Arch 582 Computational Lighting Design


Syllabus Assignments Schedule Resources Links

Lighting design is a decision-making process that integrates daylight apertures, surface materials, and colors, lamps, luminaires, and lighting controls. The choices affect the resultant visual effects, comfort, and performance. Computational approaches provide rich visual and numerical environment with a large variety of information and analysis capabilities.

Computational Lighting Design is an innovative course that draws from recent developments in lighting simulation, visualization, per-pixel data measurement and analysis techniques. It provides an understanding of the theoretical aspects of computer applications for lighting design and analysis; and the practical knowledge of tools and techniques that enhance the integration of the lighting analysis into the architectural design process.


  • Provide an overview of principles, theories, methods that underlie the applications of computers in lighting design and analysis;
  • Create awareness and familiarity with the current issues in the lighting community;
  • Provide hands-on experience with the state of the art lighting simulation, visualization, per-pixel measurement and analysis tools.


Week1 7-Jan Introduction
  9-Jan High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI)
Week2 14-Jan Hands-on HDR assembly
  16-Jan Lighting analysis with HDRI
Week3 21-Jan Perceptually based visualizations: Tone Mapping
  23-Jan Glare analysis
Week4 28-Jan Case studies with HDRI and Lighting analysis
  30-Jan Work session on Project 1
Week5 4-Feb  
  6-Feb Student Presentations - Project 1
Week6 11-Feb Student Presentations - Project 1
  13-Feb Lighting Simulation Tools and Techniques: overview
Week7 18-Feb Simulations at selected date and time: luminance calculations and glare
  20-Feb Simulations at selected date and time: illuminance calculations and tutorial
Week8 25-Feb Climate based Daylighting Simulations
  27-Feb Class exercise: Elektra
Week9 4-Mar Advanced topics on material properties
  6-Mar Advanced topics on material properties / Crits on Project 2
Week10 11-Mar Simulation Interfaces / Crits on Project 2
  13-Mar Student Presentations - Project 2
Week11 Finals Final submission


Project 1: HDR Photography

Project 2: Lighting Simulations

Useful Links:

Instructor: Mehlika Inanici, Architecture Hall 130M,,

Office hours: Wednesday afternoons (by appointment)

Class: Tuesday – Thursday / 4:30 – 5:50 @ Digital Commons / Gould 007

University of Washington / Department of Architecture


© Inanici, Last updated: 03/2014