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Lighting Systems for Large Structures Report

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Updated: Mar 14th, 2022


The use of light from the sun during the day can be an efficient way to minimize light energy costs in large buildings. Though this method has not been adopted by a lot of people, it can significantly reduce electricity costs for building owners. This can be achieved by carefully designing the windows of large buildings to allow more light and air circulation within the building. Other benefits associated with good designs are the construction of spacious rooms for an occupation to ensure normal temperature conditions which will help the occupants to increase productivity due to a good working environment. The design of lighting systems of large buildings has to include a combination of several disciplines in order for it to work effectively. It includes the following disciplines for proper implementation; a good architectural design, proper designing of the mechanical components of the building and a proper plan of the lighting systems. Modern inventions and technologies that reduce light energy consumption should also be adopted in designing large commercial buildings.


When designing lighting systems for large buildings, a considerable amount of light should be distributed throughout the building that is only consumed and functional. The intended purpose of a building also determines a particular lighting design to be used. For instance, the lighting system of a theatre is meant to attract the audience and evoke emotions, while commercial buildings are concerned with energy consumption and efficient use of the lighting system. It is in this regard that artistic design should be incorporated in lighting systems as well the desire to reduce consumption and costs.

Discussion and findings

For small buildings, simple calculations are done manually by persons to determine the positions of the lighting positions. But for large buildings, a computerized mathematical design is used to determine the positions. To ensure that the light in large buildings is uniformly distributed and there is enough light in the rooms, the height of the building and the lighting requirements are considered. Software for positioning the lighting systems is used to determine the relevant position of the lights. All the fixtures are inserted in the system with consideration of the height of the building, the reflection index of the walls and the size of the rooms. The computer will then generate the positions to be drawn on the final plan of a building showing the luminosity levels on operational heights of the building. Modern programs have the ability to include the effects of light from outside thereby minimizing installation and consumption costs (Kant, 53).

According to Papamichael Kant (29), to come up with a design of lighting system of a building, models of lighting systems of existing buildings have to be considered and the current lighting technologies. The models have to be exposed to a real working environment and under complex conditions. Some of the techniques to be used include, estimating the overall annual consumption of energy of the expected systems together with the expected changes so as to determine the approximate consumption; whether the lighting offers a comfortable visualization irrespective of the changes in the system. The problems within the model are rectified by analyzing the visual effects on a computer screen and evenly dispersion of light within the room; designing rooms with a considerable amount of space to allow natural light from the sun and the skies to penetrate the rooms. This is achieved by reducing the measurements of fields to maximize the area of exposure of light to the rooms. The final phase of design is by using a full demonstration to assess whether the desired features you were looking for are practically achievable. By using a full demonstration, you will know the approximate light energy required and the desired performance of the system designed. The final design is then compared to other designs so as to better have the knowledge of the challenges that are likely to be encountered in the market and other institutions that strive to save light energy consumption.

The benefits that come with full implementation of the above design procedures are beneficial since the light in large buildings will be distributed evenly throughout the building as well as reasonable consumption of light energy. This system of procedures will benefit lighting designers in a number of ways: a complete design of the lighting system will be achieved with enhanced efficiency and equitable distribution of light within the entire building. In the United States, a system known as the Venetian Blind, which has conformed to all the requisite conditions is used to determine and control the intensity of light in big commercial buildings. It has the ability to control the amount of light incident on the building; it can allow viewing when necessary and controls thermionic emission. Another benefit of the procedures is the development of redirecting structures. This is achieved by elongating the daylighted areas of the border zones and minimizing high radiance levels near the windows. The sizes of the window apertures are made in a manner so as to reduce heat from the solar system. The benefit of using daylight will also be achieved significantly. A synchronized approach is used by using sophisticated window systems and using tools that increase luminance in the rooms. Through consultations with other designers and other interested parties, a forum of superior expertise is created. Proper designing of the systems of light also leads to a better understanding of human factors. As much as the desire is to increase energy efficiency, it should also ensure that the health and productivity of the occupants are not at risk (Rollen, 66).

From the arguments above, it is evident that the aim of the designs of light in large buildings is to save light energy and ensure that there is enough light for visualization. One of the ways is ensuring maximum usage of daylight. Rollen Sullivan (14), argued that an integrated approach has to be adopted in the lighting system to ensure that it works to the expectation of the users in the following manner: the right tools of design are used to ensure excellent electrical wiring and proper daytime lighting combination concepts. Daylight control systems should be engineered and redesigned to ensure that they reduce reliability and costs. Since the patterns produced by electric energy are consistent while that of daylight is not, a system that can control the intensity of light to ensure that there is uniformity has to be used.


Proper adoption and implementation of lighting designs can lead to a considerable reduction of energy costs. In addition, there will be enough luminance in the building which will enhance performance and productivity as well as improve services. In this report, it is important that designers of buildings should use proper design tools and reliable energy performance statistics to set up lighting systems in large buildings.

Works cited

Kant Papamichael. Simulating the Daylight Performance of Fenestration Systems and Spaces of Arbitrary Complexity: Washington, D.C.: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. 1993.

Rollen Sullivan. Impact Assessment and Performance Targets for Lighting and Envelope Systems.Califonia: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 1992.

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