Visual Satisfaction

  • Wout van Bommel


Visual performance as described in the previous chapter relates to the lighting of the task. The lighting of the whole space determines whether the overall appearance of the space is experienced as visually satisfying. The brightness of a space, the distribution of the luminance in that space, the directionality of the light, the degree of discomfort glare and the colour tint of light determine visual satisfaction.

For the characterisation of the visual appearance of a room two different metrics are proposed: the average luminance in a horizontal band with a width of 40°, and the mean room surface exitance.

The directionality of lighting determines the appearance of three-dimensional objects and faces in a space. The concept of flow of lighting allows for the calculation of the main direction and strength at a point in space as a result of all light rays at that point. The vector-to-scalar ratio can quantify, and light tubes visualise, the flow of lighting. It enables a detailed analysis of the spatial and form-giving potential of lighting designs.

The unified glare rating UGR concept is used as a measure of the degree of discomfort glare. However, for glare sources with a non-uniform luminance, such as many LED matrix luminaires, the UGR concept needs modifications. The spectrum of the glare source influences also discomfort glare: short-wavelength light sources result in more discomfort glare than long wavelengths.

It is questionable if correlated colour temperature-based rules work good enough to predict visual satisfaction with light sources of different tints of whiteness.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wout van Bommel
    • 1
  1. 1.Van Bommel Lighting ConsultantNuenenThe Netherlands

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