VOL. 02 ISSUE 02
A Newsletter by InformeDesign. A Web site for design and human behavior research.
Lighting: Its Effect on People and Spaces
How do you light a candy store? How do you light a funeral parlor? How does the lighting affect our impression of the space? What makes the lighting in a space enjoyable? Or perhaps not enjoyable? Why do you choose to spend time in a particular space? Or perhaps not to spend time there? The answers to these questions are what make lighting an exciting subject. Some of it is common sense, but it takes research and/or experience to provide the justification.
of our built environments. Designers are concerned about the aesthetics, the art of lighting. It also means utilizing an enormous body of technical knowledge, and updating due to new technology, the science of lighting. But most importantly, lighting is for people, so there must be an understanding of the visual quality users need for health, safety, and enjoyment. While the big three are the people, the aesthetics, and technical body of knowledge, we are dreaming if we do not factor in the economics and the environment. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) has the basic body of knowledge on lighting in the IESNA Handbook. It includes summaries of recommended practice based upon research and consensus of successful lighting for specific applications. It also includes a section that discusses lighting quality and visability in our environments. The design issues discussed in this section include the following topics: appearance of space and luminaries, color appearance, daylighting integration and control, glare, light distribution, luminances of room surfaces, modeling of faces or objects, points of interest, shadows, source/task/eye geometry, desirable reflected highlights, surface characteristics, system control, solution
How is lighting design accomplished?
IN THIS ISSUE
Lighting: Its Effect on People and Spaces Related Research Summaries
To implement a successful lighting solution—we must fully understand lighting design. A variety of designers may function as the lighting designer, i.e., the architect, electrical engineer, facility manager, interior designer, landscape architect, or urban planner. While the profession is relatively small, there is a chance it might be one of those rare breeds that call themselves “lighting designers.” Sometimes designers light the spaces with an understanding of lighting design excellence. Sometimes it takes a lighting designer to make the vision of excellence a reality.
Lighting design is an art and a science. This is true for many components
flexibility, and level of illumination for specific tasks. Designers must consider many things, including the amount of illumination as one of the design criteria. The process for lighting designers follows the same basic phases used by all designers, going through programming and schematic design, through design development, etc. In the schematic design phase of the process, many lighting designers think in layers: —visual task: providing enough light to recognize a flaw in black silk or to be able to walk safely through a corridor —general lighting or ambient lighting: to set a mood or impression and maybe the lighting that provides for safe circulation within the space —visual interest: something that adds a touch of magic, or something to tickle the user’s “joy button.” It is interesting to note that visual interest, the third layer, may be a priority in a restaurant; however, adequate lighting for menu reading, and for safe circulation through the space are also layers to include! So it may be the aesthetics that drive the design solution, or perhaps it will be the task. For instance, if the task is brain surgery lighting for function, visibility, and visual comfort for the medical staff must drive the design. All layers may be important, but...