Crestron Lighting Design Guide
Appendix B: General Lighting Design Considerations
Crestron provides many options for illumination control. The following general lighting design
information can help you formulate a complete, energy efficient lighting design plan.
Light plays an essential role in our ability to perceive the world around us, playing a critical role in
how we perceive a space and even influence how we act within that space. Lighting can affect
performance, mood, morale, safety, security, and decisions.
The first step in producing the right lighting design is to define the use of the space. The lighting
designer can then determine quantity of light, color quality, brightness, direction, and placement.
There are two aspects to lighting design that go hand in hand, the qualitative or aesthetic aspect
and the quantitative or engineering aspect. The qualitative aspect has to do with ensuring that the
space has a pleasing feel and ambiance, the artistic interspersing of light and shadow, illumination
and darkness, figure and form.
The quantitative aspect ensures adequate light for the task at hand. The Illuminating Engineering
Society publishes guidelines of light levels based on the nature of the task, activities performed in
the space, the size of objects handled, the detail required, the average age of the people in that
space and so on. For example, a typical office is lit to an illumination of 30 to 100 footcandles.
Light levels can also be expressed in the metric unit lux; 1 footcandle is approximately 10 lux.
The rate of energy consumption is called "power" and is measured in watts. A 200-watt lamp is
consuming energy at twice the rate of a 100-watt lamp. The electric company charges consumers
for the total amount of energy they consume. This is measured in kilowatt-hours or kwh. A 200-
watt lamp burning for 5 hours consumes 1,000 watt-hours of energy, which is called a kilowatt-
hour. Note that burning a thousand watt lamp for one hour costs the same as burning a hundred
watt lamp for ten hours.
In some rooms, one lighting fixture or a group of fixtures provides all the illumination. These
rooms include; closets, storage rooms, utility rooms and garages. In these areas, the functionality
of the fixtures outweighs style consideration.
The greatest energy efficiency is achieved with compact fluorescent downlights. The best
performing systems use a 32-watt triple tube downlight, providing more light than a 100 Watt
incandescent lamp while consuming 1/3 the amount of energy.
For many spaces, such as garages and closets, a simple lighting solution is the most appropriate.
In storage rooms, basements, and other places, only basic lighting is needed. These are excellent
opportunities for energy efficient lighting fixtures, especially if lights are left on for extended
periods of time.
Task Lighting for Specific Work Areas
Task lights minimize reliance on overhead lighting and provide directed lighting for countertop
work in kitchens, workshop, office, etc. Energy efficient CFL recessed can lights or reflectorized
CFLs are recommended for this application. Recessed downlights are located over task locations,
especially in the kitchen, bath, shower, or at a desk. One recessed light may be all that is needed in
a shower stall or tub, but in a kitchen, a group of downlights often provides more flexible task
lighting. It is best to locate downlights directly over a task, but in the kitchen keep in mind that the
downlight must also illuminate into the base cabinets, making fixture locations over the center of
the room equally important.
Undercabinet lights are used whenever there is an overhead cabinet above a counter, such as in a
kitchen, laundry room or home office. Fluorescent undercabinet lights produce significantly more
light than incandescent strips and use much less energy.
Ambient Lighting for Mood and Highlights
Ambient light is the general, overall light that fills in shadows, reduces contrast, and lights vertical
surfaces to give the space a brighter feel. Ambient light is needed for casual activities. Ambient