmospheres. During the redesign process, the lighting design benefits from being upgraded to the latest lighting technology.

Only a very short period of time is available for a redesign and requires the quick ability to act. we are light have all the know-how and skills that make the rapid and thus lucrative refitting of cruise ships possible.

Architectural lighting creates atmospheres in hotels

The same principles generally apply to lighting design for tourism projects on land as on water. The right lighting should create a sense of well-being among guests and make a significant contribution to their pleasant stay. Thanks to our team’s outstanding adaptability and ability to change perspectives, we are light have already convincingly planned the lighting for a wide range of projects on land. Hotels and cruise ships as floating hotels have to offer their guests atmospheres that provide enjoyment, fuel enthusiasm or offer space for relaxation. Excellently planned lighting moods are indispensable for such projects to succeed.

Examples of planning projects by we are light on land include hotels, restaurants, office buildings and nurseries. The full-service lighting design of the Hamburg office for lighting design includes all planning and construction phases. Our services go above and beyond lighting planning, particularly when planning architectural lighting for classic projects on land. We take care of everything from tenders and contract negotiations to project support and building inspection. We meet customer requirements for architectural lighting for new buildings as well as for restorations and renovations to the highest standards.