If we talk about light sources, we distinguish between natural and artificial lighting. With natural, let’s say, everything is clear, but artificial light can be presented in different types and ways. Types of artificial lighting are divided by implementation, functions, direction of light flow.
It is extremely important that the lighting is good, as it strongly affects not only the vision, but also the mental health of people. In the era of active development of all spheres of human activity, the need for good lighting is constantly increasing.
The unit of measurement of saturation and brightness of light is 1 lux. It is quite difficult to independently determine that the room is not lit enough or that the light in it is too bright. The human eye cannot see the difference between light of 300 and 500 lux, for example. But it can affect vision, and quite significantly. What to do? You should approach the choice of lighting items very carefully.
Illumination standards must be increased by one mark of the illumination scale. These norms are especially clearly controlled in various industries, where the load on people’s vision is much greater than usual.
To determine whether the light is normal, for example, in production, special devices are used. Such devices are luxometer, flash meter, photometer. If you manage to find one of these devices, it would be great if you could check the light level with them in the rooms where you have to be most often.
There are general criteria for determining whether the room is normally lit. For example, the reaction of a person’s eyes to entering a room after being outside. In order not to irritate the retina, the light is moderately bright compared to street light, but not darker, otherwise it will be uncomfortable to work.
There are certain facilities where mandatory lighting standards are established:
- educational institution;
- gas stations and service stations;
- residential buildings;
- roads, pedestrian crossings, etc.;
- parks, exhibitions, stadiums;
- household service enterprises.
Natural light in the listed objects is often not enough for normal life.
Improper lighting is the greatest danger for children, as their retinas are not yet sufficiently adapted to different types of lighting. It is not the content of the standard lighting that threatens serious vision loss in a child, however, it cannot be said that it is completely safe for an adult.
The norm of light is measured by two main parameters – the degree of illumination and the power of pulsation of light rays. In fact, the light emitted by various light bulbs is constantly pulsating, but this remains unnoticed by the human eye. Illumination pulsation is the ratio of the amplitude of illumination fluctuations to their average value.
The frequency of light flickering is measured in Hz. According to the international standard, this indicator should not be lower than 400 Hz. Often, this parameter is indicated on light bulb packages, which undoubtedly should be paid attention to.
Incandescent lamps fall under the established norm, so they are quite safe for use in various rooms, which cannot be said about fluorescent lamps.
Ways of implementing lighting
There are four main types of artificial lighting according to the method of implementation in the room:
- General Due to the uniform distribution of lamps, the light is dispersed evenly. The simplest example is a chandelier in the middle of the room or spotlights distributed around the perimeter of the room.
If there is only one light source, for example, a large chandelier, then the light in different parts of the room will be different, but there will be no sharp changes. However, the human eye perceives changes in light quite specifically. For example, if the lighting level in the room will be ten times lower than outside in sunny weather, a person, upon entering the house, will not feel it much.
- Local (local). The light source is positioned to illuminate a specific area of the room (desk, reading chair, bedside area, etc.). Many designers agree that such light is the final touch in interior design.
The main difference between the local type of lighting and the general one is the ability to change the direction of the light (turn the lamp in the other direction).
- Emphatic. It is used in design to highlight a certain object with light. For example, in an apartment it can be the illumination of a picture, a niche.
Most often, the accent type of artificial lighting is found in shopping centers, stores, at exhibitions, when the buyer’s attention is drawn to the goods with the help of directional light.
- Combined. Combination of general and local lighting. It has received the greatest development in design, as it allows highlighting or shading different functional areas of the room.
Types of light flow direction
The main criterion when choosing a type of artificial lighting is a comfortable stay in the room. This is achieved by choosing the right direction of light.
- Directly. The light stream is directed to a specific object, making the main emphasis on it. Also, this method of lighting allows you to visually increase the size of the object. Direct light is mainly used for decorative purposes in the interiors of residential buildings and commercial premises.
- Indirectly. Lighting that provides sufficient illumination of the room, without the direct direction of light rays. For example, the distribution of lamps around the perimeter of the room, or if there is only one light source, then the direction of the light flow from it is strictly to the ceiling. This allows you to evenly illuminate the room, and the degree of illumination depends on the brightness of the light bulbs.
- Scattered The light is directed into the room through a diffusing screen – an opaque ceiling. Diffused light is distributed evenly throughout the room, there is no transition between brighter or darker areas. Chandeliers and hanging lamps are used for diffused lighting.
- mixed Use of all the listed types of artificial lighting in one room.
Functional purpose of lighting
When buying a chandelier or a lamp, people often first pay attention to the decorative qualities of the light source, and forget about the functional purpose. However, these parameters are equally important, and sometimes the function of the lamp is more important. According to the functional criterion, artificial lighting is divided into:
- working Lighting, which is installed in the working areas of various premises, which corresponds to the proposed standards of illumination. It ensures the coordinated operation of production, comfortable movement of people and transport. If a person works for a long time in conditions of poor lighting, soon his vision will deteriorate significantly, and even later it may disappear altogether. At the same time, we are talking not only about production. Work in the office is no less harmful if there is poor lighting or excessively active pulsation of the light flow.
- emergency This is the lighting that turns on when the light suddenly goes out due to extraordinary circumstances. So-called spare energy reserves are used. In emergency mode, the degree of illumination of the working area should be at least 5% of normal illumination.
- Security The lighting sources installed along the border zones are designed to work in the evening and at night. They should not be very bright, as the vision gets used to the dark quite quickly, so only a small additional light source is needed. However, the entire protected area must be provided with such sources.
- Evacuation. Thanks to this type of lighting, if necessary, people can safely evacuate. The minimum illumination should be 0.5 lux indoors and 0.2 lux in open areas.
- Signal. This type of lighting is a beam of light to fix safe zones in case of the same evacuation, for example.
It is quite simple to understand the types of artificial lighting, but it is much more difficult to choose lighting devices. At the same time, it is necessary to adhere to the established norms in order to preserve the vision and health of people who will be under the influence of the created lighting.