Application of luminous efficacies for daylight illuminance data generation in subtropical Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Publication statusOnline published - 6 Apr 2022


Purpose: Daylight plays a crucial role in the attainment of building energy savings. Harnessing daylight in building designs will require the need for daylight illuminance data. However, daylight illuminance data are scarce due to few measuring stations. Aside from being sparse, illuminance measuring stations can be expensive to set up, thus making the luminous efficacy model a better alternative. Hence, this study attempted to model horizontal luminous efficacies under the 15 Commission internationale de l'éclairage (CIE) standard skies. Therefrom, daylight illuminance was estimated from a proposed vertical luminous efficacy model.

Design/methodology/approach: Measured solar irradiance, daylight illuminance and luminance distribution data were gathered from the local measuring station in Hong Kong. The luminance distribution data were used to classify the skies into the 15 CIE standard skies. Next, the solar irradiance and daylight data were used to derive the horizontal luminous efficacies under each standard sky. Furthermore, a vertical luminous efficacy model developed using the measured data was described, and this was used to predict vertical illuminance.

Findings: It was observed that Skies 1, 8 and 13 seem to be predominant in Hong Kong. Also, the result showed that constant luminous efficacies could be used for deriving illuminance data. Furthermore, horizontal luminous efficacy ranged from 40 to 190lm/W, indicating that daylight can provide sufficient visibility during working hours. The vertical luminous efficacy model proves to offer reasonable estimations of vertical illuminance data.

Research limitations/implications: Further work needs to be done with more measured data to cover for spring seasons. The described model still needs to be fitted with different world climates to ascertain its universal applicability. The evaluations need to be done under obstructed sky conditions to cater for dense and clustered urban centres.

Practical implications: The discussed luminous efficacy model could be used to derive illuminance data in the absence of measured daylight illuminance data, especially in the subtropical region. Also, the comparative advantage of daylight over artificial lighting was highlighted in this study.

Originality/value: Unlike previous studies, this paper discusses the luminous efficacies of global, direct and diffuse components under the 15 CIE standard skies. Furthermore, the described luminous efficacy analysis provides an approach for deriving vertical and horizontal illuminance data. Such vertical data will be required for analysing building lighting requirements, sensible heat from electric lighting, and energy savings from daylighting controls. Also, the information on horizontal luminous efficacies will help evaluate solar roof and skylight designs.

Research Area(s)

  • Daylighting, Luminous efficacy, CIE standard skies, Energy efficiency