Verifying Light Levels
The amount of daylight required in a space varies with the specific task(s) being performed and the age of the occupants. Our knowledgeable representatives and daylighting specialists can help ensure you’re meeting the light levels each space needs, verified by the science of modeling.
Useful Daylighting Illuminance (UDI) is one metric measured by modeling. UDI describes multiple categories of ‘usable’ lux levels in a space, reporting a percentage of floor area that falls within a specified illuminance range for 50% of the time. 300–3000 lux is considered a desirable lighting level in most cases.
There are also several creditable organizations that make light-level recommendations. Some of those organizations are:
- Illuminating Engineering Society of North America
- International Commission on Illumination (CIE)
- U.S. Green Building Council
- International WELL Building Institute
Some spaces where it’s very important to think about light levels:
Schools and Offices
Any space where people are learning or working requires significant light for visual comfort as well as overall health and wellness. The American Optometric Association says presbyopia—the change in the eye’s focusing ability—is among the most common problem adults develop after they turn 40. Printed materials can start to become blurred and harder to read, requiring significantly more light, while glare from lights or the sun is even more problematic.
Whether it is keeping the glare off a pool’s surface and out of a lifeguard’s eyes or providing the proper lighting to tape a game or practice, light contrast ratios are a key consideration in gyms, health clubs and athletic facilities. High-level clerestories or end walls provide balanced ambient light and diffusion and are preferable to punched openings. Punched openings can create bright and dark spots that are visually confusing and disrupt accuracy.
Balanced, glare-free daylight has been proven to increase mood and boost energy levels, improve sleep and help reduce tripping by minimizing shadows on the floor, particularly among the elderly and visually impaired. For staff, there needs to be a subtle balance in light contrast ratios so that readings can be taken quickly and efficiently without the risk of errors or misreads.
From decorative lighting for highlighting products and displays to task lighting that provides a comfortable environment, the right lighting can influence spending habits. A Heschong Mahone Group study found that the introduction of skylights to a chain retail store correlated to a 40% increase in gross sales.
Museums and Galleries
Museums and galleries are one area where lighting is considered above all else. Curators and collectors continually struggle with the age-old dilemma of how to find the right lighting for works of art without risking undue damage. And yet, it is only with full-spectrum visible light that the proper colors and depth of artwork can be viewed.
As we spend more of our lives indoors and away from natural daylight, we find ourselves regularly transitioning between varying levels of light and dark, continually forcing the eye to adjust. The temporary blindness caused by this adjustment is a trip-and-fall hazard, with the risk increasing with age. Visual ability declines with age, with noticeable effects beginning at age 40. With daylight modeling, you can ensure your transition spaces have the light levels required to prevent this danger for all ages.