Designing the Lit Environment

Research suggests that occupants rarely adjust blinds. An informal walkthrough of two elementary schools in Idaho with a total of 156 south-facing windows with manual louver blinds, found that only 18 of the blinds were open, representing only 10 percent of the potential daylight access. The lighting difference is quite dramatic as seen in the same classroom with blinds up and lights off (above) and blinds down and lights on (above-left).

Philips has developed a lighting system it refers to as “Dynamic Lighting.” According to the product website, “with Dynamic Lighting, we can bring the dynamic character of light—with its seamless changes in brightness and warmth—indoors, allowing us to enjoy the beneficial effects of natural light on the human body.” The system places a differentially dimmable cool lamp and warm lamp within the same fixture, thus allowing for flexible combined color temperature and intensity as illustrated in a theoretical office space (above left, above, left).

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