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A report on

Natural lighting in museum

Prof. Sanjay Upreti Ar. Prajwal Hada

Dev Kr. Chaudhary 066/bae/213

Literature review Museum As defined by the International Council of Museums, museum is a "permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment, for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment". They are the institutions responsible for the collection, safety and making the artifacts and specimens accessible to the society. The word "museum" is derived from the Latin word which is originally from the Greek Mouseion, meaning a place or temple dedicated to the Muses. The museum of Plato in Athens is considered as the first museum/library. People can explore the collections for inspiration, knowledge and entertainment in the museum. Museum is a media of visual communication different from other media as concerts and plays for fixed time and large number of people. It creates an encounter between object and observer. It is a total method of communication which will determine the architectural organization of museum. A misconception about museum displays is that any work of art has such a degree of independence that it can be shown anywhere. The museums can be of various types depending as per the type of collections and function. Some of the categories in which museums are divided are: Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Craft, Archaeology, Anthropology and Ethnology, History, Cultural History, Military History, Science, Technology, Children's Museums, Natural History, Numismatics, Botanical and Zoological Gardens and Philately. Natural light Sunlight is a portion of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun, particularly infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere when the Sun is above the horizon. When it is blocked by the clouds or reflects off other objects, it is experienced as diffused light. Types of natural light 1. Celestial and atmospheric light Lights coming from astronomical objects are termed as natural light. e.g. sunset and sunrise, diffuse and skylight, star light. 2. Terrestrial Bioluminescence, lava, volcanic lights are the examples Light is a source of energy. It influences our well being and mood. With the help of light, we can define what is around us. Light plays a centre role in the design of a visual environment. Sun is worshiped as a God from ancient Egyptian period. No activities are possible in absence of sun light. Heat energy is also released from sun with light. This heat energy is absorbed by all living beings of the earth. Natural light was the primary light source for all types of buildings in 1940’s. Artificial lights were used as the supplementary of it. It is seen that electrical lighting had transformed the workplace by meeting

most of or the entire occupant’s lighting requirement in a very short span of 20 years. Recently, energy and environmental concerns have made natural lighting a rediscovered aspect of building lighting design. Natural lighting is often integrated in a building as an architectural statement as well as for energy savings. But nowadays, benefits from natural lighting have extended beyond the energy and architecture related fields. It is also widely used in the field of medical sciences. Action of lights Route light In some exhibition rooms and galleries, visitors are free to move around in any direction. However, because of nature of exhibition space or for organizational reasons, they need to be directed. Luminaries which highlight circulation routes without interfering the display areas are named as route light. Room light Lighting for exhibition rooms in museums is made up of diffuse and directional light. The relative amounts and resulting mix of the two types of light determines the harshness of the shadows cast by picture frames and the three dimensional impact of sculptures and spatial objects. The diffuse and directional light mix also defines the overall impression made by the room. Diffuse lighting Diffuse lighting illuminates room zones or objects from a surface that radiates light in all directions. At the site of illumination, i.e. in the room zone or at the object illuminated, the direction from which light comes cannot be clearly determined. Light flowing over the object and in the room is not directional. When light comes from many directions, i.e. where light radiating surface is large, the lighting produces little or no shadow. Directional lighting Directional lighting is generated mostly by punctual light sources i.e. lamps that are small in relation to the lighting distance. The light falls directly onto the object illuminated, striking it. When the surface of the object is uneven, clearly defined shadows occur. Natural lighting in museum Natural light is almost valued in museum and gallery design. It is really a big architectural challenge to light an interior with the help of natural light. Conditions for harnessing natural light can rarely be created later and system modification is difficult. Concepts of public museums were started in middle of 19th century. Skylights were also introduced in earlier museums. Today our knowledge of lighting engineering coupled with modern control and regulation technology. Light has substantial impact on perception of space and upon emotional response of visitors. Lighting is one of the major planning factors guiding the space quality in a museum. It is also a basic element for the expression of a space.

Museum lighting is highly theoretical, the quality of light is vital. The needs of gallery lighting vary with the function of the space, type and size of the works and layouts. The type of lighting used for twodimensional and three-dimensional objects are different. Proper lighting system is used depending upon the sensitivity of the material. Also, the gallery lighting has both the physiological and psychological needs to be fulfilled so it is best to blend both the sources to get desirable and useful light. “The primary goal of lighting design and installation is to create optimum condition for viewing objects” as stated by Kevan Shaw (The Manual of Museum Exhibitions). The basic requirement of any lighting design is first to illuminate the object. It is important to understand the general concept behind the exhibition before designing the lighting scheme for museum. Dramatic effects can be created by the use of varying levels of light, which can overcome the dull and monotonous museum environments. The amount of light and its quality in a gallery should be in relation to the contrast, glare, color effects, color of light and brightness of room. There are mainly two lighting options for gallery lighting and they are: natural lighting and artificial lighting. Methods of natural lighting The basic strategies of natural lighting can be broadly classified into two categories: 1. Side lighting 2. Top lighting

1. Side lighting: The windows in the sidewalls of the gallery provide side lighting. Its strategies rely on apertures located in building’s perimeter walls and it is also dependent upon the orientation of the building. Depending upon the need and use of space these windows may be placed at a high level or normal level. Windows on one side give unilateral light whereas the windows on two sides give bilateral lighting. This type of lighting is preferable for sculptures. However there is a possibility of glare and reflection by use of this lighting which can be difficult to avoid. 2. Top lighting: In this system of lighting, the daylight access through roof top apertures. These are not dependent on the orientation of the building façade and are effective for lighting single storey or lowrise building. One of the most prominent examples of the use of skylight is the dome feature used in Islamic architecture. In this type of lighting system, the light is evenly distributed over the floor instead of the wall, where it is needed. This source of light can be effectively used by introducing the diffusing glass or louvers to reduce the impact of glare. This type of lighting is useful for improved illumination and superior light quality with better color and rendition. Building form and daylight Like most building types, the development of architectural form for museums and art galleries was influenced by specific illumination criteria. The initial criteria of these spaces were based on maximizing the collection of available daylight while minimizing the need for windows which reduced valuable display space and produced reflected glare. The resulting daylight delivery systems that were adopted to respond to these needs can be characterized by three solutions: clerestory windows, light wells and

skylights. Though every building and site location is different, the impact of these building forms on illuminance distributions, luminance ratio and brightness ratio are different. Techniques for natural lighting Window There are many ways today to direct daylight and “lock out” direct sunlight even in room with lateral windows. Windows reduce the amount of wall space for exhibits. Undirected and unfiltered incident light through window can give reflections on exhibition walls. In many ways, windows are the most problematic daylight introducing building form. Even if illuminance is controlled, the outside view will force the eye to adapt to luminance much higher than the displayed material. Finally, the reflections of the windows in display cases, works under glass, glazed objects, and paintings with varnish, can greatly reduce object perception and understanding. From my perspective there is no practical way to maintain favorable viewing conditions at conservation light levels in a gallery with windows. As noted earlier, shades and scrims are a last-ditch solution to an existing problem, and should not be considered as an acceptable solution for new construction.

Fig. I Techniques of lighting The figures above show different modern techniques. These techniques are usually adopted in museum design. Light has a characteristic of reflection. Light is reflected in different smooth surfaces and required degree of intensity is captured. Luminous ceiling (interior translucent glazing typically located under a skylight) The traditional translucent laylight ceiling model is characterized by overpowering luminances at the ceiling. This approach can also allow large amounts of unwanted solar gain into a building envelope during the day in most seasons, and radiate heat loss at night causing a severe energy penalty.

Reflections of the luminous ceiling plane can create reflected glare and difficult viewing conditions for large paintings with varnish and any glazed surface that reflects an image of the ceiling back to the viewer. In a museum design, natural lighting alone cannot create much pleasing effect. So, we also need to talk about artificial lights also. There is no any existence of natural light without artificial light. Because, it is said that there is no physical presence of dark, it is only the absence of light. So while talking about museum, we should talk about artificial as well as natural lightings. Skylight Skylights are classic day lighting elements for picture galleries. Uniform diffused light can be provided by skylight. No shadows or least shadow is produced by this technique because light is spread over large area resulting in the production of soft light. Light from this technique can reach nearly every part of the room including free standing displays, cabinets, sculptures and partitions. Rooms and display areas are illuminated by skylight which reduces in the number of windows. Because of less windows are present, more wall spaces is available for paining. There is also no problem with the reflection on exhibition walls due to incident daylight from the side. There is a risk, for example, of light being unevenly distributed over the walls, in rooms with dark furnishings in particular, the vertical illuminance at eye level is often too low. The contrast between wall and ceiling brightness can cause glare. And even with light from above, reflection can occur sometimes on pictures on wall. The use of skylight is confined to the upper storey’s of a building or calls for single storey design. Skylights are no substitute for the visual contact with the outside world provided by windows. Hefferan, Steven. (2008) Working with daylight in museum environment. WAAC Newsletter, Vol.-30, No. 1 Artificial lighting Even when daylight is being used as a significant source of lighting there remain times when there will be insufficient light. The natural light also has a limitation of planning constraint. Thus, artificial lighting is equally important in building design. It has the advantage of reaching the most interior places and can be placed at any desired position. It is easy to install and control; and does not change with season and weather. Artificial light can be produced by lamps and filters in variety of colors. The color preferred for gallery lighting is the one which has blended character with approximate color mixture of natural light. It can be achieved by providing indirect lighting using fluorescent lamp and for the objects on display mixed daylight by incandescent lamps with localized floods or spots on the individual objects. For the display of sensitive artifacts, natural lighting is not suitable. Hence, also for the highly sensitive material artificial lighting is important. It is also useful for attaining different light levels throughout the museum as per the requirement. However, artificial light if used alone can be fatiguing to eyes.

Artificial lighting vs natural lighting At present, a considerable number of Museum directors, curators, architects and engineers specialized in lighting argue that artificial light is preferable for museums’ lighting. There are two main schools of thought concerning museum lighting: the first defending an exclusive use of artificial lighting for museums; and the second the use of daylight complemented with artificial light. On the one hand, the daylight defendants argue that most artworks were created with natural lighting conditions, and were also, during centuries, still exposed to them; opting for exclusive artificial lighting would result on visitor deprivation from observing the artworks subtlest qualities. On the other hand, daylight, with its variation and possibility for outside views, is more suitable to entertain the visitor than an artificial light system, which is more stable and monotonous. Furthermore, one must consider the inherent costs of using artificial light, which in some countries has to be imported. And finally, artificial lighting consumes electricity, which production has a negative environmental impact, with CO 2 releases to the atmosphere. Artificial light defendants reply that daylight is the most damaging agent to pigments, textiles and other delicate art pieces. Also, that daylight is too variable, if compared with the constant and predictable artificial light; that artificial light is softer; that “white” artificial light can mimic the characteristics of daylight; that installing a daylight system adequate to climate conditions is considerably more expensive than an equivalent artificial lighting system; and finally, that windows suppression easily solves the issue of dust infiltration inside the buildings. Nonetheless, it is a fact that daylight is more difficult to control than artificial light, and it also carries a level of UV radiation that is difficult to eliminate. Moreover, the love for sunlight is also more evident in countries where it is scarce. In countries with a great presence of natural light, its absence can sometimes be considered relaxing. Therefore, we must consider the need to apply adequate day lighting systems to the place where the museum is located, in geographic and cultural terms, in order to achieve maximum comfort for the visitor. Methods of artificial lighting Artificial lighting can be used in two ways, direct and indirect lighting. Direct artificial lighting is used for illuminating the objects and falls directly on wall, whereas the indirect lighting is used for room lighting. These are the various modes of direct lighting: 1. Fluorescent light 2. Spot light 3. Louvered lights 4. Trough light 5. Troffer light

General considerations The lighting system used must satisfy the functional requirements of the space and type of objects displayed.

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The lighting system should provide appropriate level of illuminance at all times of day. An angle of incidence of 30o to the vertical is considered as a good guideline as it handles illuminance, reflected glare and frame shadows optimally.

Proper lighting must be selected for sensitive materials and should have limited exposure to light.

Exposure to ultraviolet and visible infrared light can cause fading and damage of objects.

Difference between natural lighting and artificial lighting

DAY-LIGHTING Superior color rendition


Light is based on a single color Intermittent spectral curve Can be manipulated as per need

Continuous spectral curve Lively natural environment

U-V radiation corrodes sensitive objects It is non-corrosive displayed It is a planning constraint Freedom in planning

Outdoor exhibits Some sculptures or installations, some works of art are intended to be exhibited outdoor because of their size. For the majority of such objects, an inner courtyard or small patch of garden is normally enough. Outdoor illumination at dusk or at night basically has the same effect as illumination with directional light in an exhibition room. But it also gives exhibits an appearance they do not have in daylight: the artificial lighting creates new structures, reinventing the object in a game of light and shadow. The best way to determine the perfect location for a mobile spotlight or flood is to conduct trials – with light from below, from below and from the side, from the side, from above, from above and from the side, or even bounced off another surface. Every solution has a charm of its own. For lighting from below, recessed ground floods are the alternative to spots. Highly focused beams are by far the first favorite; with illumination from below and some other configurations, the beam spread can be greater.

Day lighting design strategies It was generally observed that the greatest transition occurred between the exterior and the interior of the buildings. Therefore, visitors should be able to walk between transitional spaces with different lighting levels, in order to help the eye to adapt to display levels, before entering the exhibition space. In a museum lighting project it is also important to consider the natural light experience, often referred as more satisfactory than artificial light. Therefore, we should aim for a proper balance between soft and directional light, both in isolated objects and in the common space. An overall diffuse light with directly lit pieces would probably produce the most satisfactory effect. On the other hand, since the eye is naturally attracted to the brightest point in its field of vision, the object should be brighter than the wall, the supporting area brighter than upper and lower surfaces, and also the supporting surface lighter than the floor. Considering the fact that temperature was referred as an important issue in the summer, and in order to avoid high levels of day lighting or solar gains, natural light use should be applied with special care. On above-lit galleries, sun light could be controlled with passive shading techniques and ventilation, instead of blinds and shades, benefiting from lower installation and maintenance costs in the long run. Moreover, instead of trying a fixed illuminance, one could opt to work with an annual amount or the equivalent exposure, to establish a link between exterior weather and the museum interior conditions. Finally, in museums with abundant views, which usually present lateral windows, it is necessary to reduce the illuminance levels in order to avoid glare. With this purpose, different protection systems should be provided between the upper and lower areas of windows, allowing at the same time outside views and an even distribution of light. I. II. P. Boyce, (2003) Human factors in Lighting, Lighting Research Centre, Taylor & Francis, London. PLEA2006 - The 23rd Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Geneva, Switzerland, 6-8 September 2006

Objectives o o To study the techniques of natural lighting in museum To show a relationship between light and built space

Natural light is very important for museum. It increases the quality of collections which are kept for display. With the use of natural light, we can minimize the cost to be paid for active energy. In the present context of global warming, it helps promoting sustainable design and the concept of green architecture. Light plays a very important role to built a space and enhancing its quality. A built space is directly related with the psychology of people. Quality of light in a enclosed space can reflect human behavior. Light with same brightness and intensity may or may not be pleasing depending upon the persons view. So we must properly consider light while designing spaces museums. Background

Lighting in museums and art galleries plays a key role in a visitor's ability to perceive and enjoy both the artifacts in a museum and the building in total. A lack of consideration for the visual comfort of visitors can potentially handicap an individual's ability to view displays. Dramatic variations in light levels from exhibit to exhibit, or from exterior to interior, can affect a visitor's ability to appreciate artwork. It’s because the human eye requires several minutes to adjust to large changes in light levels. Sharply contrasting light levels between a bright entry and a dark gallery can be very disturbing, and potentially even painful. Some museums in Kathemandu Valley were visited. I’m not very satisfied with the present lighting scheme. In Patan museum, there is seen a very less use of natural light. The collections, paintings displayed may be enhanced. The very use of artificial light shows too much consumption of energy. It is often seen that the artifacts displayed in artificial light with the combination of natural light is not bad, but we should try to minimize the use of artificial light as far as possible. In Patan museum, natural light may be introduced through construction of new windows. The new windows constructed may be in such a way that it will not give bad look. The traditional norms should be strictly followed. In the name of inserting light, one cannot remove the entire roof. Any kind of activity that would harm our cultural heritage should be avoided. The renovation should be carried out in such a way that the originality should not be destroyed. In other museums like Chhauni, we can observe a very good natural lighting but not managed properly. In some cases there are direct illuminations which may result glare and deterioration of displayed items. Daylight characteristics cannot be replaced by artificial means. The museum gathers several functions that may be improved by the use of day lighting. The correct use of natural light in museums is an important factor in terms of shaping the architectural space and visually enriching the displays, contributing to the interpretation of collections. Also, it is possible to create visual conditions that are comfortable, efficient and secure to the visitors of museums. Moreover, a strategy sustained on the use of natural resources can contribute to the reduction of energy waste, restraining the maintenance costs with museum lighting and the negative impact associated with consumption, namely CO2 emissions. In a museum, spatial limitation of light and its intensity control are very important. Nevertheless, this task becomes more difficult when the lighting source is sunlight. Hence, daylight may sometimes be regarded as a hindrance for lighting museums, if we consider the combination of daily and seasonal variations of light quantity, together with other atmospheric factors. I choose this particular topic as directed studies topic because it is going to help in my thesis project. This study benefits me every aspect. I understand the value and importance natural light in museums. As mentioned above, there is not a better museum in Nepal and I will try my best to design a good museum.