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What Is LED Facade Lighting And How Does It Work?

LED facade lighting is the premium option to illuminate the exterior of a building. It highlights the special features of the architecture while keeping energy consumption low. Because of the nature of LED lights, it’s possible to make artistic applications to facade lighting. In this article, you’ll know more about LED facade lighting and how it works to bring out the beauty of any building.

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What is LED facade lighting?

LED facade lighting can do wonders for the exterior of buildings. It uses LED lights strategically put in place to highlight the unique features of the building at night. The whole purpose is to enhance the visual appeal of the building and attract attention to its architectural design.

While the primary purpose of facade lighting is to illuminate buildings, the application possibilities are growing. It no longer just brings brightness. It can also convey a message, ignite a campaign, or advertise and promote a company, thought, or event.

Additionally, zoning and urban plans appreciate how facade lighting helps with tourism. They encourage installing facade lights on historical structures and even monuments and bridges. This is ideal for attracting people from all over to come and visit the city.

Of course, this is only possible if the lights are put in the right place and at the right angle. This is why light experts should be careful with how they position the lights. The distance and the beam angle play an essential role in highlighting the building facade correctly. The type of light is also an important consideration.

With the growing popularity of LED lights, it has become one of the top preferences among architects and facade lighting experts. There’s a good reason for that because the use of LED facade lighting comes with a lot of benefits.

Benefits of using LED facade lighting

Using LED lights for the facade lighting of a building comes with a lot of advantages. Here are some of them.

  • Cost-efficient. The initial purchase of LED lights isn’t the cheapest in the market. However, since it lasts long, it becomes incredibly affordable. There’s no need to change the lights as often as you would do for other types of light fixtures like halogen, etc.
  • Lower maintenance. Since LED lights last very long, you don’t have to replace them often – unless it physically breaks because of an external force. But by themselves, LED lights already have a long life span.
  • Energy efficient. LED lights consume less energy as it relates to the brightness that they can produce. This means you don’t have to use too much electricity to get the type of illumination that you want.
  • Eco-friendly. LED is more eco-friendly if you compare it with incandescent bulbs that give 95% heat and 5% light. It only gives 5% heat while giving off 95% light.
  • Easy to control. The typical design of LED lights connects it with controllers and drivers. That means you can operate the facade lighting to show different colors. You can also manipulate the brightness of the lights as necessary.

How to correctly illuminate facade through LED lighting

You need to define three things if you want to correctly illuminate a building facade with LED lighting – the building design, the part you want to highlight, and the purpose of the lights.

First is the building design and structure. The application of lights differs depending on the material or design of the building. For instance, facade lights are different on solid walls versus one with many glass windows.

The second is the specific part of the facade you want to highlight. Do you want to highlight the wall itself? Or are there columns or ceilings that you want to illuminate?

And third is the purpose of the facade lighting. Some only want to highlight the architecture. Others want to convey a message through their lights. Some want to entertain through a light show on the building’s facade.

Once you know these three things, you can easily plan the application of your LED facade lighting.

Here are other considerations that you have to keep in mind.

Light distribution

This refers to the distribution of light across the facade of the building. There are lighting techniques like wall washing with a uniform way of highlighting the whole facade. Some only want to create specific impressions on some regions of the structure.

To make these happen, you can choose to have a narrow or wide distribution of lights. Choose to use a narrow spotlight for distribution of up to 8°. You can use a regular spotlight if you want a 10° to 20° distribution. Use floodlights for a wider beam of light of up to 30°. There are unique LED floodlights that can reach up to 50° to 90° – but these might have to be custom-made.

Colors and contrasts

The great thing about LED lights is you can have them in different colors and even contrasts. You must choose a 3000K temperature to show warm tones if you want warm colors. This is ideal for showcasing wooden structures. Cooler tones like 4000K color temperatures are great for concrete structures. You can also choose RGBW LED lights to create entertaining and vibrant light shows.

When applying the colors, you don’t have to limit yourself to one shade or brightness. LED lights connect to a controller and driver so you can manipulate them.

A balance between beauty and light pollution

While LED facade lights can go very bright without consuming a lot of electricity, that doesn’t mean you should crank up the brightness. You must find the balance between illuminating the facade and limiting light pollution.

Sometimes, when the light is too bright, the glare becomes distracting. Instead of becoming appealing, the facade lights become irritating.

So make sure you control the direction of the lights so there will be no spilling of brightness over the building and onto other structures. Since you’re using LED lights, this should be easy to control and dim when necessary.

Position of lights

You can position LED facade lights from different angles – from below, on top, near the wall, or far away. Your choice will depend on what type of lighting effect you want to have on the facade of the building.

The position of the lights will also determine what type of lighting fixture you’ll use – whether it’s spotlights, floodlights, inground lights, etc.

Some lighting designs prefer the lights to be invisible, while others showcase the lights themselves as a work of art.

3 LED facade lighting effects

If you want to choose the right facade lighting effect, here are 3 options you can choose from.

LED Pixel

This provides a lighting effect that comes from an array of LED lights. All these connect to an integrated control chip. What’s great about these lights is they can take on any arrangement. Whether it’s to create a long line of LED lights or a wider form – all of these are possible when you use LED lights.

LED displays usually consist of several LEDs in a single flat panel. These flat panels can come in varying positions. You can choose to have a line of white LED panels or alternating blue, green, and red colors.

These LED lights make creating unique light designs that you can control easily. You can create images, patterns, and even videos.

Tube LEDs

These refer to LED lights that come in tubular form. This is ideal for highlighting the outline of buildings and various structures like bridges, monuments, etc.

This is actually like LED strip lights. But this is more flexible and can last longer. It also produces a higher level of brightness.

You can customize these tube LEDs to meet your preference in size, length, color, and even the color of the tube where the LEDs are in.

When you use this on high-rise buildings, it allows people from far away to see the building. This makes the building rise above the rest of the cityscape. When you view it up close, tube LEDs can also bring attention to the impressive features of a facade.

Tube LEDs don’t have to come in only one color for the length. The positioning of different LEDs within the tube allows different colors of LEDs inside. This gives off a colorful effect once it is put on the building facade.

Colored floodlights

Colorful wall washing is a great way to create an entertaining light show. While the primary purpose is to highlight the beauty and features of the building, it can also give off an artistic vibe. And if you can control it to change the colors and brightness of the lights, that can be an entertaining show for spectators.

Usually, floodlights are ideal for this application – specifically if it involves a wide wall space. Since these are LED floodlights won’t consume a lot of energy, thus keeping the costs low for the owners. Not only that, these floodlights are good for the environment. They don’t release toxic elements and can control their heat emissions.

The future of LED facade lighting

The future of LED facade lighting will only get better from here. Lighting experts and industry designers continue to uncover ways to use LED lights to highlight building facades.

Architects have come to include facade lighting in their building structures. Specifically in the building materials that they use. It’s also a part of the systems they incorporate into the building to monitor the structure’s integrity.

When choosing the right LED facade lighting, experts should consider the need for cost-efficiency, durability, and wearability. Facade lights are outdoors. That means these should withstand any outdoor elements without compromising the quality of lights it emits.

Fortunately, LED lights won’t have a problem delivering these. It can also meet the sustainability and environment-friendly rules set by zoning regulations. That’s because LEDs are carbon-free, do not emit too much heat, and do not have toxic elements.

Apart from that, several innovations specifically focus on LED lights. These include dynamic LED lights that allow completely programmable light fixtures and media facades to display multimedia technology on buildings and structures.

These are only a few of what you can expect regarding the future of LED facade lights.


Using LED facade lighting will not just highlight the incredible features of any building or structure. You can use it to promote a message, create an entertaining show, and improve the overall ambiance in any place.

LED lights make the best facade lights because you can customize them to fit a wide array of lighting designs. RC Lighting has years of experience creating unique lighting solutions if you have specific lighting requirements.

Get in touch with us to discuss your latest lighting project. We’ll give you a fair quote in no time.

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