Considering the Illumination of a University Library Browsing Room: A Case Study of Existing Conditions and Retrofit Recommendations

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Paulette R. Hébert
Mihyun Kang
Chitra Singh


Interior lighting in university libraries should provide appropriate lighting levels and styles for diverse library users to perform associated visual tasks. Beyond reading and writing, new modes of research and socialization need to be considered for the lighting design of university libraries. The purpose of this study was to examine the illumination of a university library browsing room. The specific aim of this study was to assess the existing conditions by comparing to industry light level standards for retrofits recommendations. Observational Field study was conducted, and field measurement of illumination was taken. The current light levels were compared to the industry light level recommendations by the Illuminating Engineering Society. The findings showed that the current light levels didn’t comply with industry lighting recommendations. Lighting retrofit with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting fixture to provide higher lumens per watt was recommended for the university library browsing room. The proposed LED wall sconce with a scroll design and a custom finish is anticipated to be perceived as compatible with the browsing room’s historic interior design. This field study adds value by providing ways to promote the library patrons’ various visual task performance. Further study can be conducted considering daylighting, seasonal and weather variations at multiple sites.

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How to Cite
Hébert, P. R., Kang, M., & Singh, C. (2021). Considering the Illumination of a University Library Browsing Room: A Case Study of Existing Conditions and Retrofit Recommendations. Journal of Building Energy & Environment, 4(1), 12–29. Retrieved from
Research article


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