The metrics that we use for specifying illumination levels in buildings do not relate well to the aspects of appearance that that determine peoples’ assessments of how brightly-lit or dimly-lit indoor spaces appear to be. This has become an issue of intense discussion in some quarters because as new developments in technology are being directed towards satisfying current lighting standards, they are being diverted away from delivering their full potential for developing lighting performance.
The author has proposed new lighting metrics to overcome this problem for indoor lighting. This involves a metric to give reliable indications of peoples’ assessments of the brightness or dimness of lighting, and then using this metric to specify minimum lighting levels for various indoor spaces. This proposal has stimulated new research into the concept of perceived adequacy of illumination, which has the potential to significantly change the basis of lighting standards, and with it, our notions of effective and efficient applications of general lighting practice.
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