A good lighting plan in a high-performance green building addresses the amount of light that is needed to safely perform a task and yet reduces light pollution. The green lighting plan considers 3 forms of light pollution: off-light, glare and light trespass. Light trespass is the unwanted light where it’s not needed. Unshielded and no cut-off lights send out light in every direction into the sky and produce a lot of waste whereas the fully cutoff light fixtures are low-glare and help direct light down so they illuminate the project site rather than the surroundings and the sky.
Backlight Upplight Glare (BUG) method is a rating system specified by IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) which takes the back-light, up-light and glare measurements of lighting systems into account when measuring light trespass of a luminaire. Different light fixtures have different BUG ratings and the lower the BUG rating the lower the light trespass. considering the BUG system in the design phase of the lighting plan brings awareness to not only the amount of candle foot needed (and required) for a specific task/area but also how much trespass the lighting fixtures produce and how much they contribute to glare and light pollution of the interior and exterior design. When designing the lighting plan, evaluate both lighting the area on a horizontal plane as well as lighting the project area upward.
A great way to address light pollution is by limiting the use of artificial lights to when absolutely needed. Motion lighting systems and switches ensure artificial lighting is used only when there is traffic. Smart light switches like automatic light shut-offs are another way to control light consumption and pollution. These methods can also save money in the long-term when looking at life-cycle cost.
LEED & interior lighting quality
One of the key components of interior design is the access to and quality of natural lighting which can contribute to positive health benefits, reducing light pollution and energy consumption and lowering energy costs. A sustainable interior lighting plan allows connection with the outdoor and utilizes the natural lighting in the best way possible which can result in significant savings in both energy consumption and energy cost. Natural lighting and blurring lines between interior and exterior impacts the space lighting quality but also air quality and has been linked to productivity and happiness, improving cognitive skills.
Traditional lighting like compact fluorescent lights are high in bad chemicals like mercury and do not only contribute to climate change and energy waste but the toxins and chemicals released when generating electricity pollute the air and negatively impact the interior air quality and our health especially in children.
Interior lighting design goes hand in hand with the overall building color palette and materials. Choosing the right paint and colors for walls and floors of the space contributes to the green building and energy consumption.
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my name is aidin belganeh and i am the founder and chief creative director at bluebeige designs. i graduated with a BBA degree in marketing from southern methodist university in 2012. after working in marketing for a few years, i realized my passion for design and i enrolled at new york school of interior design to pursue a career in design and architecture.
i started bluebeige designs shortly after because i didn’t like the direction the design and architecture was going. bluebeige designs is a design studio building simple spaces with projects across the US mostly in California and Texas. bluebeige designs newsletters is an extension of our brand to explore topics that inspire us. our articles are mostly in scholarly writing and they explore the connection of humans with science, art, design, architecture and how they shape the world around us.
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