Sensory evaluation of lighting: a methodological pilot

Magdalena Boork, Johan Nordén, Malin Nilsson Tengelin, Karin Wendin

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Abstract

Current standards for light environments are based on technical requirements, e.g. luminance, uniformity, and illuminance, and do not necessarily describe all parts of the light experience to ensure visual comfort from a user perspective. Including experience-related requirements would most likely yield better lighting comfort. To do that, new methods for specifying and measuring the user experience are needed. This paper describes a pilot study exploring a new method to analytically assess perceived lighting properties by using a trained human panel and thus make human assessments more objective. The methodology is built on established sensory methods, where the human senses are used in product assessments, traditionally applied within e.g. the food, packaging, and car industries. An analytical panel comprising eight persons fulfilling specific selection criteria were recruited and trained to assess lighting products in a multi-sensory laboratory. The results show that the panelists were able to assess lighting by distinguishing between attributes and products. Significant differences were identified between the different luminaires, both in terms of sensory and physical properties, e.g. read ability and glare. Conclusively, analytical sensory methods can be applied to lighting to assess luminaires in a non-subjective way. Physical and sensory attributes do not, however, always co-vary, which shows that data from physical and sensory measuring methods provide complementary information about light quality. This knowledge may in turn be applied in tools supporting the communication between different professions in lighting design and procurement to promote light environments that are both energy efficient and desirable from an end-user perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages16
JournalLEUKOS The Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Other Engineering and Technologies (211)
  • Architectural Engineering (20101)
  • Applied Psychology (50102)

Keywords

  • Lighting assessment
  • analytical assessment
  • perception
  • sensory analysis
  • trained sensory panel

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