Building Simulation

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 563–578 | Cite as

Modelling and simulation of virtual natural lighting solutions with complex views

  • Rizki A. MangkutoEmail author
  • Myriam B. C. Aries
  • Evert J. van Loenen
  • Jan L. M. Hensen
Research Article Building Thermal, Lighting, and Acoustics Modeling


In situations where daylight is insufficiently available, Virtual Natural Lighting Solutions (VNLS) can be promising to turn currently unused floor space into spaces with enough daylight qualities. This article introduces VNLS models with complex image scenes pasted on a transparent glass surface in front of arrays of small, directional white light sources. The objectives are twofold: the first one is to understand the effect of changing input variables, i.e. beam angle, total luminous flux of the “sky” elements, and image scene itself, on the lighting performance of a reference office space. The second objective is to compare two techniques of modelling the view, i.e. transmissive and emissive approaches, using Radiance. Sensitivity analysis of the simulation results show that under every image scene, the total luminous flux of the “sky” element is largely influential to the space availability, whereas the beam angle of the “sky” element is largely influential to the other output variables, including discomfort glare. The findings lead to a suggestion of preferred elements in the image scene, to ensure large space availability and uniformity. The transmissive approach generally generates smaller values of space availability, and largely depends on the view elements of the image scene. In turn, the average probability of discomfort glare using the transmissive approach is smaller than that using the emissive approach.


virtual natural lighting solution view light transmissive approach emissive approach simulation 

List of symbols


space availability (%)


ground contribution on the ceiling (%)


average ground contribution on the ceiling (%)


beam angle of the “sky” element (°)


daylight glare probability


normalised daylight glare index


daylight glare index


CIE glare index


normalised CIE glare index


average illuminance (lx)


minimum illuminance (lx)


interval of tilt angle of the “sky” element (°)


total number of points

n(E⩾ 500 lx)

number of points with illuminance ⩾ 500 lx (%)


average probability of discomfort glare




unified glare rating


normalised unified glare rating


regression coefficient


standard regression coefficient


weighted average spectral reflectance


spectral reflectance in red


spectral reflectance in green


spectral reflectance in blue


weighted average spectral transmittance


spectral transmittance in red


spectral transmittance in green


spectral transmittance in blue


total luminous flux of the “sky” element (lm)


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rizki A. Mangkuto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Myriam B. C. Aries
    • 1
  • Evert J. van Loenen
    • 1
  • Jan L. M. Hensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Building Physics and Services, Department of the Built EnvironmentEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhoventhe Netherlands

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