To accomplish the objectives of the Task, the Participants will carry out research and developments in the framework of the following four subtasks and one joint working group:

  • Subtask A: Low Carbon Lighting and Passive Solar: Scenarios, Strategies, Roadmaps
  • Subtask B: Visual and non-visual User Requirements
  • Subtask C: Digitalized Lighting Solutions (Technology & Design Tools / Process)
  • Subtask D: Application and Case Studies


The activities performed in the subtasks and joint working group and their specific projects are:

Subtask A: Low Carbon Lighting and Passive Solar: Scenarios, Strategies, Roadmaps

Light-emitting diode (LED) solutions for general illumination were disruptive to the lighting industry since they offer the potential to conserve energy while also enhancing lighting quality and performance. However, it is necessary to assess the materials and energy resources used during the whole life cycle of any lighting product in order to fully assess its energy and environmental effects. In this sense, based on an update of existing first work on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of LED products, e.g., specific luminaire types, the life cycle approach should be extended to integrated lighting and passive solar solutions including daylighting, facade systems, and controls, fundamentally based on the need of end users and the grid context.

The action will be started with a thorough state-of-the-art analysis of the status quo of data sets, methods and regulations in the LCA context with a special focus on Global Warming Potential (GWP) based on a survey among participating countries in A.1. This is followed by the definition of scenarios in A.2 taking into account the environmental hotspots along the life cycle stages and potential opportunities for improvement, such as low material luminaires and façades. As a reference (benchmark), conventional technologies and solutions will be included in the assessments. With a rating framework established in A.3 based on the findings of A.1, the scenarios of A.2 shall be evaluated in A.4 aggregated in the key outcomes, which are a design guide and a roadmap. Along the way, manufacturers and Endof-Life (EoL) actors shall be invited to work hand in hand to conduct a sustainable design and enhance the circular economy of lighting and passive products.

Therefore, this action aims to develop a set of “low carbon solution” strategies considering the whole life cycle perspective by intelligently combining new but mature technical components and design concepts. This will provide insights on the impacts for practitioners and will support emerging low carbon-based business models.

In this vein, the work of Subtask A will be structured into the four project areas as follows.

A.1 Status quo: Overview of data, methods, regulations
A.2 Catalogues of Scenarios
A.3 Framework for flexibly rating different scenarios
A.4 Design Guide, Strategies and Roadmaps

Subtask B: Visual and non-visual User Requirements

Daylighting and lighting design are expanding the typical “photometric” design by considering “spectral” or “non-visual” aspects of lighting quality, where (day)lighting should not only provide light for vision but also supports well-being, comfort, and restoration. Visual or non-visual requirements result in very different lighting solutions, often contrasting and sometimes with very different impacts on resource use. This subtask will focus on understanding how lighting and daylighting schemes can address both visual and non-visual requirements effectively, taking the built environment but also the surrounding in the big picture. The subtask will focus on available knowledge as starting point e.g., intervention studies, case studies, or the like, based on new user requirements. Different research tools for lighting simulation- and visualization will be used e.g., VR technology, see also C.4.

The work of Subtask B will be structured into five project areas.

B.1 Improved understanding of visual discomfort for humans 
B.2 View preferences/descriptors for rooms with different visual stimuli and activities
B.3 Relation between the view out of the window and urban morphology
B.4 New developments for non-visual aspects
B.5 Measurements and assessment methods of non-visual aspects

Subtask C: Digitalized Lighting Solutions (Technology & Design Tools / Process)

This subtask will focus on understanding how industry demands for low-carbon lighting affect computational needs and workflows across the building life cycle, i.e., digitalization, then will identify and, in some areas, address critical path needs with targeted R&D activities. Key concepts include 1) systems-oriented, integrative lighting to support occupant demands (comfort, health, etc.) and minimize GHG emissions; 2) lighting systems as connected and dispatchable resources to support the global transition to distributed electricity grids with variable renewable and/or low-carbon electricity generation; 3) multi-purpose facades for optimal demand-supply side performance (daylight, passive solar, BIPV, smart glazing); and, 4) lighting-related GHG impacts due to increased urban densification. 

Targeted R&D activities include a) turn-key data flows through the digitalization of integrated systems, b) improved fundamental models to speed up and streamline workflows across the building life cycle, and c) material models and databases to support the design and specification of innovative systems. 

The digitalization of lighting is taking place at different levels:

  1. On the technology side, the main focus is on making products “intelligent” (e.g., through advanced controls) and on integrating them as systems into networks. The Task will review the state-of-the-art practice for digital component integration via the internet of things (IOT), as well as benefits for commissioning and maintenance of lighting installations. Integrated control of lighting and fenestration systems can support low carbon goals by helping to minimize electricity demand by reacting to grid CO2e content when intermittent renewable energy supplies are limited. Temporal (i.e., seasonal, daily, and possibly hourly) availability of clean energy will vary as countries/ regions strive to meet regional carbon emission reduction goals by 2030 and net zero carbon goal by 2050. The total life cycle impact of LED lighting (now 10-15 years) and fenestration (30-50 years) can be minimized through digitalized technologies and design. Controllable technologies e.g., include dimmable LED lighting, electrochromic glazing, and operable shading and daylighting systems. Real-time performance data for static system components are of relevance as well.
  2. In the area of the design process, the Task will focus on the integration of lighting in the overall BIM workflow analyzing the current status, shortcomings, and opportunities for improvement. Design software will be evaluated regarding seamless data and workflows (connecting to BMS, “Human Lighting Interface”, etc.), parametric and automated design options to better understand carbon impacts given temporal availability of clean energy, certification and code compliance calculations, and advanced communication options.

The work in Subtask C will be structured into four project areas clustered into “Technology” and “Design Tools / Process”. For all tools, methods and processes investigated within the four project areas, we plan to define approaches that encourage low carbon systems and design practices, i.e., transfer from research/academia via educational campaigns, etc., to affect policy, regulations and standards, incentives, and practice.

C.1 System concepts for digitalized lighting solutions and combined daylight and solar utilization
C.2 IOT and control systems 
C.3 BIM - continuous workflow for integrated lighting solutions and underlying data
C.4 Simulation methods for integrative lighting design and VR possibilities 

Subtask D: Application and Case Studies

Increasing visual comfort and well-being in buildings while reducing the use of resources demand is challenging. Advanced daylighting systems, new electric lighting, and state-of-the-art controls can save energy during the use phase but may require resources during production and may result with an environmental impact after dismissal. With the increasing efficiency of these systems, energy during the use phase is greatly reduced. It becomes imperative to adopt a whole life cycle approach to guarantee the lowest carbon and environmental impact of solutions.

This subtask will collect experiences from applications and case studies of daylighting and lighting systems, with a focus on the environmental impact of their whole life cycle. The scope is to provide a critical overview of opportunities and challenges to architects, engineers, building contractors, consultants, etc. wishing to build or retrofit daylighting and lighting in the least environmentally impactful way while keeping the lighting quality high. 

The application and case studies will evaluate a collection of applications of systems for daylighting, lighting, and their controls used in the built environment. The built environment may consist of actual built and occupied space as well as virtual spaces, as long as a user’s evaluation is possible (e.g., via virtual reality). The applications and case studies may look at different scales of the built environment – room, building, and neighborhoods – in relation to environmental impact and lighting quality. The evaluation will look at the environmental impact of the application or case study, as well as the objective and subjective lighting qualities of the solution.

While single applications and case studies may suggest solutions and serve as inspiration to the target audience, the results will also be generalized by summarizing them in overall lessons learned. The lessons learned aim to provide a complete and critical overview of the advantages and disadvantages of specific solutions/technology with respect to environmental impact and lighting requirements.

D.1 Catalogue of case studies
D.2 Evaluation Procedure
D.3 Data collection and analysis
D.4 Lessons learned
D.5 Impact of densification on visual comfort
D.6 Promotion of highly efficient solutions for sunbelt regions