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Natural Light


Natural Light

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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’.

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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.’

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

https://www.archdaily.com/597598/light-matters-le-corbusier-and-the-trinity-of-light


“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.  

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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’.

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

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Sources:

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

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/turkey/.premium.MAGAZINE-istanbul-salutes-a-great-jewish-american-architect-1.5824778

http://antinousgaygod.blogspot.com/2016/04/hadrians-pantheon-becomes-sundial-for.html

Author


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Korhan Şişman

Lighting Designer, IALD, Founder @planlux Interior Architect and Environmental Designer He is focused on development of lighting design management processes and light identity design development for custom brands.