Designing Spaces with Light in Mind

By: Christianne Radziewicz; As seen in the CNY Business Journal

As the seasons change and the light filled days get shorter, designing spaces with light in mind is so important. Lighting and light control impact every  aspect of a building’s design. It can easily enhance and have a positive impact on a building’s  environment or be a distraction and somewhat of a nuisance. Daylight design plays a vital role in reducing glare, improving energy efficiency, and providing human-centric benefits.

Designing a space to allow the right amount of light at the right time of day must take into account the size, number, and location of apertures within a space as well as daylight sufficiency. Daylight sufficiency  considers light intensity, floor area and time. The idea is to assess the amount of daylight, the amount of space, and seasonal changes. Depending on the needs of the building’s occupants, daylight sufficiency can be adjusted appropriately.

Glare reduction and understanding the spectrum of light within a space are also critical factors to consider when designing a space with light in mind. When it comes to reducing glare in a space, simple solutions include exterior awnings and overhangs, interior blinds  tints well as tinted glass that can absorb a specific amount of light energy. Less noticeable is the non-visual effects associated with light occurring along different spectrums that can impact peoples’ health and wellbeing. Understanding how different spectrums of light at various times of day impact people is essential when incorporating daylighting design into a project.

The goal with daylight design is to create a space where perceived quality matches the real-world  response of the people using the space. It is an integrated design concept that factors in the whole building from its location to climate, orientation, floor plan, and interior design all while focusing on occupant health and building performance.

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