Defenders of Lighting Identity 

Light Identity Design as a Service

What exactly is brand identity? 

What does it have to do with lighting design? 

And how do you create a brand identity without a designed lighting scheme? 

Branding is a long term process including a combination of various aspects.  For a brand, one of the key elements is to define a strategy and feeling about the architectural environment presented as a part of the services given.  From the retail sector to hospitality, from individual spaces to chains in large numbers, national or international, even to the cities itself.

Here, light is the fundamental layer and hidden advantage. Lighting design is a key aspect that communicates directly about the values of any particular brand. The use of light as a branding tool deepens a brand strategy. Do we use it? / How do we use this advantage? 

What do we ‘lighting designers understand from the term ’brand’? 
A brand in its the term what we think when we hear a name. But we as lighting designers have a different way of approach; we generally start thinking of adjusting and balancing the light levels, contrast, scene, visual distraction.   We understand the final visual image of how the light will interact with the color/texture/space. Even sometimes we see nothing but light.

We are ‘The defenders of Brand Identity for our Built Environment’

Communication with Light 
‘Brand communication influences the stakeholders of the company. The stakeholders include employees, customers, investors, and sponsors as they are attached to the brand in the most integrated manner and it is the prime duty of the management to have a communication with them on regular basis about the issues and important matters of the brand. It works as the voice of the brand that strengthens the relationship with the  stakeholders on a long-term basis.’  

The duration of the effect
We can assume that a change in the identity that lasts over 20 years. Because it presents a behavioral change. Change the way of working and communicating. Within a brand perspective, it is similar to creating a corporate brand identity through the generations.

Advantages of good Brand Communication
Lighting today is used as another way of communication and interaction. 70% of all our perception is visual, so let’s make the most of it using this opportunity and tool. ‘Lighting’ is one of the most important and economical ways of emphasizing the visual environment. Which companies try to express this with the combination of the architectural environment as it offers as a brand

A good brand communication;

1-Creates an Impact, 

2-Makes you an authority, 

3-Creates uniqueness, 

4-Improves loyalty,

5- Develops the market. 

In fact, as lighting designers, we dedicate our time and energy to our customers for the design and development of their branding – ‘their communication with light’. 

We carry out this close communication from concept to commissioning whether it is a singular space or one of the branches. When you bring lighting design into the branding, it helps to enhance the reputation by presenting a consistent image. Lighting impacts every aspect of experience and reinforces a perception.

A lighting strategy 

We know that the wrong way of lighting creates a miserable atmosphere.  So we should define what is needed and what to avoid. This we can call a ‘lighting strategy’ 

We define and tailor the lighting strategy unique to the particular brand. 

We are responsible for the visual image making sure that the project is just the way that the design team imagined. This strategy is briefly a mixture of; understanding the brand’s need and message, unifying concept design, efficient (total (min) carbon footprint)-affordable and sustainable specifications, documenting, procuring, fine-tuning, reporting -creating a brand history about lighting.

Understanding what the brand achieves with the acceptance of designed lighting is, in fact, is a new journey. We should turn this into excitement to overcome resistance at different levels. We need to make it as easy going and smooth as possible in terms of changing the old habits.  Example of a strategy booklet for a particular brand.  

Our history for the lighting design for brands started working with Mars Entertainment Group. 

Here you can find some of our selected projects that are provided as ‘Lighting Identity Design Development’ service for; Bimeks (electronic retail chain), MACFit (gym chain), Cinemaximum (cinema chain), Beymen (high-end retail chain), Boyner (high-end retail chain), Kahve Dünyası (coffee shop chain).

A new approach for new generations 

“Energy-efficient lighting” was a common approach/terminology, which was used by the clients to describe what they want from the end product.

But what is the term energy-efficient and why it is not the main aspect of 2020?

More than %90 of ‘energy efficiency’ goals are reached from the day it became a paradigm change since the 1960s. Since then lighting manufacturers have dictated lighting configuring with what they already have, with a limited product range, with the standards defined in laboratories 40-50 years ago, This hasn’t changed for over twenty years.

The question should not be “We would like to change the old lighting” now.  It should be ‘Let’s enhance our customer experience.” For that, we need to educate our customers.

When light and branding work together well, people can easily differentiate one from the other brands without realizing it. Lighting and branding represent creating a perception in someone else’s mind. Branding is not just about a logo and how something looks on a screen. The light and brand tie-in and have resonance when it reinforces a customer’s complete experience. It is always the finer details. A brand cannot ignore them. 

Lighting designers manage brands through their knowledge of how light behaves and integrates into our built environment. 

Lighting designers are crucial for brands to defend their identity  

Korhan Şişman / Planlux, 2019 


The 8th Edition of the festival, started in last november. Amsterdam Light festival is actually a big outdoor exhibition. This years theme “disrupt” is marked all over each and every piece. Festival can be discovered by boat tour specially made for the occasion or the walking routes which you can find on the official website. Here is this years artworks:

BIG BANG, UxU Studio
According to the artists of the collective Uxu Studio, there’s nothing that symbolises disruption – and destruction, war, and aggression – more than a bomb. Their blue-lit bomb BIG BANG hangs somewhat threateningly in the air like it is just about to hit the water.

THE CRACKS, Karolina Howorko
There is a crack, a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in,” legendary Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen sang in his song Anthem (1992). Striving for perfection makes little sense, Cohen said, because life is simply about change and decay. Yet there is always hope, and we must embrace the imperfections in what we do and what we make; damage and defects define the character of a person or an object.

Illuminated laundry hangs to dry on washing lines, as though it were a summer day in Amsterdam. Glowing white garments, and a cheerful collection of blouses, T-shirts, underwear, trousers and dresses, hang on either side of the canal. There are also some special items of clothing such as a pair of wide Turkish pants, a traditional Jewish dress, and a Moroccan djellaba. Together these pieces represent the cultural and ethnic mix of residents in the city. 

ATLANTIS, Utskottet
You may identify the image of an international metropolis plagued by floods and other natural disasters from blockbuster films like Deep Impact (1998) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004). With the sinking city, Atlantis, Utskottet demonstrates how this menacing scene can become a frightening reality.

With his installation Nothing Holding Us, Ben Zamora shows us that nothing should hold us back. Not even the disruptive shock of a totally life-changing experience, which he has depicted with dozens of light tubes in the form of an explosion that seems to be frozen in time. The painful shock of losing a loved one, or the excitement and joy you feel when a new person comes into your life – your life will never be the same again and that offers room for perspective and development.

NACHT TEKENING, Krijn de Koning
The Skinny Bridge counts around 1,800 light bulbs that are responsible for lighting up the contours of the bridge at night. This type of illumination is typical for Amsterdam bridges: the arches are accentuated by the concentration of light bulbs, and together they provide a unique and coherent cityscape.The artwork has two faces: during the day, the image of Amsterdam’s most famous bridge remains intact, but when night falls and the lights turn on, it is completely disrupted. The monumental light drawing distorts, distances, and comments on the existing image of the bridge as we know it. With this two-dimensional play of forms and light lines, De Koning has succeeded in turning the Skinny Bridge into an abstract drawing.
Artist Laila Azra transforms Amsterdam’s Amstel River into a red carpet. Photographers and fans have flocked to the docks on either side of the Amstel lock passage, surprising passengers in passing boats with the flashes of their cameras.

Movement is key to Lambert Kamp’s 7-metre-high installation. Nine luminous circles continuously rotate in and out of each other.For the artist, the moving rings represent the dynamic and rapidly-evolving world that we live in.

BUTTERFLY EFFECT, Masamichi Shimada
Seven gigantic butterflies have landed on the surface of the canal. The butterflies not only rise and fall with the movement of the water caused by passing boats, but their wings glow blue against the dark night. At first sight, the artwork seems to portray a peaceful, almost magical scene. But with his artwork Butterfly Effect, Masamichi Shimada attempts to portray how something as delicate as a butterfly can possess such immense power.

ICEBREAKER, Wilhelmusvlug
Ice skating is a winter tradition in the Netherlands.With global warming, skating on frozen waters such as the Amsterdam canals is becoming less and less likely. Icebreaker is an artwork that reminds us of when the canals would freeze over every year, but simultaneously a warning for the results of global warming.

HIDING IN THE WOLF’S LAIR, Republic of Amsterdam Radio & Nomad Tinker House
Four ominously lit-up wolves have suddenly appeared on the edge of the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. They have gathered around a group of people who are hiding in the attic of one of the wooden buildings along the water, but what exactly are wolves doing roaming free in this scene, designed by the collectives Republic of Amsterdam Radio and Nomad Tinker House? Important clue: an envelope containing poems written by resistance fighters during the Second World War was discovered between the roof tiles of these former storage houses in 2013.
DE NACHTLOERRRDERS, 72andSunny Creative Collective
Hidden in the darkest of darkness, down amongst the bushes or high in a tree, we see their strange, unfamiliar eyes shining out at us. These eyes are here to show us a possible future evolution, one that we humans could soon be faced with if we continue disturbing animal habitats with our ever expanding cities that light up the night skies.

With Between the Lines Holland demonstrates that the crane can be much more than a retired machine. For Hollands, elements and rhythms in urban constructions, which often go unnoticed in our day to day, form the basis of a magical play of light. The city comes to life in a new way in ‘the domain of the fantasy’, as Hollands beautifully describes the night.

SURFACE TENSION, Tom Biddulph & Barbara Ryan
The artists have transformed part of Amsterdam’s famous canal into a drowned city street: the spooky, glowing silhouettes of swept-up cars, lamp posts and traffic signs rise out of the water, a ghostly vision of what could happen. Biddulph and Ryan’s background in graphic design is clearly visible in the piece: it is a spatial line drawing, made of light.

Colourful, flickering and illuminated Korean signs compete for your attention on the Schippersgracht in Amsterdam. EON SLD’s installation contains about 40 replicas of traditional signs, neon signs and lightboxes that represent the 1950s to the present, as well as several newly designed signs. The jumble in which these signs have been presented on the quay are typical of a Korean shopping street.

By combining hard, scientific facts and intense laser light, Ersted generates a performance that is simultaneously confronting and poetic. It is no coincidence that Ersted’s installation can be seen on the facade of the Maritime Museum. From 4 October 2019 until 10 May 2020, the worldwide impact of the ice melt and sea level rise are the focus of the exhibitions Scramble for the Arctic and Rising Tide by Kadir van Lohuizen.

Light always takes a moment to travel from one point to another – one second to cover 300,000 kilometres to be precise – and to reach our eyes. The travel time varies from, for example, eight minutes for the light from the sun to reach the earth, to millions of years from a star at the edge of our universe. This means that the information that light brings us, like how long ago that distant star was born, is always dated. Exactly that is the focus of Alicia Eggert’s artwork ‘All the Light You See’. As in many of her works, Eggert uses a poetic statement written in light that changes meaning with a small intervention. Part of the text in ‘All the Light You See is From the Past’ occasionally switches off, making her message even simpler, ‘All You See is Past’. ‘All the Light You See’ is therefore a memento mori (Latin for ‘reflection on mortality’), an artwork that reminds us that in a short while, we too will belong to the past.

NOBODY, Gabriel Lester
The title given to the installation by Lester, Nobody, says a lot about its meaning. It is the English translation of the Latin word ‘nemo’ – not exactly a coincidence that this is also the name of the science museum. With this work, Lester asks the question of whether man is still ‘someone’ of significance in a world that is increasingly controlled (or dominated) by technology.

AD. EMPTY DOMINATION, M. Watjer, J. Pielkenrood en W. Brand
Two enlarged billboards, or light boxes meant for outdoor advertising, are displayed prominently on the quay. The advertisements are missing; instead, the boxes are marked by their emptiness and the harsh white light they emit. Research has shown that when people are on the move, they often have a positive attitude, are alert, make plans, and are open to visual communication. Too often brands have taken advantage of this, which has resulted in the fact that many of our public spaces are dominated by advertisements. The daily flood of hidden messages regarding how we should live and what we should think controls us and, in some cases, causes overstimulation. Breitner Academy students Pielkenrood, Watjer and Brand created a work of art that disrupts this vicious cycle and dominates the space with an overwhelming nothingness.

Amsterdam Light Festival will be keeping up with the rhythm of the streets and many canals of the city of Amsterdam during  28 November 2019 – 19 January 2020. For more information visit the official website of the festival.

Building shape and massing
The massing of a building determines the quality of light distribution. In general, narrow forms with greatest access to exterior openings will be easiest to illuminate with natural light. Before electric light was common, buildings were narrow, only as wide as they could be illuminated.
There are three basic forms for admitting natural light into a space: side lighting, top lighting or atria, as described below.
The term side sighting describes the location of the opening. However, effective use of natural light requires more than a window. Light-reflectingand light-receiving surfaces must be integrated into the architecture to avoid glare and excessive heat gain. 
In most cases, the ceiling will be best surface to receive reflected light. It should be unobstructed, high-reflectance, and shoıld be able to seen by task areas in a space.
See the following graphics, how to use the ceiling best to advantage.
Locate openings carefully because location affects both light distribution and the perception of distribution. A window wall can be horizontally divided into an upper third, middle third, and lower third. Each section has its distinct characteristics.

Upper section
The upper window sees brighter zenith of overcast sky and therefore has the best distribution of light on overcast days.For sunny conditions , the upper window does not provide the best light distribution. In any weather condition, an unbaffled upper window has great potential for sun and sky glare. Because the high window is often located above eye level, when properly baffled, the high window can admit very bright light without glare.
Middle section
The middle window is not optimal for light distribution on sunny days or overcast days, yet it is the most commonly used location because of the view afforded. Be careful to avoid glare from bright window sills and reflections in video display terminal screens from middle windows.
Lower section
The lower window provides optimal distribution of reflected sunlight. This is because it maximizes the distance between the light source and ceiling and provides greatest uniformity. Light levels will be lower near the window wall and higher deep in the space.
In practice, the upper, middle, and lower windows are often combined, and it is important to recognize that in the sunny condition, locating the opening as low as possible will result in most uniform distribution.

Multilateral openings
Locating the openings in more than one wall will enhance the distribution of light. With sidelighting in  only one wall (unilateral), large amounts of light must be admitted to provide light deep in buildings. Because of this, there is a tendency for the area near the window to be underlit and perceived gloomy. Daylight openings on opposite or nearby walls of a space will provide more even distribution of light, brighten dark areas and allow usage of smaller windows with less over lighting.
Projecting lower sills form a large glazing area similar to a greenhouse. This configuration will maximize illumination from area sources such as overcast skies. It can be used at orientations aht  do not require shading.
The reverse is the overbite configuration , in which  the window header extends over the lower sill. Like overhangs, it is best for ground-reflected sunlight and shades direct sun and skylight.

Follow us on our next article “ Sunlight Shading & Redirecting devices ”.
Architectural Lighting by M. David Egan and Victor W. Olgyay

Room Proportion
There is no universal answer to the question: “How deep can a room be effectively illuminated with natural light?” Room proportion determines light distribution, not size. For example, given the same proportion and opening, orientation, and reflectances these two rooms will have the same luminance distribution.
As ceiling height increases, the light distribution becomes more even for both toplighting and side lighting. Shown in the side lighting sections below, as the ceiling height increases from 8 to 16 m, the ratio of average light levels to minimum light levels decreases by a factor of 6. The flatter the illumination gradient, the more even the distribution of light.
Room Reflectances

Light distribution is highly dependent on room reflectance. In general, the ceiling is the most important light-reflecting surface. The IESNA guideline of 70/50/20 (ceiling/walls/floor) for minimum surface reflectance follows this principle. Because most tasks “see” light reflected from the ceiling, it will be a significant light source, especially in deep, wide, sidelit rooms. In toplighting and smaller rooms, the side walls become increasingly important.
In diagrams below, various combinations of flat black and matte white surfaces are placed opposite a window wall. The reduction of daylight on the desktop surface illustrates the relative importance of each surface for a space with this light source and proportion. The percentages show illuminance according to all white surface conditions rated at 100%.

Follow us on our next article “ Sidelighting & Openings ”.
Architectural Lighting by M. David Egan and Victor W. Olgyay

Planning for Solar Access
Master planning of an area or region is an ideal opportunity to provide solar access. Planning for solar access at the largest scale can very simplify the design for natural light at the building scale. 
Topography may be used to provide shade or access sunlight. When properly oriented and located, circulation patterns can provide solar access between building and masses. 

In urban design; large buildings often shade close by buildings or themselves. This can be an asset when cool courtyards are created or a liability when dark, huge urban streets are created. Zoning codes in many urban areas include daylight or solar access requirements to regulate building massing. Codes that specify access to daylight enhance views of the sky, whereas codes that specify access to sunlight must consider temporal orientation and sun angles.

Solar envelopes

Solar envelopes are three dimensional design tools used to maximize the buildable volume on particular site, while preserving access to sunlight for close by buildings. The basic elements used to design a solar envelope are: latitude, size, orientation and topography of the site; times of day solar access is desired and impact of shading on the site.

Building orientation

Planning for solar access includes more than direct solar access and shading. Urban planning e appropriate building orientation (typically elongated on the east-west axis) and thereby facilitate use of direct sunlight, shading and sunlight reflected from nearby ground and buildings.

Building orientation facilitates the use of natural light in buildings. Building orientation is critical for shading and redirecting sunlight, but less for non-directional daylight.

Long axis running North-South
Buildings oriented with the long axis running-north south usually have greatest exposure to the morning sun. The east and west facades receive more light during the summer than during the winter. Because of low -angle sunlight orientations it is hard to shade direct sunlight without also blocking the view. Openings on the east and west sides of buildings are less preferred for illumination, especially side lighting. However, toplighting with this orientation can give the best constancy of daylighting through the day.
Long axis running East-West
Buildings oriented with the long axis running east-west usually have greatest exposure to southern sunlight. This is generally the preferred building orientation. High summer sun has greatest impact on the roof and horizontal surfaces. The north-south faces are the easiest to shade, often by a simple device. The effects of the orientation are greatest at the northern latitudes where sun angle is lower. The higher-angle sunlight entering the openings on the north and south facades illuminates the horizontal surfaces well.

Follow us on our next article “ Room Proportion & Reflectances ”.
Architectural Lighting
Book: Architectural Lighting by M. David Egan and Victor W. Olgyay


There are a lot of important factors when choosing the right light fixture. We really care about the selections such as lumens per watt, color temperatures but how about light distribution?

The importance of distribution of light is actually in the fixture itself. With the correct distribution of light, you can lower fixture counts and get a better sustainable project. Determining a luminaire’s light distribution can be also a key consideration.

Light distribution is basically the projected pattern of light which is fixture can distribute onto a surface. Fixtures are available in wide variety of distribution patterns, from uniformly diffuse to highly directional, narrow beams.

The effect and diffusion of light vary according to the beam of light. We can collect this issue in 7 ways;


This type of luminaire can be used to create a feeling of the height in large rooms without low ceilings. The term generally refers to light emitted in a downward direction. Troffers and downlights are two types of direct lighting luminaires.


Light reflected from the ceiling tends to soften shadows and improve brightness ratios. Luminaire brightness can be approximately equal to the brightness of the ceiling because light also is directed downward.


These luminaires provide approximately equal light to the floor and ceiling and very little light to the sides. Consequently, brightness can be low in the zone of direct glare.


These fixtures provide approximately equal light in all directions. To control direct glare, diffusing enclosures should be large and lamp wattage low.


A small percentage of light directed upward tends to soften shadows caused by direct luminaries, like downlights. These applications are where strong light is not necessary e.g., stairways, corridors, and storage areas.

Direct; Wide Beam Spread

Direct fixtures can be used for focus and emphasis. To prevent high brightness ratios, ensure that sufficient illumination is provided on walls and other vertical surfaces.

Direct;Highly Concentrated Beam Spread Downlight

Beam spread depends on the reflector, lens, and position of lamp in luminaire.



Architectural Lighting Book: Architectural Lighting by M. David Egan and Victor W. Olgyay



    Daylight can be defined as diffuse light through clouds or partially cloudy skies. In a cloudy climate, the diffuse sky is often the main source of useful daylight.
    For climate conditions in which cloud cover exists (no visible sun for a substantial percentage of the year), we should design to optimize daylight. In this case, the light source is the sky, not the sun or sunlit surfaces. Still, some of the sunlight strategies also apply to daylight, such as using light efficiently, controlling the amount of light, and integrating with architecture. Because the overcast sky not a point source it is an area source.
    Here are the basic approach to the daylighting strategies;

1. Maximize solid angle of the sky seen from the task or light-reflecting surfaces. In practice, this means that tasks cannot be too far from the aperture. (windows and skylights). However apertures can be larger for daylighting than for sunlighting.

2. Shade to prevent glare. avoid direct views of overcast sky because it is a bright source of potential glare. Shading is not needed on the building exterior since heat gain is not a problem from overcast sky conditions.
3. Do not block light. Do not use solid light shelves or overhangs. They are not effective for redistributing light in overcast sky conditions and may reduce the amount of daylight reaching the task.

4. Locate openings high. Openings should see the brightest part of the sky. The overcast sky at the zenith is about 3 times brighter than at the horizon. High window locations and horizontal skylights will provide the best access to light
from overcast sky.

5. Shape space to minimize absorption of light. Use high-reflactance interior finishes. Maximize the ceiling height near windows to allow high windows and slope ceiling down toward the rear to minimize interior surface area.

Follow us on our next article “Planning for Solar Access ”.

Sources; Architectural Lighting by M. David Egan and Victor W. Olgyay

The sun is a powerful source of light. Properly used in building design, sunlight can be energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. However, if not carefully designed, building may overheat, be too bright or have a poor distribution light.
For all designs, the preliminary goal is to provide illumination for visual activities and visual delight. With sunlight, the basic design strategy is to use the sunlight indirectly. Sunlighting design also should be integrated with architecture.

There are 5 design strategies to promote the effective use of sunlight.

1.Shade; Shade building openings to control to glare and excessive heat gain due to direct sunlight. North-south openings tend toward a lower, horizontal illumination which lights vertical surfaces well.
2.Redirect; Redirect sunlight to where it needs. The right distribution of illumination is the essence of good lighting, therefore it is even more important with sunlight. It is undesirable to have the area near the window over illuminated while the rest of the room is under illuminated.

    The light from the sun, should be spread over a large area to optimize the balance of brightness. This has additional benefit minimizing the contrast in the room.
3.Efficiency, we can use light more efficiency by shaping the interior and using high-reflectance interior building surfaces.This will help better distribute light and will reduce the total amount of light that needs to be admitted.
4.Integrate; Integrate forms for sunlighting with architecture. When an opening for sunlight does not provide a view or fill an essential role in the architectural design, the opening is likely to be blocked with drapes or other obstructions.
5.Control; We must control the amount of light entering space. Provide the amount of light required, at the time it is desired. No more, no less.

So, what can be used to control natural light? With technological improvements everyday, we have many options. Such as; light shelves integrated to building control system, glass facade and blind/louvre systems, prismatic glass panels, spectral selective glazed glass and photochromic glass usage, also filtering alternatives can be used to balance the natural light indoors.

Sunlight is a must in architecture. We should try to find the balance, make sure to get the maximum use out of it, practice these strategies so design process can benefit from it in the best way possible.

Follow us on our next article “Light Distribution of Luminaires”.

An another source of natural light is Reflected light, which can be defined as light reflected from natural and man made surfaces.


The sun illuminates surfaces, creating secondary sources of light. Light-colored surfaces reflecting sunlight are typically the second-brightest sources of light in the environment. On a sunny day they can be dominant light sources in the field of view.
Reflected sunlight is normally is more diffuse than direct light, reflected sunlight may be less intense and maybe have a different color or direction. The qualities of reflected sunlight are largely dependent on properties of the reflecting material.

Ground is dominant secondary light source on a sunny day.
Reflected light effects architecture in two very distinctive ways, it can be studied as reflectance on horizontal and vertical surfaces.
Horizontal reflected light is most abundant on the sunny sides of buildings. Light reflected from horizontals surface such as un shaded light colored ground cover can be significant source of natural light, especially in low buildings.
In tall buildings, a much greater extent of sunny foreground is required. Light may also be reflected from horizontal surfaces attached to or integral with the building facade. Examples are wide sills or light shelves. Even small amount of horizontal surfaces receive greatest solar impact at high sun angles.
Ä°lgili resim


Vertical reflected light is most abundant on the shady side of buildings, where light is reflected from unshaded light-colored walls or facades of adjacent buildings in the sun. vertical surfaces receive their greatest solar impact at low sun angles, such as in winter time and at high latitudes. Light reflected from vertical surfaces is often relatively horizontal  and may be a source of glare. For this reason, luminous surfaces should be of visual interest or locate openings above eye level.
Good interior lighting can simply be defined as lighting that enables people to perform visual tasks and to be comfortable while performing them. Daylighting design is inseparable from electric lighting design and must consider issues such as:  Brightness balance, Distribution of light in space and time (time of day and season), Appropriateness of illumination levels , Energy saving techniques.
For interior spaces in which sunlight and daylight are an integral part of the luminous environment, special care must be taken early in the design process to ensure proper orientation, massing, space planning, and sizing and shaping of apertures, since these early decisions will have the biggest effects on the overall building performance.
Follow us on our next article “Sources of Natural Light; Sunlighting Strategies”.

As we mentioned on our previous article to effectively use natural light, first we must try and understand its abilities. Sunlight can be defined as direct-beam light through clear or partially cloudy skies.


Partially cloudy skies are also partially clear. Clear sky and sunlight together act very differently from a diffuse overcast sky. In clear, sunny condition, sun is the brightest source of light, virtually a point source coherent, parallel rays producing sharp shadows.
The light intensity of sun varies with many factors such as latitude,solar altitude and atmospheric conditions. The solar illumination at sea level can exceed to can exceed 100,000 Lux perpendicular to the sun’s rays, the color temperature of sunlight changes also, from 1000 to 1800K at sunrise to approximately 5000K at noon. This is considerably lower than a clear blue sky at greater than 10000K.

Atmosfere of the clear blue sky filters and diffuses light, but provides low illumination. Near the sun the sky is bright, but majority of the blue sky provides less bright illumination than overcast skies. The allure of northern skylight for artists is due to its consistency of intensity and color temperature.
To find out more about Natural light, follow us on our next article “Sources of Natural Light; Reflected Light”.



To use natural light effectively, first we need to understand its abilities. Available daylight patterns are modified by factors such as close by landforms, vegetation, and structures. the variety light conditions create dramatically different perceptual environments and architectural responses.


The three basic sources of natural light are;
Daylight, Sunlight, Reflected light.


Let’s start from Daylight with a basic definition.
We can define Daylight as diffuse light through clouds or partially cloudy skies.


We can describe daylight such as the combination of all direct and indirect light originating from the sun during daytime. In a cloudy climate, the diffuse sky is often the main source of useful daylight.


When the cloud cover completely obscured sun, the sky is considered totally overcast. An overcast sky produces diffuse light. The sky is brightest at the zenith and decreases at the horizon to approximately one third of its maximum brightness.


In totally overcast condition, the sky is generally the brightest element in an outdoor scene; light reflected off other surfaces has a much lower luminescence.


The totally diffuse diffuse area of the sky indistinctly  renders shadows. Filtering of the light by the clouds also significantly raises the color temperature of the transmitted light.


The totally overcast sky is actually quite uncommon. It is much more common to have less dense cloud cover with uneven luminous distributions revealing the sun.Thin, hazy clouds can be very bright, usually brighter than the fully overcast sky or a clear sky.


Partially cloudy skies are even more common, constantly changing between direct sunlight  and hazy daylight and fluctuating in intensity, distribution and color temperature, as all of us experience the most in our daily routine.


To find out more about Natural light, follow us on our next article “Sources of Natural Light; Sunlight


Natural Light


Lighting designer’s main source is natural light. Sun is a natural source and it has sustainable unlimited energy. In this article series, we want you to inform about natural light more. Let’s begin with ‘What is Natural Light’.


Light inspires us and enriches the spaces. The ever changing presence of natural light in a building is delightful and inspiring. Natural light tells us about the weather,  the time of day, and satisfies other deeply rooted in our psychological needs. Simply ‘Natural light can enhance architecture, improve the way people feel.’


Please read about how leCorbusier has played masterfully with orientation, openings and textures to create kinetic architecture with daylight.

“Architecture appears for the first time when the sunlight hits a wall.
The sunlight did not know what it was before it hit a wall.”
― Louis Kahn

The benefits of natural light are so valuable that we often have to discuss the health and economic related aspects.  Some searches in 2000’s  in numerous schools and retail stores in USA indicated that quality daylight does enhance the learning (measured by academic test scores) and shopping (yearly growth in scales).  As lighting designers we often ‘try’ to mimic these feelings with artificial light.  


Nowadays with the development of light sources, high end control systems powered with connected technologies, we can easily and more ‘economically’ focus on some applications such as color temperature, light colors and intensity changes in our built environments. But we have strong doubt because we realise how little we really know about light and how we perceive it, we behave accordingly.    This is a discomforting topic; A way of using ‘latest’ technology in both artificial and natural lighting systems has become a ‘necessity’.


Lets focus on the natural and learn more about how we can benefit from daylight more.



Natural light in buildings can provide ambient illumination which will reduce the usage of electric light. This lowers energy consumption and reduces the generation of ‘pollution’. These benefits alone often are sufficient justification to include natural light in a building’s design. Great lighting design also relies on using natural light effectively.  


We have really great samples daylight architecture throughout our civilizations. We need to re focus on them.
Unfortunately, there are many unsuccessful buildings which are designed with misapplication of natural light. Sometimes, natural light can be difficult to control. It can cause of result as excessive heat gain, uncomfortable glare, and degradation of artwork and materials. Building orientation is too often ignored, facades and openings are designed without regard to daylight.


To successfully design with natural light, place the light where needed. Avoiding disturbing contrasts, glare, unwanted heat gain is possible with focusing on the design considering natural light.  The integration of natural light and artificial light into buildings can create delightful luminous environments.


The primary objective of natural light where we will define as ‘daylight systems’ is to maximize use of daylight for buildings.  To use daylight effectively first assess its availability. The quantity and quality of light available for illumination in a building are determined by the regional climatic conditions. Available daylight patterns are modified by factors such as adjacent landforms, vegetation and structures.The varying light conditions different perceptual environments and architectural responses.


Three basic sources of natural light are:
Reflected Light  
Next article: “Sources of Natural Light; Daylight”.


Book: Architectural by M. David EgLighting an and Victor W. Olgyay (2nd Edition)




If we want to know more about light, we should start know the basic metrics to describe ‘light’. Let’s make it as simple as wecan.
There are different units for measuring quantity of light and it sometimes can get complicated.



Luminous flux is defined as the time rate of flow of light. The amount of total luminous energy – light emitted from a source in unit time is measured in lumen.  It does not imply direction, distance, or intensity. Simply the total light output of a source.   The more lumens the fixture or the source gives off, more light it emits.


The force of the luminous flux in a specified direction is luminous intensity. Luminous intensity measures the strength or (we rather to called it as) “punch” of a light source in a specific direction  Very often, a light source will have different intensities when measured at different directions.


Measured in candelas (lumen / stredian), the luminous intensity of a light source is commonly shown on a candlepower distribution curve.   The polar axis on this chart graphically indicates the luminous intensity in any given direction from the source position.


Clue: You can find most of the successful luminaire producers share their products candlepower distribution curves for you to understand the basic light distribution characteristics of the luminaire you are planning to use. An experienced eye can understand how light will behave with looking to these polar distribution intensities.


The intensity of light falling to a surface in unit time is called Lux, in which is also called as illuminance. Illuminance is the density of incident on a surface. Simply how much light is hitting a surface. It changes according to the distance and angle of the surface.  It can be measured inexpensively by a lightmeter called luxmeter.
We can easily measure amount of light falling to a surface.


Density of light varies according to the distance and the angle to the square of the distance.
That is called inverse square law.


Inverse square law – S represents the light source, while r represents the measured points.


We do not see illuminance when a surface is illuminated we see its brightness defined as Luminance. Luminance, is measured brightness which is defined as the intensity of visible brightness of a source or surface in the direction of the observer, divided by the area of the source or surface seen. The specific way the light comes off of a surface. It allows us to see things. The unit is candela/squaremeter .


The perceived brightness of an object depends on the light reflected from itself and its background, brightness adaptation. Its brightness relative to other objects appears the same in bright light or dark..

So how do we measure light?

To measure illumination levels take reading with a light meter simply use the light cell parallel to the surface of interest, for example the work plane. Illumination gradients also can be measured with light meter, this helps us understand the relationship between room shapes and reflectances.

Zoom IMG_6357.JPG 

We can use light meter according to our needs, measuring illumination levels of surfaces or a room or the work plane, measuring brightness of a surface, measuring brightness of a luminous sourceLight meter also can be used for reflectance and transmittance measurements. We can experiment with light meter in order to find out which materials are best for our design.

Zoom IMG_6337.JPG Zoom IMG_6348.JPG