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Light & artificial lighting systems

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Introduction

In a modern building daylight can provide most of our lighting needs for the vast majority of the working day. It is therefore unnecessary to spend too much time in designing artificial lighting systems. Introduction It is a common fact that people instinctively prefer natural light than to artificial light. This is usually due to the calming effects and the clarity it offers to which artificial light does not. Also, due to the rising energy costs and today's climate change concerns, using energy efficiently is now regarded to being financially sensible and now expected within the design on the building. However it is difficult to justify the cost for the considerable design of day lighting on the basis of energy saving alone. Here I will review and consider the impact that day lighting, also referred to as "natural" or "true light", has on the human psyche, the heath impacts, benefits and problems both daylight and artificial lighting may cause and in general, whether due to modern buildings now incorporating daylight as a standard factor whether it is necessary to spend a great deal of time in designing artificial lighting systems. These impacts are reviewed in this paper for buildings that are generally used for offices, retail and other large buildings. Daylight effects in housing have not been considered. Background history At the beginning of the 20th century, daylight was the principal light source in buildings, the artificial lights were merely used to enhance the readily available natural light. However within the short span of 30 years, by the 1940's electric lighting had altered the working environment by meeting the majority or in some circumstances all of the occupants' lighting requirements. During this period there have been continuous developments in the efficiency and types of lamps available. Artificial lighting is today used to provide lighting for the hours of darkness and also to provide visual affects to the interior and now becoming more popular, the exterior of a building. ...read more.

Middle

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that affects an estimated half a million people every winter between the months of September to April and in particular during the months of December, January and February. SAD, an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder, is caused by a chemical imbalance due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight. For many people SAD is a seriously disabling illness, preventing the person from functioning normally without stable medical treatment. For the majority though, it is a mild but debilitating condition causing discomfort but not severe enough for diagnosis as a clinically recognized syndrome. This is known as subsyndromal SAD or more commonly known as 'the winter blues.' As found on the site Sada. (http://www.sada.org.uk/whatis.htm) The most common method of admitting daylight into a building is through the use of glass windows. Glass windows are able to provide daylight, sunlight, ventilation and welcomed noise into the occupied space. Windows also provide the person with a view, however whether it is a pleasant view is another factor, out from the occupied space. The two most important attributes regarded for windows are the view and the amount of access of daylight they are able to allow into the building. The popular reason for a view is due to people wishing to have visual contact with the exterior and be aware of the changes in the weather and other activities. Another benefit of a view is to exercise the occupier's eyes more, due to the adjustment in focal length when looking outside. This can reduce eye strain, a common complaint for workers viewing computer screens for long periods. An alternative explanation as to why natural light is so preferred is due to such a negative perception people have of artificial lighting, therefore windows are always favoured. Generally is also felt that working by natural light results in less discomfort and stress, not due to the reason that natural right has been proven to be more beneficial ...read more.

Conclusion

However, with the glare and no actual guarantee that daylight will be successful in maximising visual performance, people will take action to reduce or eliminate daylight with shades or blinds if the glare is causing discomfort or increases difficulty in completing the tasks at hand. With the installation and managing of artificial lighting many high expense factors are concerned, whilst the complimentary natural light is available for the majority of the working day it, could be stated within the question that it is therefore unnecessary to spend too much time in designing artificial lighting systems. However I feel that natural light and artificial light could in fact compliment each other, by providing an acceptable balance between the two. Artificial auxiliary lighting would be applicable in situations where natural light is unavailable and where artificial lighting is able to enhance the visual appearance and combine the required amount of light to assist the occupier with allowing the required work to continue and not relying on the irregular weather. With regards to the design of lighting in a modern building, the intension is to achieve the required or appropriate lux value for that room. It is proven that a vast amount of design is required in the install of this complex lighting system as with the installation of any service, the shape (depth / height) of the room, colours to enhance the light and directions of the lamps to prevent glare determines the aspect that are essential even if the requirement is to install the artificial lighting as just a supplementary system. It is therefore my conclusion that even with the amount of daylight we be capable of achieving in the United Kingdom can in fact provide most of our lighting requirements for the vast majority of the working day, I do conclude that it is undoubtedly necessary to spend the required time, money and research in designing and installing adequate artificial lighting systems specifically as an auxiliary lighting system, to gain the benefits of a productive workforce. Word Count 3,138. ...read more.

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