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Programming Inventorying Existing Spaces Establishing Design Goals. Measurement of light. Units of measurement. Candela (cd)(metric unit) Candlepower (Non-metric unit) The fundamental photometric quantity of luminous intensity The light output of an ordinary candle

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measurement of light
Measurement of light

Units of measurement

Candela (cd)(metric unit)

Candlepower (Non-metric unit)

The fundamental photometric quantity of luminous intensity

The light output of an ordinary candle

The luminous intensity, in a given direction (A solid angle), of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 x 1012 Hz and that has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 W/steridian

Radiant Flux

Radiant Power

The transfer of Radiant Energy per unit of time

(Rae, 2000)

measurement of light1
Measurement of light

Units of measurement

Steradian - The solid angle

For a sphere having a radius of oneunit, a one-square-unit area on the sphere’s surface represents a solid angle of one steradian

Luminous flux

The radiant flux falling on a unit area of the sphere’s surface (steradian) from a source at the center of one candela

(Rae, 2000)

measurement of light2
Measurement of light

Units of measurement

Lumen (lm)

  • The unit of luminous flux (power)
  • The quantity of luminous flux falling on one square unit (steridian) the sphere’s surface is one lumen (lm)
  • The area of the sphere’s surface is 4 square units, so the luminous intensity of one candela(cd) produces a total luminous flux of 4 lumens (12.57 lumens)

(Rae, 2000)

measurement of light3
Measurement of light

Units of measurement


The concentrationof luminous flux falling on a surface


The illuminance on a sphere with a radius of 1 meter (m) (1 lm/m2))


The illuminance on a sphere with a radius of 1 foot (ft) (1 lm/ft2)

Lux = FC x 10.76

FC = Lux/10.76

(Rae, 2000)

measurement of light4
Measurement of light

Units of measurement


  • The visual effect that luminance produces
  • The light entering the eye
  • Depends on Illuminance
  • The projected area on a plane perpendicularto the direction of view
  • Unit of measurement –cd/m2
brightness perception light distribution
Brightness Perception / Light distribution


  • Concentrated
  • Diffuse


  • Downward Lighting
    • Has a restricted angular spread
    • Glare is prevented by spread and the eyebrow
    • Referred to as direct lighting
  • Upward Lighting
    • Usually indirectreflection from ceiling surface
    • Multi-directional
    • Lateral directioning is limited
brightness perception light distribution1
Brightness Perception / Light distribution

Concentrated Downward (Direct)

  • Narrow beam spread
  • Beam spread of 30degree or less
  • Low ceiling - overlap of beam on floor surface is difficult

Diffuse Downward (Direct)

  • Beam spreads of 80 to 120 degree
  • Most downlights offer this
  • Yield a low contrast setting
brightness perception light distribution2
Brightness Perception / Light distribution

Concentrated Upward (Indirect)

  • Ceiling becomes visually prominent
  • Ceiling becomes a secondary light source
  • In low ceiling situations areas of high luminance can cause glare
  • In high ceiling situations beam overlap may occur creating uniform lighting

Diffuse Upward (Indirect)

  • Uniform ceiling luminance
brightness perception light distribution3
Brightness Perception / Light distribution

Multidirectional Diffuse (General Diffuse)

  • The upward indirect distribution will diffuse the downward distribution
  • May create a uniform, high-brightness interior

Semi-direct and Semi-indirect - %

Vertical Surface Illumination

  • May be a substitute for indirect ceiling lighting
  • Lightens shadow andreduces excessive contrast

Direct / Indirect

Often the ideal lighting arrangement

subjective impressions
Subjective Impressions


Uniform peripheral lighting – Wall lighting

Intensity of room perimeter

Uniformity of room perimeter


Non-uniform lighting

Peripheral wall emphasis rather than overhead lighting

Privacy or Intimacy


Tendency toward low light intensities in the immediate surroundings with higher brightness remote from the viewer

peripheral emphasis is a reinforcing factor, not a decisive one

subjective impressions1
Subjective Impressions

Pleasantness and Preference

Non-uniform lighting systems from concentrated down lighting systems

Peripheral wall emphasis - non uniform


Conditions in which fine detail in the periphery are obscured

High task luminance with low luminance on the peripheral surfaces


Increases stimulation and impressions of pleasantness

Vary visual environment during the daily activities

Ideal is a controllable variability of the lighting environment

Finishes, textures, color variation


ReferencesGordon, G. (2003). Interior lighting for designers (4th ed.). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.Rea, M. S. (2000). The IESNA lighting handbook: Reference and application (9th ed.) New York: IESNA.Steffy, G. (2002). Architectural lighting design (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.Michel, L. (1996). Light: The shape of space: Designing with space and light. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.West, J. L. (2001). Architectural Lighting Design. (personal lecture notes. Professor James West, Dean, Mississippi State University, College of ArchitecturePile, J. F. (2003). Interior design (3rd ed.). New York: Prentiss Hall.


Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Space Dimensions

  • Size of space impacts many lighting issues
  • Low ceilings – separation of fixtures may cause non- uniform lighting

Narrow, low ceiling spaces offer the least efficient use of light

Ceiling heights less than 9’ are unlikely candidates for ceiling-suspended indirect, semi-indirect, or direct/indirect lighting systems

  • Space measurements may afford quick Take-offs to ball- park budget issues (experience)

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Spatial form

Generally, larger, moderate ceiling heights (10 to 12’) offer more efficient use of daylight and electric light

Long, narrow spaces with low ceilings promote a sense of enclosure or confinementespecially with no wall lighting

Architectural element focus

Lighting and color can help in the spatial perception of apparent size


Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Space Activities

  • The variety of activities will affect the need for illuminancevariation to match the activity requirements
  • Activities for the project may be different from the existing spaces
  • How spaces are to be used and what kinds of visual activities may be involved

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Visual Tasks

  • Survey and observe users regarding the kinds of tasks they typically perform and the durationof the tasks and the time of day
  • Size of tasks
  • This will help establish lighting criteria(goals) appropriate to address these tasks

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Occupants Ages

  • Occupants in newly designed spaces will usually have the same demographics
  • Lighting criteria should be developed based on these age groupings
  • Scale of tasks will make a difference
  • 60 year old eyes need twice as much light as 20 year-old eyes
  • Aging eyes are also more sensitive to glare – optical distribution, indirect versus direct
  • Increase in adaptation time
  • Decrease in visual acuity
  • Decrease in contrastsensitivity
  • Color distortion – yellowing of lens

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces


  • Lighting system efficiencyis greatly influenced by furnishings
  • Shadows can result in complaints of dimness or too little light – a result of furniture size and configurations

Ex: Work station partition height related to ceiling height. (less than3’ difference)

  • Subjective impressions – feeling of confinement
  • Need to understand furniture in elevation

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Surface Finishes and Color

  • Surface finishes and color affect both the objective (quantitative)aspects of light and the subjective (qualitative) aspects of light
  • Reviewing the reflectance and the gloss of surfaces will help in understanding glare (or lack thereof) and degree of overall brightness impressions (or lack thereof)
  • Surface reflectancesinfluence transient adaptation as users switch views among paper tasks, computer tasks, and background surfaces

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Existing Lighting

  • Existinglighting may be inadequate but the users have adapted
  • Illuminance measurements should be made on both horizontal and verticalsurfaces
  • Record types of lampsand luminaresused and their layout
  • Record daylight-admittingopenings as well
  • Probably the most problematic lighting solution would be the users’ existing situation that is identified by the users as problematic – so, in order to improve you need knowledge of existing user criticisms.

Inventorying Conditions of Existing Spaces

Owner’s Feedback and Expectations

  • What is the imagethe owner wants to promote
  • Are there quality expectations that the owner has seen or experienced in other facilities and wants to incorporate
  • What are the egoissues
  • Budgetrequirements
  • Decorative lighting may improve productivity – pleasant atmosphere.

Establishing Lighting Design Goals

Those attributes, both soft (subjective) and hard (objective) that the lighting system is designed to address

Goals are not fixed but are the direction the design team is striving to meet.


Establishing Design Goals

Goal Change

  • Financialproblems develop
  • Owners’ and users’ opinionschange
  • There is a change in staffof the owner
  • Corporate takeover

“Providing only enough light may, in fact, create occupant complaints and dissatisfaction and ultimately lead to a reduction in performance, less time spent in the offending environment, and an overall morale problem”

( Steffy, 2002, pg 43)


Establishing Design Goals

Spatial Factors

Visual environment pleasantness

Lighting hardware scale and shape

Lighting hardware spacing and relationships to architectural elements and other building systems

Luminance patterns, intensities, and uniformities

Spatial definition – Patterns that support the architecture, wall, ceiling, focus

Spatial order – 3-D and 2-D – Sympathetic to the architecture

Circulation – help to direct, intensity factor

Flexibility – moveable

Controls – functionality - energy use, load shedding, lamp life

Acoustics – Ballasts and transformers noise impact

HVAC – Lighting loads (cooling), positioning

Ceiling systems – reflectance characteristics, trim, tegular, plenum

Codes – egress, thermal protection, ADA, power limits

Ordinances – Light trespass

Sustainability – efficacy, lamp life, white light, recycling, embedded energy


Establishing Design Goals

Psychological and Physiological Factors

Sensory responses – color temperature/temperature sense

Visual hierarchies and focal factors

Signification, visual interest, distraction

Visual attraction – perception, chromatic contrast

Subjective impressions

clarity, spaciousness, preference, relaxation, intimacy

Daylighting– view, health, illuminance, sustainability


Health – UV, Vitamin D, Circadian rhythm


Establishing Design Goals

Task Factors

Visual tasks – including facial recognition

Illuminances – fc


Disability glare, discomfort glare, reflected glare, veiling reflection

Surface reflectances – spectral, spread, diffuse (guidelines)

Surface transmittances – direct, spread, diffuse (guidelines)