Dlight’s approach to lighting design

We are often asked ‘how do you approach lighting design?’ and the answer is never straightforward, but to gain some understanding and insight, we have created a short overview of the basics of lighting design.

As all lighting projects vary, the approach is often altered to suit the needs of the client or lighting application. Dlight works with a diverse variety of industries, including commercial, industrial, healthcare, heritage & hospitality. Therefore the approach may differ from public street light design to office and commercial lighting projects.

Lighting heavily influences our perception of the environment around us and impacts human behaviour, so it is extremely important that the lighting system is designed for a purpose.

Lighting can also have a huge influence on performance, mood and morale depending on the type of light that is being utilised, for example, ambient, accent or task lighting. A common problem within an office setting is the use of incorrect lighting and colour temperatures. Insufficient or excessive light levels can have many negative impacts including migraines, eye-strain and low productivity.

This might seem like an obvious insight, but companies that don’t understand what drives productivity do not get the most out of their workforce and, as a result, don’t produce better products and services which ultimately leads to lost revenue.

Now that we have established that there may be a different approach to each project, let’s take a quick walk-through of a basic approach to lighting design…

Designing a basic lighting scheme requires the consideration of many factors, not just the achievement of the desired lighting level.

The basic objectives must first be established, such as:

  • What sort of tasks will be performed in the area?
  • What ‘mood’ needs to be created?
  • What type of lighting will create a comfortable environment?
There are also standards and legislation that lighting designers need to be compliant with. For example:
  • How energy efficient must the lighting be?
  • How will Building Regulations affect the design?
  • Is emergency lighting required?

When all of these objectives and requirements have been established, they can be expressed as a series of lighting criteria in order to facilitate a quality lighting design.

Some of the criteria that would normally be considered include:

  • Illumination Levels
  • Uniformity and Ratio of Illuminance
  • Glare
  • Colour and Room Reflectance
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Special Considerations
  • Lumen Method Calculations
  • Polar Intensity Curves
  • Illuminance Cone Diagrams
  • Utilisation Factors Chart
  • Cartesian Diagrams
  • Isolux Diagrams

Dlight will generally split the project into five phases:

  1. Brief & Tender.
  2. Quotation, Design & Specification.
  3. Technical Submittal.
  4. Delivery Schedule.
  5. Project Completion.

If you would like to discuss our approach further or consider us for an upcoming project, please contact us.