The use of artificial lighting in buildings accounts for up to 15% of the annual electricity use. This energy usage can be further reduced by 50-70% if modern lighting technology, lighting design and daylighting are combined effectively.
Smart cities all over the world are on the way to utilise lighting in the most sustainable way. The focus is on sustainable lighting design or green lighting design that optimises performance and conserves resources without losing quality. Here, the quality comprises a group of abstract elements including the visual acuity, aesthetics and architectural integrity.
Not to forget, daylighting is one of the most influential aspects of lighting design – being at the heart of sustainability – effectively redefined by lighting designers and innovative architects. The context given below focuses on the role daylighting plays in delivering energy efficient buildings.
Strategies To Achieve Sustainable Lighting Design
Lighting design can reduce the energy consumption of any indoor space while meeting the needs of the occupants efficaciously. The strategies to achieve sustainable lighting systems include:
1. Use of daylight delivery systems:
The optimal use of daylight plays a critical role in developing sustainable buildings. Buildings need to be well-conceived to allow a profuse amount of light to enter the indoor space. Daylighting, shading and lighting control strategies are inevitable to create naturally lit and cost-effective edifices.
2. Choose proper light fittings
There is a wide range of lighting options like a pendant, spot, strip LEDs, track lights, sconce etc. that can be used to adapt the different requirements. Energy costs and the optimal use of light in a space can be maximised if lighting designs are pre-planned with the selection of the most appropriate light fittings that serve the purpose.
3. Reinvent the value of light
Sustainable lighting is changing the way how architectural projects are conceived and designed. Innovative architects plan their projects by considering the lighting designs at the outset of the planning process. This is one of the main reasons that sustainability goals can be easily addressed by the innovative community of architects, electrical engineers, manufacturers and lighting designers that go out of the way to achieve green lighting designs.
Light is life! This is the simplest and the deepest way one can define the importance of daylight for us and all the living beings on earth.
Daylight is the most preferred light by human beings. People tend to be more active, productive and energetic in natural light more than artificial lighting systems. Wherever we go, in buses, trains, our workplace or home we prefer to be close to windows that allow natural light in. Daylighting is always nourishing and essential to endowing a pleasant visual environment that contributes to a sense of well-being. It affects human health positively and while enhances the psychological aspects including mood, spirit and perception. In other words, light can easily control human emotions.
Daylighting is renewable, free of cost, and most importantly, a full-spectrum illuminant which inspires us to use it profusely to light up our indoor spaces. The human visual response closely resembles with the combination of sunlight and skylight as the lighting source.
Elaborating The Concept Of Lighting Design To Achieve Sustainability
A thoughtful architectural design of a building aids in optimising the entry of daylighting while focusing on indoor temperature regulation and light glare reduction. At the outset, the designers orient the structure to enhance daylighting potential considering the sun’s movement.
On the other hand, a careful lighting design is the integration of a number of daylighting and artificial lighting strategies to attain a harmonious distribution of light inside a building. An efficient lighting design is one that allows daylighting where it is needed and curbs or eliminates the use of light (including artificial light) elsewhere. The design is achieved by considering the energy impact of the entire building in order to reduce the building’s energy consumption. The daylighting design of an indoor space is about locating the daylight design source like skylights, well-placed windows, reflective materials, light shelves, and translucent wall panels in appropriate places in association with the artificial lights and the control systems while considering heat gain during winters and heat loss during summers. Good daylighting fundamentally uses soft, diffuse skylight and reflected light instead of direct sunlight, particularly in the summers.
Designing Buildings That Do Not Need Artificial Lighting During Daytime Is Key To Sustainable Lighting Design
Effective sustainable lighting design is one that saves energy consumed by a building. If sustainability aspects are not considered while designing lights it can easily increase the heat load of the building and the cooling energy consumption. Building occupants will also have to deal with glare and thermal discomfort which ultimately neutralises the benefits daylighting can offer.
Points to be noted for daylighting in Australia
North facing windows can allow direct sunlight and skylight to enter a building, especially in winters when the sun is low in the sky.
South facing windows (for the south of the tropic of Capricorn) can allow daylight to enter a building without heat gains of direct sunlight. This strategy can be used in reducing the use of cooling systems in buildings during hot climates.
The appropriate sizing and design of skylights and light tubes can allow light in a way that keeps indoor space cool in summers and warm in winters.
Light painted interior walls reflect more light. This strategy can be used in reducing the use of artificial light.
Clerestories are also known as vertical windows situated near the top of a wall (with properly sized eaves) can deliver effective daylight in the important areas of a building by illuminating the ceiling and bringing light high up in the room.
Places that receive more amount of sunlight can deploy tubular daylighting devices which help in delivering direct-beam sunlight into the indoor space and are able to provide very high illumination levels during clear skies.
Employing vertical blinds on predominantly east and west windows and horizontal blinds for northern (southern for north of the tropic of Capricorn) windows can control the internal sun penetration and while having minimal effect on the external view.
To get precise information on lighting designs, attend the ‘Light-Space-Design Summit 2019‘ in Australia. The event will put more light on the importance of daylight at workplace considering the natural aspects of daylight and the artificial aspects of LED. The summit is one of the biggest events of Australia that will bring experts from different fields like electrical engineering, architecture, interior designing on one stage to discuss the current trends in sustainable lighting while also providing inputs to tackle the challenges related to architectural lighting design in the light of the energy conservation goals. Global innovators from the lighting, space and design industry will gather to show the potentials of green lighting designs in buildings, heritage sites, public places – now and in the future.
The Lighting Design Summit of Australia will be held on 27th March 2019 at the Melbourne Convention Centre.
While this article is a glimpse of achieving sustainable lighting design in smart cities, more will be discussed in the upcoming blog. So, stay tuned to know more about how lighting designs can influence our lives as smart cities move closer to their goals.