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Indoor Air. 2018 Nov;28(6):881-891. doi: 10.1111/ina.12500. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Interactions between the perception of light and temperature.

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Department of Human Biology & Movement Sciences, NUTRIM, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Philips Lighting Research, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


Expanding the acceptable range of indoor temperatures allows to reduce building energy consumption and may be beneficial for health. Therefore, we explored whether light conditions can be used to influence thermal perception under various ambient temperatures. In two laboratory experiments, we tested the effect of the correlated color temperature of light (2700 K and 5800 K) and its intensity (5 and 1200 lux) on thermal perception. The light exposures were provided during cool, neutral, and warm thermal conditions. Cold-induced perceived shivering was higher for the 5800 K light exposure. All other parameters related to thermal perception did not significantly differ between the light exposures. Interestingly, the other way around, an increasing ambient temperature resulted in a warmer perception of the light color. In every light condition, it appeared that the perceived light intensity was closest to neutral under the thermoneutral condition. Between different light sessions, the change in visual comfort and the change in thermal comfort were positively related. The main conclusion therefore is that thermal discomfort can be partly compensated by lighting that results in a higher perceived visual comfort. Field studies are required to demonstrate whether lighting can enable new strategies to improve indoor environmental workplace satisfaction.


ambient temperature; correlated color temperature; indoor environment; light intensity; thermal comfort; visual comfort

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