In Defense of Lighting Quality

Light + Quality

Editorial Disclaimer
The views expressed in articles published on FIRES do not necessarily reflect those of IES or represent endorsement by the IES.

By Darcie Chinnis, PhD, PE, IALD, MIES, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP
Senior Associate, HLB Lighting Design
IES Research Symposium Chair

Light + QualityLighting is often described as a balance of engineering and art – where creative aspirations are balanced with functional needs and ultimately often limited by energy code requirements. Different project types typically weigh different parts of that equation based on the type of space, type of client, aspirational goals such as LEED or WELL, and budget. All too often, quality of lighting is seen as an option rather than a requirement, and thus becomes the sacrifice quickly offered to eliminate one constraint from this complex dance.

But beyond providing illuminance levels compliant with standards and constructed very narrowly to support fundamental visual performance of a particular visual task, lighting design can consider the larger impact on the occupants of a space. In any space, the fundamental design criterion of light on the work plane is important and defines the quantity of light in a space. But the quality of that delivered light and how that quality impacts occupants inherently determines the success of the application.1

As lighting products continue to improve, we can make significant reductions to the energy required to meet our quantity requirements. But it seems logical that there may be a constraining factor if we consider that the quality of the lighting should hold equal stature in the engineering effort.

Lighting quality can often take on life as a “fluffy” term – is the lighting design good? Is it cool or fancy or interesting? But there are fundamental parts of lighting that contribute to the quality of the design and can be measured. These include metrics regarding the light source itself (for example, color rendering,2 saturation, spectral power distribution,3 flicker,4 glare5), the distribution of light in a space (e.g., light pattern, uniformity, controllability, visual comfort6), how that distribution changes over time (e.g., with dimming or daylighting7), and the non-visual impacts (e.g. circadian impacts,8 naturalness, comfort), among others.

Similarly, the qualitative ways we describe human responses to lighting are often also “fluffy” – how does it make you feel? Do you like it? But again there are fundamental outcomes of lighting that are not necessarily directly paralleled by visual performance. These include nonvisual outcomes (e.g., eye strain,9 visual ergonomics10), performance metrics that are a result of visual performance (such as error rates, productivity,11 work behaviors12), health effects (including acute effects, long-term effects,13 recovery rates), and economic impacts (such as retail sales14 and “attraction lighting”), among others.

Taking these two sides into account – that there can be metrics associated with how we define quality lighting and metrics associated with how we measure quality lighting – it seems logical that the concept of quality can move beyond the “fluffy” and be used to craft a more staunch and justified position in defense of design.

We’ve also seen an increased focus on quality in the aspirational standards. LEED v4 promotes quality lighting design as being equally important as other energy efficiency measures, in an effort to make sure that we haven’t lost the forest for the trees. The WELL standard promotes quality lighting design, through visual balance and reduced flicker, as being equally important as other health-related design and operations measures as an overall focus on the whole person.

As a lighting designer, I lean heavily on industry standards to help design quality lighting applications. We can be inventive, find novel ways to approach design and integration with architecture, and push the boundaries of conventional lighting approaches. But fundamentally, I rely on industry metrics and standards to help guide product selection and design. CRI and TM-30 metrics help me evaluate the color rendering quality of light being delivered. IEEE-compliant devices help me avoid (to the extent possible) flicker from my LED sources. The IES Handbook and RPs help me define the extent to which uniformity is helpful, or contrast is valuable, or sparkle is acceptable. But connecting those steps with a direct through-line to the potential nonvisual outcomes, health effects, or economic benefits is often challenging and undefined.

As we watch energy codes continue to reduce lighting power density – a necessary step in reducing the impact of the built environment – it seems inevitable that we will reach a position where, despite the wildly successful increase in efficiency of lighting technology, lighting quality may not be achievable under certain circumstances. Are we as an industry ready to argue why W/sq.ft is not the only criterion? Are we ready to defend that position with research and data that support an economic case for lighting quality?

The 2020 IES Research Symposium, “Light + Quality,” will be focused on addressing this particular issue. The symposium format will provide for the sharing of current metrics, research methods, and results, with the goal of rallying the lighting research and applications communities together around the shared need to promote the importance of elevating the focus on quality lighting design.

References
1 Veitch JA. Psychological processes influencing lighting quality. J Illum Engineering Soc. 2001;30(1):124-140.
2 House, K, Mossman M, Smet K, Whitehead L. (2016). Tutorial: Color rendering and its applications in lighting. Leukos. 2016;12(1-2):7-26.
3 Küller R, Ballal S, Laike T, Mikellides B, Tonello G. The impact of light and colour on psychological mood: a cross-cultural study of indoor work environments. Ergonomics. 2006;49(14):1496-1507.
4 Poplawski ME, Miller NJ. Flicker in Solid-State Lighting: Measurement Techniques, and Proposed Reporting and Application Criteria. Proc Intl Commission on Illum, Paris; 2013.
5 Kent MG, Fotios S, Altomonte S. An experimental study on the effect of visual tasks on discomfort due to peripheral glare. Leukos. 2019;15(1):17-28.
6 Iacomussi P, Radis M, Rossi G, Rossi L. (2015). Visual comfort with LED lighting. Energy Procedia. 2015;78:729-734.
7 Van Den Wymelenberg K, Inanici M. A critical investigation of common lighting design metrics for predicting human visual comfort in offices with daylight. Leukos. 2014;10(3):145-164
8 Rea M, Figueiro M, Bullough J. Circadian photobiology: an emerging framework for lighting practice and research. Lighting Res Technol. 2002;34(3):177–187.
9 Bullough J, Akashi Y, Fay C, Figueiro M. Impact of surrounding illumination on visual fatigue and eyestrain while viewing television. J Applied Sci. 2006;6(8):1664-70.
10 Saklani A, Jha S. Impact of Ergonomic Changes on Office Employee Productivity. Intl J Mgmt Research. 2011;2(1).
11 Clements-Croome D, Baizhan L. Productivity and indoor environment. Proc Healthy Bldgs. 2000;1:629-634.
12 Kattman B, Corbin T, Moore L, Walsh L. Visual workplace practices positively impact business processes. Benchmarking Intl J. 2012;19(3):412-430.
13 Fisk WJ, Rosenfeld AH. Estimates of improved productivity and health from better indoor environments. Indoor Air. 1997;7:158-172
14 Freyssinier JP, Frering D, Taylor J, Narendran N, Rizzo P. Reducing lighting energy use in retail display windows. Proc SPIE 6337, 6th Intl Conf Solid State Lighting; 2006.

 

Contributor(s)

Darcie Chinnis

Darcie Chinnis

Darcie has worked in the lighting industry since 2005. She has been involved in the design and engineering of complex lighting and control systems for a wide range of project types, and her projects have been honored with a number of IES Awards of Merit. She is a specialist in... More info »
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

EP Zoom Platinum Sponsor - $20,000

What’s in it for you?

  •    Sponsor 5 Students/Emerging Professionals and the EP Day presentation platform
  •    Visibility and awareness before breakout rooms and throughout the event
  •    Opportunity to present a live or prerecorded personal closing message (15 seconds-1 minute duration)
  •    Shout-outs throughout the event
  •    Recognition as an EP Program Sponsor on all event communication
  •    Recognition on the IES Annual Conference homepage
  •    Recognition on the IES Annual Conference Emerging Professional homepage

EP Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsor students and emerging professionals to attend the virtual Annual Conference event or the in-person Street & Area Lighting Conference. Student and EP recipients selected by Emerging Professional Committee.

EP Breakout Room Sponsor - $8,000

What do you get?

  •    Sponsor breakout room for live engagement and networking during EP Day
  •    Opportunity to present a live or prerecorded personal welcome message (15 seconds-1 minute duration)
  •    Visibility and awareness at the start of the schedule
  •    Personalized zoom backgrounds for moderators
  •    Recognition as an EP Program Sponsor on all event communication
  •    Recognition on the IES Annual Conference homepage
  •    Recognition on the IES Annual Conference Emerging Professional homepage
  •    Opportunity to provide personalized swag to attendees and moderators

EP Game Sponsor - $5,000

What are the benefits?

  •    Sponsor live interactive game session(s) during EP Day
  •    Ability to use your personal game hosting platform for the game session (IES can provide platform if needed)
  •    Be a Game Co-Host
  •    Opportunity to provide personalized swag or selection of IES publications as prize options

1 X Event Sponsor - $5,000

What’s in it for you?

  •    Visibility and awareness before breakout rooms and throughout the event – graphic image of logo
  •    Opportunity to submit a prerecorded personal opening/closing message (15 seconds-1 minute duration)
  •    Shout-outs throughout the event
  •    Recognition as a Leadership Forum Sponsor on all event communication
  •    Recognition on the Leadership Forum homepage

6 X Breakout Room Sponsor - $1,000 – (1 for each of 6 Breakout Rooms)

What do you get?

  •    Visibility and awareness at the start of the schedule – [verbal announcement/thank you]
  •    Personalized Zoom background for moderators – [moderators must use if provided by sponsor]
  •    Recognition as a Leadership Forum Sponsor on all event communication
  •    Recognition on the Leadership Forum homepage

3 X Leadership Forum Kahoot Game Sponsor - $500

What are the benefits?

  •    Sponsor live interactive Kahoot game session(s) during LF Day
  •    Be a Game Co-Host (optional)
  •    Recognition as a Leadership Forum Sponsor on all event communication
  •    Recognition on the Leadership Forum homepage

1x Gold Sponsor- $25,000

  •    Recognition as a Gold Sponsor in a fourth (1/4) page placement for 2 months in LD+A magazine
  •    Recognition as Gold sponsor on event app and all event communication, excluding Registration and Daily Digest communications
  •    Full registration for two (2) to the Annual Conference
  •    Company logo and hyperlink placed on exhibitor page within event app

2x Keynote Sponsor- $10,000

  •    2-3 minute Opening
  •    Introduce keynote speaker
  •    Company logo and hyperlink placed on exhibitor page within event app

5x Virtual Break Sponsor - $6,000

  •    Provided graphic visible during break duration
  •    Recognition as Virtual Break sponsor on event app and all event communications, excluding Registration and Daily Digest communications
  •    Full Registration for one (1) to the Annual Conference

1x Opening Session Sponsor- $5,000

  •    90-second video prior to session start
  •    Company logo and hyperlink placed on exhibitor page within event app

1x Closing Session Sponsor- $5,000

  •    90-second video prior to session start
  •    Company logo and hyperlink placed on exhibitor page within event app

1x Society Update Sponsor - $5,000

  •    Recognition as Society Update sponsor throughout web
  •    Recognition as Society Update sponsor on event app and all event communication, excluding Registration and Daily Digest communications
  •    Full registration for one (1) to attend the 2021 Annual Conference
  •    90-second video prior to session start

1x Registration Sponsor - $5,000

  •    Visibility as sole sponsor on the registration page and in all registration focused communications
  •    Company logo and hyperlink placed on exhibitor page within event app

1x Daily Digest Sponsor - $5,000

  •    Visibility as sole sponsor in all Daily Digest focused communications
  •    Recognition on event webpage and communications as Daily Digest Sponsor

10x Event App Exhibitor Page Sponsor - $1,000

  •    Company logo and hyperlink placed on exhibitor page within event app