Here at Studiotech, one of our specialist application styles is catenary lighting and it is also my personal favourite! I am proud to say that we have been leading in this technique for some time, having completed several complex catenary solutions across the UK.
We’ve started to see an increased use of this style of lighting in public realm areas, parks, courtyards, bridges, and even commercial rooftop community spaces. We are also seeing a new wave of catenary lighting being used indoors, with recent projects seeing us complete atria, commercial buildings and shopping centre food halls.
Catenary lighting allows for flexible and otherwise unachievable lighting arrangements and effects. Utilising catenary lighting in open spaces and public realm areas creates a subtle transition between buildings and structures and the surrounding open spaces. The flexibility of this type of lighting is to provide functional, directional lighting or to highlight and bring architectural feature to a space which is key to maximising use and function of these outdoor areas that otherwise might feel gloomy or uninviting. When catenary lighting is designed and installed well, the benefits are endless.
We have seen the catenary lighting become a growing trend over these past couple of years; more so since we, as a nation, have felt the need to spend time outdoors and improve our public spaces since we have needed them more than ever.
Below are the reasons that in my opinion, catenary lighting is a great addition to your outdoor space.
Suspending the luminaires above the public realm maximises space and reduces clutter.
An overhead lighting solution reduces the need for traditional street lighting columns, subsequently maximising floor space and flow throughout the pedestrianised areas. This, in turn, creates a freer flowing footfall and makes sure this newly gained space can be used for other public realm improvements, like furniture and art pieces.
Catenary lighting provides precise, directional lighting.
Street lighting and building mounted fixtures tend to traditionally provide illumination along the border of the public realm area. A catenary cable system enables the designer to position the light fittings in the precise location required above the space which allows for functional and directional lighting exactly where it is needed. This means less lighting is required throughout the rest of the area reducing glare, light spill and even energy consumption.
Creates visual interest and decorative illumination.
Catenary lighting can also be used decoratively. From the sharp and stylish linear solution provided at The Springs in Leeds to the playful festoon style at the communal roof top break out area at a commercial development in Sheffield, catenary lighting can be a variety of styles which allows the designer to use the lighting as an attractive and decorative element of the design rather than for the sole purpose of functionality.
Encourages use and engagement during the darker hours.
Keeping the previously mentioned visual interest in mind and pair this with the precise, directional lighting, both add to the appeal and the safety of the public realm during darker hours. This leads to increased evening time use which also maximises the functionality and potential of the area.
These are just a handful of reasons why catenary lighting is becoming an increasingly popular choice for lighting designers, architects, and urban designers as the ideal solution to illuminate a public realm space.
And, whilst the final effect may look effortless, the installation of a system like those at Meadowhall, Sheffield and The Springs, Leeds for example, are far from it. This kind of solution takes a considerable amount of engineering and precise coordination between various subcontractors.
We have learnt the hard way how to overcome the challenges of a catenary system. But, we learn from experience. Here at Studiotech, we possess an array of in-house skills from structural specialists, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, electricians, CAD designers and programmers. These combined skills allow us to deliver the most complex and challenging of lighting projects to the highest of standards.