Prior to electric lighting, humans knew the importance of daylight and designed structures to allow day-light to enter using high level clerestory windows and double sided strategies.
As modern artificial lighting using LED technology becomes more and more efficient, it is easy to leave them switched on using low energy. However, as can be seen above, a space with good daylight levels means the ‘lights are off’ therefore using no energy and providing very long product life. This is our approach to sustainable lighting.
Happy people correlates with happy workers, which in turn leads to higher quality output. It’s very simple to see how, by providing better quality of light within a space, it will stimulate people. Chapters have been written about the effects and health benefits of providing daylight and many codes of practice and standards exist with targets. We surpass all these in our design and our approach to achieve better quality. At the same time, if the daylight strategy is correct then there is less demand for electric lighting which equates to a truly sustainable design.
It is important to simulate and analyse daylighting at very early stages of architectural design to ensure that daylight penetrates to the correct parts of the space. In addition to calculating how much daylight is available based on weather climate data, we also simulate shading devices and other systems for improving the distribution of daylight within spaces. Light shelves, brise soleil and natural shading devices can enhance daylight (as well as reduce it if not designed correctly) and ensuring that light gained is greater than light lost is critical in their design and installation. Analysis is performed iteratively over a complete annual basis to ensure that the whole local weather information is considered for higher degrees of accuracy. We use this information to inform dimming profiles for artificial lighting design and energy reduction.
It is common to read lighting designers presenting philosophy as an introduction to the world of lighting. Whilst the soft nature of lighting design is very important, consciously and sub-consciously, we are all individual in the perceptions that we experience of a space.
Our individual perceptions lead to our own personal idea of comfort and stimulation. Thus lighting design requires very close coordination with the occupants and the architectural language of the space.
Light should be played with to enable tasks, whether it is functional, entertainment, etc., whilst keeping in mind that you do not always need a lot of light to convey a message!
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”