How do we describe light in a room?
1. Light level – or illuminance, describes how light or dark it is in a room. Light level is measured in Lux units, and describes the light intensity of a given area, or how much light is cast on a defined surface.
2. Light distribution – describes where there are darker or brighter areas in a room. Soft contrasts are soothing, provided by even lighting. Directional bright spotlights can provide uneven lighting but fulfil their purpose in other ways. A museum exhibit for example, will need bright spotlighting.
3. Shadows – if there is light and an object in a room, there will be shadows. How the shadows are cast and their quality depends on the type of lighting used. Directional, bright lighting produces hard shadows while soft, even lighting produces soft shadows. Shadows help the eye to detect shapes and judge distance. Large, diffuse lighting fixtures can prevent shadows altogether!