Evidence-Based Lighting

Evidence-Based Lighting: The Intersection of Light, Architecture, Circadian Rhythms and Human Health (LU)

Investigate how the scope of design considerations is changing based on scientific data on how light centrally affects mood, behavior, physiology, and health.


This course explores the use of daylight, architectural light, and darkness to mediate the effect of indoor living on a species adapted to live in the natural world. The scope of design considerations is widening as evidence from scientific research explains how the (artificial) built environment affects mood, behavior, physiology, and health. The class will cover the natural history and present an overview of the current science, and provide references to published journal articles. Since cost is implicit in every discussion, we will then provide tools to quantify the benefits of managing light and darkness in the built environment.

Learning objectives

  • Explain the human requirements for abundant natural light and describe the changes in architecture and human health as a result of the relatively recent development of electric light. 
  • Differentiate between the classic definition of light that affects perception and circadian light that affects human health.
  • Understand and explain the relationship between light, architecture, circadian rhythms, and human performance.
  • Identify the issues in designing daylighting and artificial lighting systems that address human requirements for circadian light while addressing classic requirements for architectural lighting.
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Average: 4.7 (338 votes)
 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • GBCI
  • RIBA


  • Michael White

    Michael D. White


    Senior Lighting Designer, Schuler Shook

    Michael David White is an architectural lighting designer with extensive experience on a wide...