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Use Light and Shadow

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Use Light and Shadow

Create Interest with Light and Shade

Many modern buildings have uniform lighting. Although this may be efficient, it can lack character and is often harsh. The elimination of shadows and the lack of movement reinforce the sterile, artificial character of many buildings. And did you know that poor lighting quality can cause sick building syndrome? Nature, on the other hand, provides us with subtle changes in light and shade. Dappled shade and gentle movement of shadows played through the foliage of interior plants can provide interest and enrichment to the indoor environment.

  • Place plants near windows - Plants with small leaves or delicate fronds can be placed near windows. This will provide dappled shade without blocking out too much useful daylight. They also have the additional benefit of helping to keep warm offices cool in summer.

  • Make use of decorative lighting (not just at Christmas) - Maybe place some low-voltage LED lights among plant displays. These small points of light can add interest and cast interesting shadows. LEDs are naturally cool, so the risk of heat damage is lessened and they can be powered by batteries or even solar cells.

  • Introduce artificial daylight - Full-spectrum lighting combined with interior plants can reduce stress, reduce absenteeism and increase performance, according to research carried out by Prof. Tove Fjeld in Norway. So-called SAD lights placed behind plants or full-spectrum fluorescent tubes fitted in the ceilings replicate daylight very well and lead to increased well-being for people and will benefit the plants too.

  • Shading - Plants can help reduce heat build up, especially in atriums and by sunny windows.

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