The use of VR technologies to enhance methods for lighting design practice

Philip Jelvard , Michael Mullins

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Contemporary architecture, engineering and construction practices primarily use virtual reality (VR) either as a means for communication between the different disciplines, co-design, or as a presentation medium, that gives to clients a human-scale experience of a project. This situation also applies to the field of lighting design, creating a situation where the only area of the lighting design process not influenced by VR, is the area of the design itself. Ideally, lighting is designed within the context of a physical space, allowing a more accurate rendition and perception of how light influences its surroundings and the ability to convey the effects of spatial lighting similar to how humans would perceive them. However, such an approach to visually representing light in the earlier stages of the design is not currently possible. This paper presents a description of the development and testing of an immersive VR tool for the development of lighting design at a 1:1 scale in a real-time virtual environment (VE). While the project’s results are limited due to its proof-of-concept development stage, the responses from the participants indicate that the tool is advantageous in the design development as well as the design communication phases. The VR tool described allowed for more design iterations and experiments, better perception of spatial lighting effects, better representation of lighting at a 1:1 scale from a human perceptual perspective, and allows the lighting designer an opportunity to become an actor in the space rather than an observer behind a screen.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationeCAADe RIS 2019. Virtually Real. Immersing into the Unbuilt : Proceedings of the 7th Regional International Symposium on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe
EditorsNicolai Steinø, Martin Krause
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Publication dateJul 2019
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7210-029-6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
EventVirtually Real: 7th eCAADe Regional International Symposium - Aalborg University City Campus, Rendsburggade 14 , Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 2 May 20193 May 2019
Conference number: 7


ConferenceVirtually Real: 7th eCAADe Regional International Symposium
LocationAalborg University City Campus, Rendsburggade 14


  • Virtual reality
  • Lighting Design
  • Design Process
  • Design Tools


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