What is General Lighting

Horace He

Last Updated: October 16, 2023

What is General Lighting

General lighting, also known as ambient lighting, is a fundamental concept in the lighting industry that refers to the overall illumination of a space. It serves as the foundational level of lighting, providing a comfortable and safe environment for everyday activities. The primary purpose of general lighting is to ensure sufficient brightness for people to see and move around comfortably, without causing discomfort or impairing visibility due to glare.

General lighting can be achieved through various lighting fixtures, such as ceiling-mounted fixtures, recessed lights, or track lighting. It can also be a combination of artificial lighting sources and natural light, utilizing windows or skylights to bring in daylight alongside artificial light sources. The level of general lighting required in a workspace is determined based on best practice guidelines to ensure safety and enable everyday visual tasks to be performed comfortably and efficiently.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend to adjust the level of artificial general lighting based on the amount of natural daylight entering the space. This not only helps to maintain minimum lighting levels but also reduces energy consumption. With advancements in lighting technology, such as LED, it has become possible to closely resemble the color temperature of natural daylight, creating a more natural feel to the lighting in the space. Additionally, sophisticated control systems allow for the variation of the color of general lighting throughout the day to mimic the natural daily and seasonal variation in daylight.

In certain applications, general lighting works in conjunction with accent lighting to create the desired ambiance. For example, in retail settings, general lighting serves as a background against which accent lighting is used to highlight specific displays of merchandise. Furthermore, in some workspaces, general lighting may be supplemented with task lighting, which provides higher light levels or specific color rendering properties for specific tasks that require more focused illumination.

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