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    Bringing historical buildings out of the shadows with color consistency

    When new buildings are being planned and designed, architects need to be mindful of how they blend in with their surroundings. Meanwhile, lighting professionals need to ensure that older buildings aren't forgotten and left in the shadows.

    Historical buildings are an integral part of any city. From office blocks constructed in the 1920s and 1930s to museums, they each have a story behind them. Preserving these buildings, including retaining, refurbishing and reusing them, is important not just for the diversity of a city, but because they contribute to its identity. They are a visual representation of a city's heritage and permanency – while the face of an urban area will change over the decades, historical buildings remain constant.


    Timeworn buildings, such as concert halls and libraries, have long been cornerstones of communities too – places where people come together to celebrate culture and learn from one another.


    Lighting can play an important role in drawing people towards them and enticing them inside. By strategically placing lighting fixtures throughout a building's exterior architecture, it's possible to create a night-time presence that is iconic and grabs the attention of passers-by and tourists. Meanwhile, when it comes to the interior, designers should think about how they can create an entrance and lobby area that is warm and welcoming.


    And how to make sure the building will shine in its best? A key component in all of this is color consistency. Any slight variation in the color of individual LEDs that is noticeable to the human eye has the potential to be off-putting to passers-by. This could make a building appear less inviting and subsequently reduce the footfall it experiences.


    With LED chips being mass produced, it's inevitable that there will be some variation. The standard post-manufacturing process of binning is designed to achieve consistency to a certain extent, by grouping LED chips by color uniformity. This helps to minimise any difference that might be visible from fixture to fixture or from production run to production run. Now though, thanks to Optibin™, which is one of the latest Color Kinetics technologies from Philips, it's possible to ensure a greater level of consistency of LED color output.


    Optibin™ is a smarter approach to binning that taps into the rapid advances being made in smart technology and digital disruption. Optibin™ uses a proprietary algorithm to bin LEDs by flux and color point, exceeding industry standards for chromaticity. The technology can be used with all of Philips Color Kinetics eW® products.


    Achieving consistency of LED color with greater precision can have a big impact on phased installations. For example, when large buildings are being renovated and fitted with fixtures over a period of time.


    More importantly, consistent color means there's continuity in urban architecture. Historical buildings are part of the fabric of a city's culture and identity, so it's vital that they don't fade into the shadows. By ensuring that they're lit, and lit well, they can be brought to life, complement the newer buildings and grab attention, living long in people's memories.