Light for outdoor urban spaces

The reciprocal relationship between nature, city, people and light

Zumtobel adds radiance and character to public areas, squares and streets with dynamic lighting solutions based on the "Active Light" concept. Simple spaces are transformed into attractive urban places that foster interaction. "Human Scale Lighting" uses people as the yardstick for lighting installations.

Humans are stimulated by the fundamental interplay between day and night. As crucial elements for emotional and biological wellbeing, light and darkness are inextricably linked, helping individuals to perceive their environment and interact with the world around them. Zumtobel always strives to provide the right light at the right time. In this way, ordinary urban spaces can become places to meet and greet others when the sun goes down.

Late evening hours: Soft light along traffic routes offers orientation and safety and trees lit vertically improve spatial perception. The station can be seen from all around thanks to its well-illuminated façade. Other softly accentuated buildings complete the nocturnal cityscape. © Zumtobel
Middle of the night: Only a few people are still crossing the park, accompanied by adaptive light. Vertical illumination of the trees along the main paths provides orientation and a feeling of safety. The station square and station façade are still softly illuminated for late-night travellers. © Zumtobel
Just before sunrise: The first commuters use the park. Trees are vertically illuminated to show the way and gentle light on the pavements further enhances orientation. High illuminance levels highlight the station square as the focal point, while dynamic lighting scenarios brighten up part of the square to stimulate interaction. © Zumtobel

Lighting solutions designed in line with the principles of "Active Light" acknowledge the fact that light affects people on three levels (visual, biological and emotional), adjusting the four key dimensions of intensity, direction, colour and time to reflect constantly changing human needs. Zumtobel has long been able to call on extensive expertise and a comprehensive portfolio to accompany people through the day and the night in interior spaces. Now, with the new modular SUPERSYSTEM outdoor and NIGHTSIGHT luminaire ranges, Zumtobel can fulfil differentiated lighting tasks in outdoor areas.

The individual as the lighting yardstick

Today the potential of outdoor lighting goes far beyond factors such as safety and orientation. Innovative lighting tools have the capacity to work like a filter, using light to carefully sculpt nocturnal living and working spaces. These solutions are geared towards the needs of people. As a result, depending on the particular situation and the specific time of night, the "light filter" is adapted to provide a light scenario that supports the people present. A stimulating lighting situation, for example, can encourage certain patterns of movement. The targeted use of dynamic light in varying intensities and colours also shapes how people experience their surroundings. As a consequence, light helps not only increase feelings of safety, but also plays a decisive role when it comes to enhancing the attractiveness of squares, streets and even entire urban neighbourhoods.

As an extension of the lighting solution developed in cooperation with Bartenbach, SUPERSYSTEM outdoor was first used in the Austrian ski resort of Lech am Arlberg. © Zumtobel
Zumtobel used SUPERSYSTEM outdoor to combine impressive design with uniform illumination for the new Sägerbrücke bridge in Dornbirn, Austria. © Zumtobel
The SUPERSYSTEM outdoor LED lighting solution has allowed Zumtobel to offer a new approach to the task-specific illumination of pathways, squares, streets and façades. © Zumtobel

The reciprocal relationship between nature, city, people and light

Solutions planned with "Human Scale Lighting" in mind also recognise that towns and cities are no longer closed systems, but that they now change and evolve with their inhabitants. Through the growing interconnectedness of the modern world, new forms of communication and perpetual technological progress, urban spaces have truly become 24-hour places. Activities that were previously only seen during the day are now increasingly being carried out during the evening and at night. This means that urban areas are used differently and more intensively – and therefore demands appropriate lighting solutions that can adapt seamlessly to these changing living conditions.

New LED outdoor luminaires naturally offer significant advantages in terms of energy efficiency, but they can also be combined with the right lighting controls to deliver light in a more targeted fashion. They improve three-dimensional perception and emphasise architectural features and points of reference to increase visual comfort and boost the quality of life in outdoor spaces. In addition, these kinds of solutions can markedly strengthen the identity of a location and support a brand image by accentuating the history and character of buildings, streets and squares.

The modular NIGHTSIGHT product family includes all the lighting tools needed to ensure both the uniform illumination of vertical and horizontal surfaces and the careful delivery of specific accents. © Zumtobel

Toolbox of light: modular lighting tools for outdoor urban spaces

Zumtobel worked closely with experts and designers from UNStudio to develop the NIGHTSIGHT LED outdoor lighting system. The result is a lighting tool that can call on a comprehensive range of optics and installation options to ensure both the uniform illumination of vertical and horizontal surfaces and the delivery of specific accents. SUPERSYSTEM outdoor fittings are made up of several LED light tubes. The fine precision and excellent glare control of the multi-zonal light catch the eye, while the luminaire itself remains very much in the background. Zumtobel has therefore developed a product range for the increasingly complex requirements of lighting in outdoor urban spaces – a portfolio reflecting the needs of the individual to enable high-quality architectural solutions that are in true harmony with nature.