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9 Questions

What is the purpose of architectural lighting design?

What is the most efficient source of electric light?

What is the purpose of photometric studies in architectural lighting design?

What is the Zonal Cavity Method used for?

What is the most popular type of lighting for homes and businesses?

What is the purpose of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)?

What are the different layers of lighting design?

What is the purpose of taking into account the color temperature of illumination?

What was the U.S. L Prize competition?


Architectural Lighting Design: Key Facts and Figures

  • Architectural lighting design is a field of work concerned with the design of lighting systems within the built environment, both interior and exterior.

  • The purpose of architectural lighting design is to balance the characteristics of light within a space to optimize the technical, the visual, and the non-visual components of ergonomics with respect to illumination of buildings or spaces.

  • The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) was formed in 1906, and the UK version was established in 1909 (now known as the Society of Light and Lighting and part of CIBSE). The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) was established in 1913.

  • Lighting design layers include: task layer, focal layer, ambient layer, decorative layer, and daylight layer. Each layer contributes a function to the space and often they work together to create a well-composed lighting design.

  • Photometric studies are performed to simulate lighting designs for projects before they are built or renovated. This enables architects, lighting designers, and engineers to determine whether a proposed lighting layout will deliver the amount of light intended.

  • For lighting building interiors, it is often important to take into account the color temperature of illumination.

  • The Zonal Cavity Method is used as a basis for both hand, tabulated, and computer calculations.

  • Different types of electric lighting have vastly differing efficacy and color temperature.

  • The most efficient source of electric light is the low-pressure sodium lamp.

  • Incandescent light bulbs were commercialized in the 1920s, developed from the carbon filament lamp introduced in about 1880.

  • Lighting fixtures come in a wide variety of styles for various functions. The most important functions are as a holder for the light source, to provide directed light and to avoid visual glare.

  • Architectural lighting designer is a stand-alone profession that sits alongside the professions of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and electrical engineering.Comparison of Different Types of Lamps

  • Incandescent lamps are the traditional type of lamps that use a tungsten filament, but they are not very energy efficient.

  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use a combination of gas and electricity to produce visible light, and can save energy compared to incandescent lamps.

  • Fluorescent lamps contain mercury vapor or argon and are coated with phosphors to produce visible light when struck by ultraviolet energy.

  • LED lamps are now used for general lighting applications due to the invention of high-output LEDs by Shuji Nakamura.

  • LEDs were initially used for lamp assemblies of under 10 W, such as flashlights, due to their high cost per lumen.

  • The development of higher-output lamps was motivated by programs such as the U.S. L Prize.

  • The U.S. L Prize was a competition to create a high-quality, high-efficiency LED lamp to replace traditional incandescent bulbs.

  • The winning lamp was a Philips LED bulb that used only 10 watts of power and had a lifespan of over 25,000 hours.

  • LED lamps have a long lifespan, low energy consumption, and are more environmentally friendly than other types of lamps.

  • Some LED lamps are dimmable, and can be adjusted to different levels of brightness.

  • LED lamps are more expensive than other types of lamps, but their long lifespan and energy efficiency can make them more cost-effective in the long run.

  • LEDs are now the most popular type of lighting for homes and businesses due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan.


Test your knowledge on architectural lighting design with this quiz! From the purpose of lighting design to the different types of lamps used for various functions, this quiz covers key facts and figures in the field. Learn about lighting design layers, photometric studies, color temperature, and more. See how much you know about this important aspect of architecture and engineering.

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