Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



Interior lighting is one facet of architectural design which deserves attention. Practically all activities for which a building is designed require illumination. Lighting is used also as an aid for expressing those archi­tectural forms designed by the architect. Therefore, the architect should be provided with recommendations on how to proceed with an interior lighting design process. Such guidelines are helpful in aiding the architect to furnish an overall lighting design concept. Many technical procedures are refined by a consulting electrical engineer. The basic areas of the lighting design process which the architect should consider are: illumination for task performance, the luminous environment, and energy conservation. Before beginning the interior lighting design process, an understanding of the relationship of activities (tasks) and the spaces in which they occur should be estab­lished. Consultation with the client is necessary in order to establish such an understanding. The lighting design process begins by meeting the visual requirements of providing the proper illumination for task performance. First, the required quantities of illumination characteristics (shadow effects and color renditioning from lamp sources) must be looked into. Glare control, luminaire arrangement, and a decision on the number of luminaires required to satisfy the above requirements are considered also. The lighting design must provide a pleasant luminous environment. Possible psychological and physiological effects from the luminous environment should be understood. These considerations deal with the color renditioning from light sources in relation to how they simulate daylight quality, presence or absence of windows, and selection of luminaire equipment. The luminous environment is also affected by the esthetics of the luminaire arrangement in relation to the surrounding architec­tural and structural forms. An appropriate arrangement harmonizes with such forms rather than conflicts. The proper lighting design is also practical in terms of conserving energy. As few watts as possible should be required. Many states provide energy codes which limit the amount of watts or footcandle levels allowed for lighting. Multiple switching is often required so that an appropriate portion of luminaires are in operation as the availability of daylight changes. Windows, if provided, should be designed in order to reduce heat loss (heat gain) while emitting adequate supplementary lighting. The interior environment also must be designed so that maximum amount of light is reflected onto the task surfaces. Lamps which are selected should be as efficient as possible in terms of light given for the watts consumed. A lighting design which is appropriate is one in which the above items are taken into consideration. Many buildings have lighting systems which are adequate in some areas, while deficient in other areas. However, none of the considerations stated should be overlooked. All phases of the lighting design process are equally important.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert Carl Cohlmeyer

Second Committee Member

Edith Ann Cherry

Third Committee Member

Robert J Lehl

Included in

Architecture Commons