Lighting System

Types of Lighting

There are 5 different types of basic lighting systems, each of which has different benefits of uses.  Since lighting needs vary based on the uses in the room which they are applied, these descriptions may help you choose how to light your rooms.

1.  Indirect Lighting:  This lighting system directs light away from the ground or work plane.  It uses a system of reflectance to light a room.  Hanging fixtures that light from the top are perfect examples of this type of lighting system.  They shine upwards and uses a reflective ceiling to spread the light out and reflect it back down to light the room.  A properly designed lighting layout provides uniform lighting with almost no glare.



 



2.  Semi-Indirect Lighting: Similar to an indirect system, semi-indirect lighting has most of its lighting directed towards the ceiling and uses the same principal of reflectance, however, 10-30% of the lighting is directed down towards the floor.  This allows for a greater illumination of the room as more direct lighting pricipals are applied. The reflected light creates even lighting levels in the room.  Glare is still kept to a minimum.  Upward shining, hanging fixtures with a diffuser or louvered bottom are examples of Semi-Indirect fixtures.

3.  Diffuse & Direct-Indirect Lighting: Both of these systems use the same principal of directing light up and down at a ration of 50-50.  The difference is that Diffuse lighting has a horizontal component as it directs light in all directions equally. This can be seen on fixtures such as globe lights or spheres.  A direct-indirect system has reduced horizontal lighing and directs light up and down in nearly equal amounts.

4.  Semi-Direct Lighting: Is the opposite of Semi-Direct where more light is directed towards the floor and a small amount is directed upwards.  A highly reflective ceiling can help reduce glare.  This type of lighting is better task lighting as more of the light is direct.  However, you will get more shadows if little of the diffused light is reflected back from the ceiling.

5. Direct Lighting: Most of the light is directed towards the floor. This is good for work areas where bright lighting is needed for reading or other tasks. This light creates a darker ceiling and wall area due to all or most of the lighting directed down. Glare can be a problem with this system, but low reflecting furnishings and floor treatments can reduce this. Fixture spacing is important in this system.
   



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