The design of lighting systems has mostly focused on design for human needs. Light should be bright enough and should show good to very good colour rendering parameters. Ecolgical aspects were considered only regarding energy efficiency and, thus, with the reduction of carbon emissions. A profound reflection of lighting systems in regards to their visual, sanitary, ecological and social effects will show that new requirements are needed. A lighting system should only be provided in places and at times where it is really needed with the necessary intensity and quality with minimised energy consumption.
"Light quality" needs to be defined in more detail, including information about new aspects. Next to the well known aspects for human visual perception like the light colour or the colour rendering, also non-visual influences of artificial light on humans and the effected ecosystems need to be considered. Sustainable lighting also requires a control when artificial lighting is being used. So it should be though about installing individual adjustment measures of light intensity for the public space, like it is already being used by dimming or motion sensor solutions.
Projects in this field of research:
The Chair of Lighting Technology (TU Berlin) investigates the topic "Specific variation and quantitive characterization of ecological, innovative lighting".
The INP focusses on "Light sources for sustainable illumination".