2:00 pm Seminar
Peter Ngai - Luminaire Design, A Personal Perspective


Relentless advancements in technology have impacted traditional lighting systems with many exciting new applications, including indoor positioning systems; visual light communication; data gathering for environments; asset tracking; occupancy sensing; monitoring of circulation and people counting systems to name a few. 

While these applications are important to lighting, they do not change the main goal of luminaire design, which is to enhance visual rendering and perception of the built environment – the focus of this presentation.

Visual aesthetics of a luminaire is important but it should be extended to the luminance composition of the luminaire and its luminous effects in the space. Examples abound of poorly executed effects in luminaire design: lenses that create strips of different intensities; baffles resulting in flashes of bright patches on adjacent surfaces; the surface brightness of diffusers creating unwanted glare. These results are not just unsightly, but sometimes disturbing to occupants and the space it is intended to lit.

The presentation will focus on how the issues of luminance composition, performance, the visual comfort of people and the pleasantness of the space can be addressed based on research, design and the careful use of optics. The talk will draw upon several luminaire design concepts such as luminance distribution, brightness perception, uniformity, glare, sparkle that the presenter advanced in his career as a luminaire designer. He will take the audience through the background of those concepts and the design process which resulted in creating luminaires that were visually pleasing and effective. 

Learning Objectives

1)Explore recent advancements in technology that have expanded the role of lighting into many exciting areas beyond the traditional realm of lighting.

2) Identify the role of luminance composition in luminaire design and it effect on occupants and interior spaces

3) Analyze the concepts of luminance distribution, brightness perception, uniformity, glare, sparkle and their impact on luminaire design.

4) Through examples of actual luminaire designs, describe how luminaires can be created with these lighting concepts.

Approved for 1 IES CEU and 1 AIA HSW LU

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Peter Ngai
Peter Ngai is widely recognized as a pioneer in lighting research, technology and luminaire design. His work in lighting rcovers many areas including Visual Performance; Photometry; Computer Rendering for Lighting Design; Brightness Perception; Glare; Indirect Lighting; Lens and Reflector Optics; Sustainable Materials; Solar Energy Harvesting; Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation; Task-Surround-Ambient Lighting; and LED and OLED technology.  

He was instrumental in bringing indirect and direct/indirect lighting design in interior spaces into mainstream design practice, which helped to make Peerless Lighting one of the leading lighting companies in U.S. for lighting products and technology. He also championed OLED technology in the lighting industry and launched the OLED lighting business for Acuity Brands.   

Peter was named one of the “Legends & Leaders in Professional Lighting Design” by Architectural Lighting Magazine. His luminaire designs have won many prestigious awards including 4 Best Innovative, and Best Design Product Awards at LightFair International. He was a recipient of IES Medal Award, the highest honorary award of the Illuminating Engineering Society, in recognition of his many technical achievements that have advanced the illuminating engineering profession. He holds 98 patents in optics, luminaire design and lighting design and has written over three dozen technical publications in lighting technology, applications and luminaire design.