Visual performance, visual comfort and aesthetics have always been considered the most important factors for architectural lighting design. But light is useful not just for vision. The current knowledge about the implications of the non-visual system on health and wellbeing is already evident, but further research on both renewed recommendations for healthful lighting and circadian or acute effects of light exposure, still needs to be pursued. Especially since contemporary trends on environmental considerations are heading to decrease indoor lighting levels, and daily life routines are driving us to spend less time outdoors and more at home or the workplace.

A Simulation-Based Workflow to Assess Human-Centric Daylight Performance

S. F. Rockcastle; M. L. Amundadottir; M. Andersen

Proceedings of the 8th Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design. 2017. 8th Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design , Toronto, Canada , May 22-24.

This paper will present an annual simulation-based workflow for assessing human perceptual and non-visual responses to daylight across a series of view positions in an architectural case study. Through the integration of mathematical models used to predict visual interest and non-visual health potential, this paper will introduce an automated workflow to assess an array of view positions (located at eye level) under varied sky conditions and across multiple view directions to analyze the predicted impacts of daylight on perception and health in architecture. This approach allows for a spatial and occupant centric analysis of daylight using an integrated simulation-based approach.


A human-centric approach to assess daylight in buildings for non-visual health potential, visual interest and gaze behavior

M. L. Ámundadóttir; S. F. Rockcastle; M. Sarey Khanie; M. Andersen

Building and Environment. 2017. Vol. 113, p. 5-21.

DOI : 10.1016/j.buildenv.2016.09.033.

This paper introduces a novel approach for the assessment of daylight performance in buildings, venturing beyond existing methods that evaluate 2-dimensional illumination and comfort within a fixed field-of-view in order to predict human responses to light concerning non-visual health potential, visual interest, and gaze behavior in a visually immersive scene. Using a 3D rendered indoor environment to exemplify this coordinated approach, the authors assess an architectural space across a range of view directions to predict non-visual health potential, perceptual visual interest, and gaze behavior at the eye level of an occupant across an immersive field-of-view. This method allows the authors to explore and demonstrate the impact of space, time, and sky condition on three novel daylight performance models developed to predict the effects of ocular light exposure using a human-centric approach. Results for each model will be presented in parallel and then compared to discuss the need for a multi-criteria assessment of daylight-driven human responses in architecture. A parallel and comparative approach can allow the designer to adapt the architectural space based on the program use and occupants needs.


Unified framework to evaluate non-visual spectral effectiveness of light for human health

M. L. Ámundadóttir; S. W. Lockley; M. Andersen

Lighting Research and Technology. 2016.

DOI : 10.1177/1477153516655844.

The discovery of a novel non-rod, non-cone photoreceptor in the mammalian eye that mediates a range of ‘non-visual’ responses to light has required reexamination of how lighting needs for human health are characterized and evaluated. Existing literature provides useful information about how to quantify non-visual spectral sensitivities to light but the optimal approach is far from decided. As more is learned about the underlying biology, new approaches will continue to be published. What is currently lacking is a flexible framework to describe the non-visual spectral effectiveness of light using a common language. Without a unified description of quantities and units, much of the value of scientific publications can be lost. In this paper, we review the existing approaches by categorizing the proposed quantities depending on their application. Based on this review, a unified framework is provided for use in evaluating and reporting the spectral effectiveness of light for human health. The unified framework will provide greater flexibility to model the non-visual responses to light and is adaptable to a wide range of lighting solutions of interest to researchers, designers and developers. A new visualization tool, the SpeKtro dashboard, is available to explore the unified framework on-line at