OUR EXPERTISE

Sharing expertise and knowledge through evidence-based research.

Our Approach

In architecture, considering light as a human experience – and not only as a way to illuminate and enable tasks to be performed – has been increasing in importance.

 

The OCULIGHT approach adds to more conventional daylight consulting services by focusing on how humans experience daylighting in a building. The design and operation of a  building greatly affects the ocular light exposure of its occupants, which in turn directly impacts their physiological and psychological well-being.

Our expertise, developed over years of research, lies in the implementation of a novel workflow that allow us to assess daylight potential using models that predict the vitality, emotion, comfort, and task lighting in a given scene.

OUR INNOVATION

Design with human-centric daylight performance in mind.

 
VITALITY

We use the term vitality to describe the non-image forming effects of light driven by ocular exposure to across the 24-hour day. Light is not only important for vision, as research as shown that bright light can enhance the feeling of vitality and impacts performance, sleep quality, and mood.

These effects are predicted using a mathematical model and then translated into a dose measure that corresponds to the number of “vital” hours. We recommend a minimum of 8 hours of effective light exposure in a day, which is likely to increase the feeling of vitality and wellbeing.

The amount of light dose each day repeated throughout the year can improve alertness and cognitive performance during daytime hours. People working near a window get more and better sleep at night, are more physically active and have a higher quality of life than those in windowless spaces.

The timing of light exposure is crucial for our wellbeing. Replacing daylight exposure with primarily electric light exposure weakens the daily cue to our circadian clock, which can disrupt physiology, cognitive function, and behavior in humans and lead to sleep and circadian-related disorders.

 
EMOTION

To describe the psychological effects of daylight on occupants, we use the term emotion. It expresses the level of visual stimulation that can be associated with a daylit scene as viewed by the space’s occupants, based on surveys conducted with hundreds of people exposed to different rendered scenes while recording their reactions.

 

This metric goes from ‘exciting’ - for scenes with a high level of contrast and variability - to ‘calming’ for smoother, more diffuse daylit environments. It can be associated with activities one may be inclined to do in a given area, depending on the direction of seating or standing.

‘Exciting’ spaces may incite people to socialize and exchange.

‘Calming’ spaces may make people feel more comfortable concentrating or relaxing.

 
COMFORT

The term comfort pertains to finding the “goldilocks zone” between benefiting from adequate ambient daylight and avoiding the risk of glare. The adequacy of ambient daylight levels is evaluated based on the amount of light received on a vertical plane at eye-level, for which 150 lux is considered sufficient. Glare evaluation is based on the so-called Daylight Glare Probability (DGP) metric, which was derived from a statistical assessment of people’s perception of glare in a working environment. In our analyses, we consider that the DGP level must remain under 0.40, which means it stays below the “disturbing” threshold.

The brightness levels of daylight penetration in buildings must meet the occupant needs for visual comfort without impacting work performance.

‘Calming’ spaces may make people feel more comfortable concentrating or relaxing.

 

Learn more about OCULIGHT

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