Lighting or illumination is the deliberate use of light to achieve a practical or aesthetic effect. Lighting includes the use of both artificial light sources like lamps and light fixtures, as well as natural illumination by capturing daylight. Daylighting (using windows, skylights, or light shelves) is sometimes used as the main source of light during daytime in buildings. This can save energy in place of using artificial lighting, which represents a major component of energy consumption in buildings. Proper lighting can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, or have positive psychological effects on occupants.
Indoor lighting is usually accomplished using light fixtures, and is a key part of interior design. Lighting can also be an intrinsic component of landscaping.
With the control of fire by early humans, the earliest form of artificial lighting used to illuminate an area were campfires or torches. As early as 400,000 BCE, fire was kindled in the caves of Peking Man. Prehistoric people used primitive oil lamps to illuminate surroundings. These lamps were made from naturally occurring materials such as rocks, shells, horns and stones, were filled with grease (lubricant), and had a fiber Candle wick. Lamps typically used animal or vegetable fats as fuel. Hundreds of these lamps (hollow worked stones) have been found in the Lascaux caves in modern-day France, dating to about 15,000 years ago. Oily animals (birds and fish) were also used as lamps after being threaded with a wick. Firefly have been used as lighting sources. Candles and glass and pottery lamps were also invented. In the 1850s, the price of whale oil dramatically increased (more than doubling from 1848 to 1856) due to shortages of available whales, hastening whale oil's decline. By 1860, there were 33 kerosene plants in the United States, and Americans spent more on gas and kerosene than on whale oil. The final death knell for whale oil was in 1859, when crude oil was discovered and the petroleum industry arose.
Gas lighting was economical enough to power street lights in major cities starting in the early 1800s, and was also used in some commercial buildings and in the homes of wealthy people. The gas mantle boosted the luminosity of utility lighting and of kerosene lanterns. The next major drop in price came about in the 1880s with the introduction of electricity in the form of Arc lamp for large space and street lighting followed on by incandescent light bulb based utilities for indoor and outdoor lighting.[http://www.edisontechcenter.org/ArcLamps.html The First Form of Electric Light History of the Carbon Arc Lamp (1800 - 1980s)'.Edison Tech Center, edisontechcenter.org]
Over time, electric lighting became ubiquitous in developed countries.
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. Some are very plain and functional, while some are pieces of art in themselves. Nearly any material can be used, so long as it can tolerate the excess heat and is in keeping with safety codes.
An important property of light fixtures is the luminous efficacy or wall-plug efficiency, meaning the amount of usable light emanating from the fixture per used energy, usually measured in Lumen (unit) per watt. A fixture using replaceable light sources can also have its efficiency quoted as the percentage of light passed from the "bulb" to the surroundings. The more transparency and translucency the lighting fixture is, the higher efficacy. Shadow the light will normally decrease efficacy but increase the directionality and the visual comfort probability.
Color temperature for white light sources also affects their use for certain applications. The color temperature of a white light source is the temperature in kelvins of a theoretical black body emitter that most closely matches the spectral characteristics of the lamp. An incandescent bulb has a color temperature around 2800 to 3000 kelvins; daylight is around 6400 kelvins. Lower color temperature lamps have relatively more energy in the yellow and red part of the visible spectrum, while high color temperatures correspond to lamps with more of a blue-white appearance. For critical inspection or color matching tasks, or for retail displays of food and clothing, the color temperature of the lamps will be selected for the best overall lighting effect.
Forms of lighting include alcove (architecture) lighting, which like most other uplighting is indirect. This is often done with fluorescent lighting (first available at the 1939 World's Fair) or rope light, occasionally with neon lighting, and recently with LED Strip Light. It is a form of backlighting.
Soffit or close to wall lighting can be general or a decorative wall-wash, sometimes used to bring out texture (like stucco or plaster) on a wall, though this may also show its wikt:defect as well. The effect depends heavily on the exact type of lighting source used.
Recessed lighting (often called "pot lights" in Canada, "can lights" or 'high hats" in the United States) is popular, with fixtures mounted into the ceiling structure so as to appear flush with it. These downlights can use narrow beam spotlights, or wider-angle Stage lighting instrument#Floodlightss, both of which are bulbs having their own mirrors. There are also downlights with internal reflectors designed to accept common 'A' lamps (light bulbs) which are generally less costly than reflector lamps. Downlights can be incandescent, fluorescent, High-intensity discharge lamp or LED.
Track lighting, invented by Lightolier, was popular at one period of time because it was much easier to install than recessed lighting, and individual fixtures are decorative and can be easily aimed at a wall. It has regained some popularity recently in low-voltage tracks, which often look nothing like their predecessors because they do not have the safety issues that line-voltage systems have, and are therefore less bulky and more ornamental in themselves. A master transformer feeds all of the fixtures on the track or rod with 12 or 24 volts, instead of each light fixture having its own line-to-low voltage transformer. There are traditional spots and floods, as well as other small hanging fixtures. A modified version of this is cable lighting, where lights are hung from or clipped to bare metal Wire rope under tension (mechanics).
A Sconce (light fixture) is a wall-mounted fixture, particularly one that shines up and sometimes down as well. A torchère is an uplight intended for ambient lighting. It is typically a floor lamp but may be wall-mounted like a sconce. Further interior light fixtures include chandeliers, pendant lights, ceiling fans with lights, close-to-ceiling or flush lights, and various types of lamps
The portable or table lamp is probably the most common fixture, found in many homes and offices. The standard lamp and shade that sits on a table is general lighting, while the desk lamp is considered task lighting. magnification lamps are also task lighting.
The illuminated ceiling was once popular in the 1960s and 1970s but fell out of favor after the 1980s. This uses Diffuser (optics) panels hung like a suspended ceiling below fluorescent lights, and is considered general lighting. Other forms include neon, which is not usually intended to illuminate anything else, but to actually be an artwork in itself. This would probably fall under accent lighting, though in a dark nightclub it could be considered general lighting.
In a movie theater, steps in the aisles are usually marked with a row of small lights for convenience and safety, when the film has started and the other lights are off. Traditionally made up of small low wattage, low voltage lamps in a track or translucent tube, these are rapidly being replaced with LED based versions.
Vehicles typically include headlamps and tail lights. Headlamps are white or selective yellow lights placed in the front of the vehicle, designed to illuminate the upcoming road and to make the vehicle more visible. Many manufactures are turning to LED headlights as an energy-efficient alternative to traditional headlamps.Van Derlofske, J, JD Bullough, J Watkinson. 2005. Spectral Effects of LED Forward Lighting. TLA 2005-02. Lighting Research Center. Found online at: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/transportation/TLA/pdf/TLA-2005-02.pdf [last accessed 13 April 2010] Tail and brake lights are red and emit light to the rear so as to reveal the vehicle's direction of travel to following drivers. White rear-facing reversing lamps indicate that the vehicle's transmission has been placed in the reverse gear, warning anyone behind the vehicle that it is moving backwards, or about to do so. Flashing turn signals on the front, side, and rear of the vehicle indicate an intended change of position or direction. In the late 1950s, some automakers began to use Electroluminescence technology to backlight their cars' speedometers and other gauges or to draw attention to logos or other decorative elements.
Lamp types include:
Lighting design as it applies to the built environment is known as 'architectural lighting design'. Lighting of structures considers aesthetic elements as well as practical considerations of quantity of light required, occupants of the structure, energy efficiency and cost. Artificial lighting takes into account the amount of daylight received in an internal space by using Daylight factor calculation. For simple installations, hand-calculations based on tabular data are used to provide an acceptable lighting design. More critical or optimized designs now routinely use mathematical modeling on a computer using software such as Radiance (software) which can allow an Architect to quickly undertake complex calculations to review the benefit of a particular design.
In some design instances, materials used on walls and furniture play a key role in the lighting effect< for example dark paint tends to absorb light, making the room appear smaller and more dim than it is, whereas light paint does the opposite. In addition to paint, reflective surfaces also have an effect on lighting design.
Motion picture and television production use many of the same tools and methods of stage lighting. Especially in the early days of these industries, very high light levels were required and heat produced by lighting equipment presented substantial challenges. Modern cameras require less light, and modern light sources emit less heat.
The International System of Units unit of illuminance and luminous emittance, being the luminous power per area, is measured in Lux. It is used in photometry (optics) as a measure of the intensity, as perceived by the human eye, of light that hits or passes through a surface. It is analogous to the radiometry unit watts per square metre, but with the power at each wavelength weighted according to the luminosity function, a standardized model of human visual brightness perception. In English, "lux" is used in both singular and plural.[http://physics.nist.gov/Pubs/SP811/sec09.html NIST Guide to SI Units - 9 Rules and Style Conventions for Spelling Unit Names], National Institute of Standards and Technology
Several measurement methods have been developed to control glare resulting from indoor lighting design. The Unified Glare Rating#Unified glare rating (UGR), the Visual Comfort Probability, and the Daylight Glare Index are some of the most well-known methods of measurement. In addition to these new methods, four main factors influence the degree of discomfort glare; the luminance of the glare source, the solid angle of the glare source, the background luminance, and the position of the glare source in the field of view must all be taken into account.W. Kim and Y. Koga, "Effect of local background luminance on discomfort glare, ''Building Environ'' 2004; 38, pp.
However, these two metrics, developed in the last century, are facing increased challenges and criticisms as new types of light sources, particularly light emitting diodes (LEDs), become more prevalent in the market.
For example, in order to meet the expectations for good color rendering in retail applications, researchASSIST recommends: Guide to Light and Color in Retail Merchandising. 2010. Volume 8, Issue 1. Available online at: suggests using the well-established CRI along with another metric called gamut area index (GAI). GAI represents the relative separation of object colors illuminated by a light source; the greater the GAI, the greater the apparent saturation or vividness of the object colors. As a result, light sources which balance both CRI and GAI are generally preferred over ones that have only high CRI or only high GAI.ASSIST recommends: Recommendations for Specifying Color Properties of Light Sources for Retail Merchandising. 2010. Volume 8, Issue 2. Available online at: This is the first device created to accurately measure and characterize light (intensity, spectrum, timing, and duration) entering the eye that affects the human body's clock.
The small, head-mounted device measures an individual's daily rest and activity patterns, as well as exposure to short-wavelength light that stimulates the circadian system. The device measures activity and light together at regular time intervals and electronically stores and logs its operating temperature. The Daysimeter can gather data for up to 30 days for analysis.Lighting Research Center Website: New approach sheds light on ways circadian disruption affects human health. Found online at: [last accessed 13 April 2010]
Specification of illumination requirements is the basic concept of deciding how much illumination is required for a given task. Clearly, much less light is required to illuminate a hallway compared to that needed for a word processing work station. Generally speaking, the energy expended is proportional to the design illumination level. For example, a lighting level of 400 lux might be chosen for a work environment involving meeting rooms and conferences, whereas a level of 80 lux could be selected for building hallways.European law UNI EN 12464 If the hallway standard simply emulates the conference room needs, then much more energy will be consumed than is needed. Unfortunately, most of the lighting standards even today have been specified by industrial groups who manufacture and sell lighting, so that a historical commercial bias exists in designing most building lighting, especially for office and industrial settings.
Many newer control systems are using wireless mesh network open standards (such as ZigBee), which provides benefits including easier installation (no need to run control wires) and interoperability with other standards-based building control systems (e.g. security).
Occupancy sensors to allow operation for whenever someone is within the area being scanned can control lighting. When motion can no longer be detected, the lights shut off. Passive infrared sensors react to changes in heat, such as the pattern created by a moving person. The control must have an unobstructed view of the building area being scanned. Doors, partitions, stairways, etc. will block motion detection and reduce its effectiveness. The best applications for passive infrared occupancy sensors are open spaces with a clear view of the area being scanned. Ultrasonic sensors transmit sound above the range of human hearing and monitor the time it takes for the sound waves to return. A break in the pattern caused by any motion in the area triggers the control. Ultrasonic sensors can see around obstructions and are best for areas with cabinets and shelving, restrooms, and open areas requiring 360-degree coverage. Some occupancy sensors utilize both passive infrared and ultrasonic technology, but are usually more expensive. They can be used to control one lamp, one fixture or many fixtures.Hanselaer P, Lootens C, Ryckaert W, Deconinck G, Rombauts P. Power density targets for efficient lighting of interior task areas. Lighting Research & Technology [serial online]. June 2007;39(2):171-182. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA.Ryckaert W, Lootens C, Geldof J, Hanselaer P. Criteria for energy efficient lighting in buildings. Energy & Buildings [serial online]. March 2010;42(3):341-347. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA.
Daylighting is the oldest method of interior lighting. Daylighting is simply designing a space to use as much natural light as possible. This decreases energy consumption and costs, and requires less heating and cooling from the building. Daylighting has also been proven to have positive effects on patients in hospitals as well as work and school performance. Due to a lack of information that indicate the likely energy savings, daylighting schemes are not yet popular among most buildings.ULRICH R S. VIEW THROUGH A WINDOW MAY INFLUENCE RECOVERY FROM SURGERY. Science (Washington D C) [serial online]. 1984;224(4647):420-421.
Analysis of lighting quality particularly emphasizes use of natural lighting, but also considers spectral content if artificial light is to be used. Not only will greater reliance on natural light reduce energy consumption, but will favorably impact human health and performance. New studies have shown that the performance of students is influenced by the time and duration of daylight in their regular schedules. Light in school buildings to incorporate the right types of light at the right time of day for the right duration may improve student performance and well-being. Similarly, designing lighting systems that maximize the right amount of light at the appropriate time of day Lighting for the elderly may help relieve symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. The human circadian system is entrained to a 24-hour light-dark pattern that mimics the earth’s natural light/dark pattern. When those patterns are disrupted, they disrupt the natural circadian cycle. Circadian rhythm#Human health may lead to numerous health problems including breast cancer, seasonal affective disorder, delayed sleep phase syndrome, and other ailments.
A study conducted in 1972 and 1981, documented by Robert Ulrich, surveyed 23 surgical patients assigned to rooms looking out on a natural scene. The study concluded that patients assigned to rooms with windows allowing lots of natural light had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses’ notes, and took fewer potent analegesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick wall. This study suggests that due to the nature of the scenery and daylight exposure was indeed healthier for patients as opposed to those exposed to little light from the brick wall. In addition to increased work performance, proper usage of windows and daylighting crosses the boundaries between pure aesthetics and overall health.Newsham G, Brand J, Donnelly C, Veitch J, Aries M, Charles K. Linking indoor environment conditions to job satisfaction: a field study. Building Research & Information [serial online]. March 2009;37(2):129-147.
Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of management at the University of Toronto Scarborough and Aparna Labroo of Northwestern University conducted a series of studies analyzing the correlation between lighting and human emotion. The researchers asked participants to rate a number of things such as: the spiciness of chicken-wing sauce, the aggressiveness of a fictional character, how attractive someone was, their feelings about specific words, and the taste of two juices–all under different lighting conditions. In their study, they found that both positive and negative human emotions are felt more intensely in bright light. Professor Xu stated, "we found that on sunny days depression-prone people actually become more depressed." They also found that dim light makes people make more rational decisions and settle negotiations easier. In the dark, emotions are slightly suppressed. However, emotions are intensified in the bright light.
The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) is an international authority and standard defining organization on color and lighting. Publishing widely used standard metrics such as various CIE color spaces and the color rendering index.
The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), in conjunction with organizations like American National Standards Institute and ASHRAE, publishes guidelines, standards, and handbooks that allow categorization of the illumination needs of different built environments. Manufacturers of lighting equipment publish photometric data for their products, which defines the distribution of light released by a specific luminaire. This data is typically expressed in standardized form defined by the IESNA.
The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) is an organization which focuses on the advancement of lighting design education and the recognition of independent professional lighting designers. Those fully independent designers who meet the requirements for professional membership in the association typically append the abbreviation IALD to their name.
The Professional Lighting Designers Association (PLDA), formerly known as ELDA is an organisation focusing on the promotion of the profession of Architectural Lighting Design. They publish a monthly newsletter and organise different events throughout the world.
The National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP) offers the Lighting Certification Examination which tests rudimentary lighting design principles. Individuals who pass this exam become ‘Lighting Certified’ and may append the abbreviation LC to their name. This certification process is one of three national (U.S.) examinations (the others are CLEP and CLMC) in the lighting industry and is open not only to designers, but to lighting equipment manufacturers, electric utility employees, etc.
The Professional Lighting And Sound Association (PLASA) is a UK-based trade organisation representing the 500+ individual and corporate members drawn from the technical services sector. Its members include manufacturers and distributors of stage and entertainment lighting, sound, rigging and similar products and services, and affiliated professionals in the area. They lobby for and represent the interests of the industry at various levels, interacting with government and regulating bodies and presenting the case for the entertainment industry. Example subjects of this representation include the ongoing review of radio frequencies (which may or may not affect the radio bands in which wireless microphones and other devices use) and engaging with the issues surrounding the introduction of the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) regulations.