Comprehensive lighting design requires consideration of the amount of functional light provided, the energy consumed, as well as the aesthetic impact supplied by the lighting system. Some buildings, like surgical centers and sports facilities, are primarily concerned with providing the appropriate amount of light for the associated task. Some sites, like warehouses and office buildings, are primarily concerned with saving money through the energy efficiency of the lighting system. Other sites, like casinos and theatres, are primarily concerned with enhancing the appearance and emotional impact of architecture through lighting systems. Therefore, it is important that the sciences of light production and luminaire photometric are balanced with the artistic application of light as a medium in our built environment.

These electrical lighting systems should also consider the impacts of, and ideally be integrated with, day lighting systems. Factors involved in lighting design are essentially the same as those discussed above in energy conservation analysis.

We focus on three fundamental aspects of the illumination of sites, buildings or spaces. The first is the aesthetic appeal of a building, an aspect particularly important in the illumination of retail environments. Secondly, the ergonomic aspect: the measure of how much of a function the lighting plays. Thirdly is the energy efficiency issue to ensure that light is not wasted by over-illumination, either by illuminating vacant spaces unnecessarily or by providing more light than needed for the aesthetics or the task.


The design process takes account of:

  • The kind of human activity for which lighting is to be provided.
  • The amount of light required.
  • The color of the light as it may affect the views of particular objects and the environment as a whole.
  • The distribution of light within the space to be lighted, whether indoor or outdoor.
  • The effect of the lightened system itself on the user.