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February 2018

Why and how to adjust lighting with seasonal changes

Natural light varies from one season to the next, whether we refer to brightness, slant or radiant periods. For instance, does your staff add more luminaires or extra light sources to work well in their environment during shorter days of the year? At home, do you close your curtains against the onset of intense radiance at other times of the year? So, why not adapt artificial lighting to harmonize with Mother Nature’s fluctuations? We should adjust lighting with seasonal changes to save money and energy.

Why Adjust Lighting Systems According to Each Season?

To ensure that lighting remains comfortable, welcoming and energy-efficient throughout the year, we must adjust our artificial light to meet the distinctiveness of each season.

Winter days are markedly shorter than those of the summer. As such, we should arrange artificial light so that our surroundings are visually comfortable and safe during darker days. And even though the sun goes down, we need to be able to continue our work without any trouble!

We must also consider that light streams through windows at varying slants. This creates variable lighting needs throughout a space. For instance, a surface that receives no light during the afternoon in summer months might get a lot of illumination at that same time during the winter. Toning down this natural light stream avoids excessive glare on the occupants of the space.

How do we go about adjusting our lighting systems from one season to the next?

Adapting Lighting Systems According to the Seasons

Firstly, light sensors are practical devices. They adjust lighting levels when and where it is needed. As illumination periods fluctuate from one season to the next, these devices send a signal to the fixtures to adjust their lighting levels. When the sunlight is no longer adequate to light a room, the devices activate the artificial light sources. Thus, artificial lighting systems operate only when necessary. Light sensors illuminate the space for the occupants and save energy costs.

By the same token, it is also sometimes strategically sound to install motion sensors that control lighting according to user needs. These systems turn lights on in a space only when that space is occupied. This way, people can safely circulate throughout a well-lit space, and the administration can benefit from substantial energy savings.

Controlling shade is also a major procedure. Programming the movement of window blinds allows people to remain comfortable in their space year-long, no matter when the sun rises or sets. Moreover, we can regulate the lowering of window shades when the slant of sun rays creates visual discomfort for the occupants on shorter days of the year. For instance, the shades can block the sun rays that would create a glare on one’s computer screen.

Additionally, when a surface is too brightly lit, control systems may activate the downward slope of shade screens. This allows them to regulate the brightness level on a given surface while allowing light to penetrate into the rest of the space.

Conclusion

We can take advantage of various light sources (LED, traditional, compact incandescent and fluorescent lighting), dimmers, sensors, control devices, and lighting management systems to achieve the desired effect and compensate for the absence of light during the cold winter months.

So, we should adjust our lighting with seasonal changes and fluctuations with respect to natural light. Furthermore, lighting should always be subtle and pleasant. It also needs to blend seamlessly with the existing natural light.