Lighting is fundamental to human life and the built environment. Amongst its various functions, lighting is meant to ensure visual work can be done accurately, effectively, safely, and comfortably, to make internal and external places appear attractive and raise interest, to enhance safety and security, and to maintain wellbeing and overall health.
Depending on the application, successful lighting depends on a balance of natural lighting, effective and energy-efficient electric lighting, and integrated control systems. With experienced lighting experts and first-class facilities, we provide professional consultancy, advice, analysis, research, and training on all aspects of electric lighting, including occupant needs and post-occupancy evaluation.
Lighting for new indoor and outdoor applications
BRE experts provide impartial advice on the performance of new lighting technologies or innovative strategies, and on integrating electric lighting with daylighting for indoor applications.
We advise on developing the design brief and design specification, perform design assessments and prototype evaluations, and offer guidance on selecting lighting systems (light sources, luminaires and lighting controls) by evaluating their flexibility, suitability, value for money, energy efficiency, user-friendliness and maintenance costs.
Lighting in existing indoor and outdoor applications
Our experts measure the effectiveness of current lighting systems such as energy efficiency, luminous performance and use of lighting controls, assess environmental impacts such as light pollution or impacts on human performance, comfort, health and wellbeing such as glare, flicker, inadequate quantity and quality of light (including colour and spectral characteristics), and suggest remedial measures.
We provide particular expertise on the best lighting for activities such as display screen equipment use, the appearance of lit spaces, colour appearance and colour rendering properties, impacts on user performance and wellbeing, the selection of appropriate lighting controls, and obtrusive light.
Once lighting has been installed we offer to ensure the installed lighting meets the required performance targets, and carry out occupant surveys to gather views on user experience, performance and comfort levels and identify any problem areas and solutions.
BS 40102 Part 1
In conjunction with other services within Indoor Environment Testing, we can provide testing to the new standard BS 40102 Part 1 Health and Wellbeing in Buildings. This sets out a code of practice for evaluating, monitoring, and measuring indoor environmental quality in non-domestic buildings, one of its sections being focused on light quality.
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For more information
Selection of BRE lighting publications from the BRE Bookshop
Lighting and health, IHS BRE Press 2015
Selecting lighting controls, BRE Digest 498, IHS BRE Press 2014
The essential guide to retail lighting: Achieving effective and energy-efficient lighting, IHS BRE Press 2013
Site layout planning for daylight and sunlight: a guide to good practice, BR 209 2022 edition
Solar shading of buildings: Second edition, (BR 364) 2022 edition
LED lighting: A review of the current market and future developments, IHS BRE Press 2011
Specifying LED lighting, BRE Information paper IP 15/10, IHS BRE Press 2010
Lighting and colour for hospital design, The Stationery Office 2004
Office lighting, IHS BRE Press 2001
Research on artificial lighting aspects
As part of our ongoing programme of built environment research, we carry out field research (including specific photometric and spectral measurements and monitoring), human factor studies and computer modelling analysis on various aspects of artificial lighting. Examples of relevant projects include performance of artificial skylights, circadian lighting, lighting and health, people-friendly lighting controls, availability of rare metals used in LEDs, retail lighting, obtrusive light, or people’s reactions to LED colour.