We may not be aware of it, but we focus on and navigate after light in a room. We follow the light, we are drawn towards it instinctively, as we think a place that is lit up, is a place with some sort of activity. Hence this mechanism, light is a way of making a special hierarchy around the information of a place and in wayfinding we use it, when we need to make behavioural adjustment. If we are to guide people through a corridor that divides in two, people will always choose the side that is lit up. In Heathrow Airport, where Triagonal has done some of the wayfinding, light tracks in the ceilings help control the flow on the ground.
Light also enhances information. A graphic message becomes clearer when lit from behind. Light is a nudging instrument. If crowds are creating congestion on e.g. a platform, they can be nudged to move elsewhere by lightening up other zones nearby. And finally, and more than anything, light creates atmosphere. Soft light makes us relax, glaring light makes us efficient and sometimes stressed, and – whether we’re conscious about it or not – the quality of light always affects us.