Why Lighting is important…

History


For the most part of the history of mankind, from the origins of man up to the 18. Century, there were basically two sources of light available. The older one of these two is daylight, the medium by which we see and to whose properties the eye has adapted over millions of years. A considerable time elapsed before the stone age, with its development of cultural techniques and tools, added the flame as a second, artificial light source. From this time on lighting conditions remained the same for a considerable time. Lighting was limited to daylight and flame and it was for this very reason that man has continued to perfect the application of these two light sources for tens of thousands of years.

Purpose

It is important that any lighting system is fit for purpose: It should provide a quality and quantity of light that is appropriate for the environment in which it is being used; enable tasks to be performed efficiently and effectively; be perceived as comfortable and give people a high level of satisfaction. The aim is to achieve this whilst providing a good balance of cost and energy consumption through good design and optimum selection of products.

Energy Use

Lighting accounts for between 5 and 15% of residential energy use and up to 30% of commercial building energy use, and continues to increase. In certain business types, for example the retail sector, lighting can account for up to 80% of energy use. This is due to long operating hours and the need to “keep things bright” and stand out from the competition.

Why Design

Therefore, in this context, greater sustainability can be achieved by making a conscious decision to reduce the amount of electricity used through appropriate lighting design (including the use of natural light and design techniques to reduce the amount of artificial lighting needed) and by selecting energy efficient luminaires and effective control systems.

Why Lighting?


What is the purpose of electric lighting? • To extend the useful hours in the day • To assist the performance of a visual task • To display or reveal something • To control how something appears • To attract attention