Lighting conditions in ancient Sim temples in Northeastern Thailand

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Teeraphat Nongharnpitak
Yingsawad Chaiyakul


This paper shows the results of field survey on lighting in ancient Sim temple buildings. Ancient Sim in the past was the main building in a temple for Buddhism monk to gather for daily activities. Nowadays, when the modern Sim building has replaced the ancient Sim, temple visitors come to see the ancient Sim building for cultural and heritage tourist spots. The field surveys were conducted in three temples in Khon Kaen, three temples in Nakorn Pranom and two temples in Mahasarakham. The information obtained from the survey are: Sim building configurations and existing lighting conditions. Lighting quantity was measured and compared with standards used in Thailand (TIEA) and international countries (CIE, IESNA). The results shows that illuminance levels for Sim visual tasks such as circulation and some walls meet the standards but most of the areas, the illuminance levels such as altar and mural painting on the interior walls are lower than the minimum suggestions. The lighting installations are florescent and LED tubes with uniformly laid on the ceiling. Only Sim building in Wat Sra Thong, Khon Kaen that highlight lamp is used for lighting the main Buddha statue in the altar. The initial guidelines derived from the survey are that the lighting quantity could be improved to provide better lighting conditions for modern visual tasks of the building. The lighting quantity is to promote visual environment of the sacred space by lighting design techniques.

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Nongharnpitak, T., & Chaiyakul, Y. (2019). Lighting conditions in ancient Sim temples in Northeastern Thailand. Journal of Building Energy & Environment, 2(1), 50–65. Retrieved from
Research article


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