Lighting design is a process. It is the process
of integrating light into the fabric of architecture. Regardless of the space to
be lighted— a bank, a church, an office, a gallery, a restaurant, a store, a classroom—and
regardless of the light sources available for use, the process is always the same.
Knowledge of the basic principles of electricity
is necessary for understanding lighting circuitry, electrical distribution, power
consumption, operating costs, switch control, and dimming control.
Almost all lamps require a method to curtail
glare; in addition, many need a method to modify distribution.
Lighting design is a process. Specifically, it
is the process of integrating light into the fabric of architecture.
Perception of the world around us is based not
on the quantity of light entering the eye, but on the quantity of contrast.
Because the sense of sight is contrast sensitive,
the brightness contrast of a space determines its emotional impact.
Specifying the direction and distribution of
light in a space yields the desired brightness contrast.
Color is not a physical property of the things
we see it is the consequence of light waves bouncing off or passing through various
The goal of daylight design is to provide visual
variety with controlled brightness contrasts.
Directional sources, commonly called reflector
lamps, such as AR, MR, PAR, and R lamps, have built-in optical systems. All other
electric light sources require external devices to modify their distributions in
order to be useful in architectural applications.
It is impossible to see a foot candle. What is
seen is luminance, which is a function of the amount of light falling on a surface
and the reflectance of that surface, modified by the surrounding conditions and
adaptation of the eyes.