Low Carbon Lighting: Projects Embracing Contemporary Needs

Explore innovative low carbon lighting projects showcasing energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.



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Designers and studios worldwide are pushing the boundaries of creativity and sustainability with innovative low-carbon lighting projects. Their work exemplifies design excellence and sets new standards for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Here, we spotlight three remarkable projects showcasing their best in low-carbon lighting design.

Xiong’An Green Building Exhibition Center

Brandston Partnership Inc., led by Thomas Lee, along with designers Liu Chang, Wu Shuai, and Wang Yukun, completed the Xiong’An Green Building Exhibition Center in August 2023. Located in the namesake city in China, this project serves as a primary green building display. The design prioritizes energy conservation, using exclusively LED lamps to achieve a low lighting power density of 0.8W/㎡

1. Xiong’An Green Building Exhibition Center - ph. Zhou Li

The lighting strategy aims to enhance the architectural form of the building with minimal fixtures, creating a functional yet visually appealing nightscape. Thanks to careful coordination of the brightness levels between adjacent buildings and employing diverse lighting techniques for various functional zones, the project effectively showcases the integration of sustainability and design.

2. Xiong’An Green Building Exhibition Center - ph. Zhou Li

Bundanon Art Museum

3. Bundanon Art Museum - ph. Rohan Venn

Steensen Varming‘s lighting design for the Bundanon Art Museum in Illaroo, Australia, was completed in 2022, utilizing natural daylight and solar-powered electric light to minimize fossil fuel use. By day, large windows allow sunlight to flood the interiors, reducing the need for artificial lighting. At night, the lighting strategy is subtle and purpose-driven, focusing on specific areas to create a warm atmosphere without external illumination.

4. Bundanon Art Museum - ph. Rohan Venn

The design employs sensors to activate lights only when necessary, significantly cutting energy consumption. High-performance fittings with changeable optics offer flexibility and adaptability, ensuring optimal lighting conditions for different exhibits. Integrated, low-level path and bench lighting minimizes light pollution, protecting the local ecology and preserving the natural night sky.

5. Bundanon Art Museum - ph. Rohan Venn

Circular Economy | Seeds of Light

Tillotson Design Associates demonstrated their commitment to sustainability with the ‘Seeds of Light’ installation at Lightfair NYC 2023. Led by Erin Dreyfous, Chandni Azeez, Noor Traboulsi, and Maria Mendes. The primary structure is a repurposed greenhouse frame, utilizing an innovative fixture mounting system made from expanded metal mesh to support LED point lights. Reflective flooring enhances the visual impact, allowing the design to achieve a total circular form while using only half the resources. 

6. Seeds of Light - ph. Tillotson Design Associates

The recyclable, lightweight paper was meticulously hand-cut and rolled to create an intricate topography of extruded petal forms. These petals are kept in tension within the light net, revealing dynamic ‘seeds’ of light interacting with viewers from various angles. The lighting system features tailored programming to simulate the cyclical process of germination, growth, and blooming, reinforcing the connection to nature and life cycles. This approach minimizes emissions and waste, demonstrating how resource efficiency and meaningful design can coexist.

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