Daylight Science and Daylighting Technology

Department of Buildings Physics

Kittler Richard, Kocifaj Miroslav, Darula Stanislav








2012, XXII, 341 p. 116 illus., 38 in color.
ISBN 978-1-4419-8815-7
Sprinter New York, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London

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The concept and content of this book covers historical development of studies of sunlight and skylight influencing the Earth´s atmosphere and biosphere. Nature fuels the evolution of all living creatures, their visual systems and the manner in which they adopt, accommodate and habituate. Special attention is given to human environmental conditions and adaptation means in different prehistoric and civilisation periods. Thus this book is trying to sketch the entire evolution of daylight science from atmospheric science and theoretical and experimental photometry to visual workplace problems and psychophysics.

The practical and scientific basis including photometrical progress and theoretical formulation of systems, units and solar and sky geometry with calculation simulation of daylight sources, their luminance and illumination are discussed. Methods of daylight measurements serve as data to calculate typical conditions including climate-based sky luminance patterns, daily, monthly and annual variability characteristics of daylight.

Due to a heightened awareness of general health and well-being, sunlight utilisation and environmental comfort including glare discomfort while undertaking visual tasks are now of utmost importance. Therefore, in order to assure optimal environmental quality of urban spaces and building interiors further daylighting technology must be based on sound science.

All twelve Chapters and their Appendices have relevant References cited, so readers and researchers can trace detail problems, studies published in various papers, conference proceedings or institutional publications which should form the basic information for further projects in the range of daylight science.


1    Introduction

2    Short historical review of daylight utilisation by living creatures

2.1    Solar radiation and light helped to create and nurture life
2.2    The hominid eye evolved in an equatorial environment
2.3    Fire as the first artificial source of light and heat
2.4    New challenges and progress during the dawn and development of civilisation
2.5    Further development of daylight science and daylight technology
2.5    Partial conclusions
Appendix 2     Comparison of historical daylight rules and standards

3    Daylight photometry: history, principles and empirical development

3.1    The interrelation of radiant and luminous quantities, terms and units under simple assumptions
3.2    Solar constants and extraterrestrial luminous parameters
3.3    Momentary sun positions, their daily and yearly changes
3.4    Propagation of parallel sun beams through the atmosphere
3.5    Historical basis of daylight photometry
3.6    Exterior daylight conditions based on regular measurements on ground level
3.7    Evaluation of the exterior daylight measurements
3.8    Luminous efficacy measured and modelled
3.9    Partial conclusions
Appendix 3     Comparison of solid angle calculation and stereographic representations

4    Propagation of light in the atmospheric environment

4.1    Scattering and absorption phenomena in a turbid environment
4.2.   The factors influencing light-beam propagation in the atmosphere
4.3    Single and multiply scattered diffuse light
4.4    Relation between scattering phase function and indicatrix
4.5    Partial conclusions
Appendix 4     Comparison of trials to measure and model the whole range of the indicatrix and gradation functions

5    Chapter Sky luminance characteristics

5.1    Atmospheric scattering of sunlight effecting sky luminance distribution
5.2    Luminance distribution on the densely overcast sky vault
5.3    Sky luminance patterns on arbitrary homogeneous skies
5.4    Standard sky luminance patterns on general skies
5.5    Methods to predict absolute zenith luminance levels
5.6    Partial conclusions
Appendix 5     Comparison of basic approaches and approximations for defining the sky luminance patterns

6    Simulation of seasonal variations in the local daylight climate

6.1    General characteristics of the daylight climate
6.2    Advanced methods for defining local daylight conditions based on measurements
6.3    Approximate daylight conditions after meteorological data concerning year-round daylight availability
6.3    Sunshine duration as frequently the only relevant information on local daylight climate
6.4    Daylight reference year simulating long-term yearly variations
6.5    Energy savings due to better daylight utilization
6.6    Partial conclusions
Appendix 6     Possibilities to simulate year-round changes of the local climate

7    Fundamental principles for daylight calculation methods

7.1 Skylight availability on horizontal unobstructed planes outdoors
7.2 Daylighting of urban spaces and obstructed horizontal outdoor surfaces
7.3 Utilisation of daylight in solar facilities and photovoltaic panels on vertical and inclined building surfaces
7.4 Partial conclusions
Appendix 7     Comparison of basic and approximate formulae for defining the window solid angle

8    Analytical calculation methods and tools for the design of unglazed apertures

8.1    Historical achievements in calculating the daylight geometry of rectangular unglazed apertures
8.2    Calculation methods valid for horizontal illuminance from vertical rectangular apertures
8.3    Graphical tools for unglazed window design and the distribution of skylight in interiors
8.4    Predicting skylight from unglazed inclined and horizontal rectangular apertures
8.5    Partial conclusions
Appendix 7     Comparison of graphical tools for daylight prediction and their accuracy fo unglazed apertures and under uniform skies

9    Daylight methods and tools to design glazed windows and skylights

9.1    Light transmission through glazing materials
9.2    Calculation methods valid for vertical glazed windows illuminating horizontal planes
9.3    Application of graphical tools for window design
9.4    Possibilities to predict skylight from inclines rectangular openings
9.5    Light propagation through circular apertures and hollow light guides
9.6    Daylighting calculations with computers
9.7    Partial conclusions
Appendix 9     Comparison of calculation tables and tools for sky components from vertical or sloped glazed windows

10  Modelling daylight distribution in complex architectural spaces

10.1  Reflection, absorption and transmission properties of materials and surfaces
10.2  Multiple interreflection of daylight in interiors
10.3  Approximate flux-type predictions of interior interreflection
10.4  Interreflections from rectangular sources among rectangular planes
10.5  Daylight measurements in real interiors
10.6  Measurements in complex architectural models to evaluate daylighting during design
10.7  Artificial skies for laboratory model measurements
10.8  Partial conclusions
Appendix 10   Special laboratory possibilities to test complex interreflections in designed architectural spaces

11  The neurophysiology and psychophysics of visual perception

11.1  Ancient notions about vision and light relations during Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages
11.2  The Renaissance achievements in explaining visual colour images
11.3  Post Renaissance Science and the Industrial Revolution/Evolution progress
11.4  Psychophysiophysics
11.5  Psychophysics of the visual environment
11.6  Neurophysiology and problems of neural coding
11.7  Habituation and basic human wiring
11.8  Partial conclusions
Appendix 11   Specific research area of architectural psychophysics

12  Discomfort and Disability Glare in the visual environment

12.1  Recent history
12.2  Further progress in discomfort glare research
12.3  Position Index experiments
12.4  Glare source size and task orientation experiments
12.5  Partial conclusions and future research needs
Appendix 12   Comparison of changing glare situations under various daylight conditions




Several typing errors were found in this book. They are listed consecutively after pages:
p. XVII The current Prof. Page´s e-mail address is:
p. 36 in line 16 from bottom should be his instead of her.
p. 53 in Fig. 3.2. the horizontal line at vertical axis 0.6 should be deleted.
p. 55 in eq. (3.14) there is an error in the approximate relation for the daily declination changes in degrees and radians respectively which have to be corrected to correspond with the interrelation of these units, i.e. 23.45° p/180° = 0.4093.


Thus in degrees is:




while in radians it is

eq3_14b(rad)        (3.14b)



p.55 in both eq. (3.15a) and (3.15b) the two members in arccos brackets have to be added, i.e. instead of minus there should be a plus sign.
p.58 in eq. (3.20) please delete minus in the denominator,
p.60 line 10 should be  (as evident applying the assumption quoted),
p.65 in eq. (3.35) the first denominator should be 373 instead of 273.
p.133 the range after eq. (5.21) should be 0 < Z < π/2.
p.137 eq. (5.28) and (5.29) is in kcd/m2.
p.144 at the bottom line the reference should be to Fig. 4.8 (instead of Fig. 5.4).
p.151 in the Gillette’s reference should be  … sky conditions …
p.188 please delete g on the left side of Fig. 7.1.
p.196 in eq. (7.33) should be SF(1:2) instead of SF(1:3).
297 Table 11.1 delete superscript a with Stevens (a Stevens), add superscript a to Hopkinson (a Hopkinson).
p.306 – 308 in the references of Chapter 11 the following are missing:

Abribat, M.: Les contrastes de brillances dans la nature et dans ses représentations. Compte Rendu de la Réunion de l’Institut d’Optique 3, 3-27 (1935)

Hopkinson, R.G.: Discussion on paper by Wright, W., D.: Trans., I.E.S. (London) 4, 13 (1939)

Hopkinson, R.G.: The multiple criterion technique of subjective appraisal. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2, 124 (1950)

Hopkinson, R., G.: Assessment of Brightness: What We See. Illuminating Engineering Invited Paper, 50th Anniversary Convocation, National Technical Committee, Sept. 18, 1956. Boston (1957)

Hopkinson, R.G.: Evaluation of Glare. Illuminating Engineering, 52, 305-316 (1957)

MacGowan, D.: Determination of modified external components of daylight factor and glare index using LIAM diagrams. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley, CA, Private Report (1981)

Nutting, P.G.: Effects of Brightness and Contrast in Vision. Transactions of the Illuminating Engineering Society, XI, 12, 939 (1916)

Stevens, J. C. and Marks, L. E.: Stevens’s power law in vision: Exponents, intercepts, and thresholds. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics, 87-92 (1999)

Wright, W.D.: The Response of the eye to light in relation to the measurement of subjective brightness and contrast. Transactions of the Illuminating Engineering Society, IV, January (1939)

Note an explanation and addition to corrigenda of Chapter 11 page 296 mid first paragraph to page end:

In general,  could be found from the α power of a low measured physical stimulus range minus the absolute threshold of perception for that continuum (Stevens, 1957), the basic Power Law; or from the α power resulting from a high luminous continuum stimulus range reference adaptation level (Hopkinson, 1957), also a power function; or from a high luminance specific continuum to a specific physical continuum reference stimulus ratio (MacGowan, 1984), still a power function. Thus, a selected datum rather than its threshold datum could equally apply to the Power Law. However, though the latter qualification is factual it still awaits peer recognition, probably because the mechanism which underpins the phenomenon remains unclear.

However, in determining brightness to luminance functions Stevens used Wright’s technique, an unnatural binocular technique which employed a fixed adaptation right eye and an independently variably stimulated left eye (Wright 1939), criticised by (Hopkinson, 1939). At low adaptation levels, in dim conditions, the technique produced the power . Independently, Hopkinson (1957), using his Luminosity Photometer, produced the same  power for low luminance to brightness magnitude conditions. However, Hopkinson’s twin box brightness viewing device employed true binocular vision, and at high luminance and adaptation levels Hopkinson found the power to be , which markedly differed from the power found via Wright’s binocular routine, also employed by Stevens, J., C., and Stevens, S.S. (1963) and Stevens, J., C., and Marks, L., E., (1999). The reason for such different α powers is still speculative and can’t be addressed within the space and context of this book. However, the work of Wright, Nutting (1920) and most others of the era predominantly addressed question of brightness perception at low luminances; rendering questions of perception at high luminances, counterbalance of dominant left or right eye and interaction between eyes at high luminances casualties of UK war-time priorities. However, Hopkinson used his Luminosity Photometer with more realistic, true binocular, viewing Hopkinson (1939) and (1957) to try to understand brightness magnitude assessment and later in the development and utility of his multi-criterion Discomfort Glare experiments (Hopkinson, 1957), Hopkinson (1963, Part II, Section VII, p. 328-333). MacGowan predominantly replicated it in Discomfort Glare criteria and evaluated for linearity using Stevens’ magnitude estimation technique some two decades later (MacGowan et al, 1981 through 1983).

Stevens determined a plethora of other  powers in which when any continuum type or character is markedly changed so  is changed. Stevens produced such continua  character tables as Tab. 11.1.

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