Course - Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical)


Familiarity with the principles of lighting engineering is important to the study as well as designing the appropriate illumination for both the outdoor and indoor spaces in which both the artificial lighting and natural lighting are used.

Understanding how the parameters of light are measured and defined within the boundaries of perception to the human eye, is key for to fully comprehend the concept of lighting engineering. In this case one has to understand that the key parameter in lighting engineering is the luminance because of its close relation to various surfaces and also to human perception.

In this report we shall discuss the lighting engineering design process based on a given design scenario and give an illustration of the whole design process.

Engineering Design - Design and Solution Assignment



  • 1. Design specification detailing the various stages of the production of the Lighting Design Plan
  • 2 Influence of stakeholder's design brief and requirements in preparing your design specification.
  • 3. Gantt chart in preparation of the design
  • 4. Recommended justified improvements for the design against relevant industry standards
  • 5. Use of analytical tools in the design process
  • 6. Three conceptual designs
  • 7. Solution prototype for the design scenario
  • 8. Appropriate software and hardware recommended
  • 9. Justified improvements for problems with the engineering design.


To help in attaining great lighting engineering project, it is important to finish key calculations. Here, it is important to know comprehensively the physical environment. This includes the colors and materials of the ceiling, walls, floor and even furniture together with the combined type of lighting available in the room this is according to Csanyi (2015).

Completing this kind of project requires certain software package which are developed to help accurately analyze light behavior in this spaces with use of simulations and as such help to increasing accuracy as opposed to doing it manually.

In general, in the lighting engineering undertaking is important to have simulation for the output and effectively the power as well as quantity of lighting sources that must be installed and considering the regulations applied in this case. Ultimately, aiming at spaces that are well lit and enjoyable.

In this report we shall discuss the lighting engineering design process based on a given design scenario and give an illustration of the whole design process.

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As Anh Tu(2018) illustrates from the early 1950s to 1960s the design priority for lighting was the natural(daylight) lighting. Huge volumes of fenestration was encouraged then, because it gave high levels of illumination as well as gave great views.However, there was the problem of overheating and uncomfortable glare. Going into the 1970s the smaller window designs and consequently gloomy interiors become the norm.

During early1970s the debate was if to let the daylight into the buildings or not. At the time the architects thought the windows could relieve a total enclosure. Although, back then the studies showed that comparatively small areas could provide quality contact with the outside. In which case the light for work could be provided by artificial lighting.

A review was carried out for the lighting variety for the offices and majorly in European countries such as Germany, and conclusions were made that the specialists in building services, environmental control and architects needed to collaborate.

In the past few years the lighting design engineer's main focus is documentable energy code to comply with ASHRAE 90.1, IECC (International Energy conservation code). The increasing energy restrictions requirements should be harmonized with IESNA(Illuminating Engineering society of North America) recommended levels of illumination. Since 1992 good lighting concept has been morphed to a much complicated work requiring balancing energy conservation aims with the IESNA recommended levels of illumination.

Nowadays, the lighting design engineers must determine the right levels of illumination with the right placement of luminaires as well as right integrated controls so as to comply with energy codes being used at the same time keeping proper lighting levels.

In this modern era both the involved parties in the engineering field have all been incorporated and continue to collaborate to give the best both architectural as well as lighting designs that satisfies customers and meet the standard requirements.


This report was developed based on the presented design brief. In that regard therefore the specific requirements were determined from the provided case study and design brief. These requirements were the basis for determining the methodology and purposeas well as main focus for this report. Also the key objectives were well developed to handle the design requirements.

This being a design problem the data collected were from the secondary material as main source, the collected data was primarily based on the design brief provided and taking down the requirement from the customer.

Based on the customer requirements and the collected data about the required design and the lighting parameters calculated using two methods. The first one is calculation using manual methods. This method involves widened range of aspects for calculating various aspects of lighting. In this method mainly the lumen method was used for calculation of interior illuminance. The method finds average illuminance within a particular level within a given space accommodating the reflected light from surfaces in the interior. Average illuminance given out by lighting needed to attain a certain average illuminance is found by methods of utilization factor (UF) in this case UF is the flux ratio attained on a certain surface to the total lamp flux of installation.

Second method is use of visualizations using software which is able to develop perception rendering of space levels in detail which differs from the representation of that space depending on sophistication of the software and how detailed the interior space specified.


This being a design problem the data collected were from the secondary material as main source, the collected data was primarily based on the design brief provided and taking down the requirement from the customer.

The type of data collected from the customer requirements included the lamp flux, number of luminaires, lamp voltages, temperature, lumen, amperage, frequency, costs, life span, dimension and maintenance also other factors that were collected was the light loss factor as well as the UFs for referencing the surfaces of selected luminaire.

Predominant here is finding the average illuminance (Eh) of a referenced surface i.e our given space in the design brief, and this can be found using the lumen method.

The formula is given E(h)= ( LLF x n x F x N x UFs)/surfaces' area
In which, F - flux of lump
n - number of lumps in every luminaire
N - number of luminaires
LLF - total light loss factor
UFs - utilization factor of surfaces for selected luminaire

To effectively make use of the method, it is important to have a room index as well as the effective reflectance of the surfaces including the ceiling, floor etc.


Question: Produce a design specification detailing the various stages of the production of the Lighting Design Plan/ Layout from the given design brief scenario.

Solution: Design specification detailing the various stages of the production of the Lighting Design Plan

Stages of production of lighting design plan

a. Problem statement
The lighting design is needed for a commercial building, and the design must meet all the statutory requirement for designs both ergonomic and profitability in the market. The lighting for the room needs to be done so as to be used for office space which is 12ft by 12 ft. in which tasks such as reading, documenting and computing and should not strain eyes.

b. Customer requirements
Customer requirements defines the specifications given by the client, on how they require their design to be. From the given problem statement the customer requirements include;
- The design to meet all statutory requirement standards
- Meet ergonomic requirements
- Be profitable in the current market

c. Objectives
Objectives defines the main goals of the lighting design plan. The objectives in this project include;
- To provide good visibility in the given room
- Ensure all the lighting system used meets the set standards
- Ensure the design plan is profitable to the client in the current market

d. Design parameters
The design parameters defines the set conditions under which the lighting design system will operate. The design parameters in this project that must be considered include
- Physical size - a room 12 by 12 ft.
- Light output - how much lumens must be used
- Brightness of the surface- this one defines the glare
- Efficacy - number of lumens per watt to be used
- The life time of the lighting system to be put in place

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e. Design specification

The design specification for this 12 x 12ft room will be as recommended below;




50 (per square feet) Lumens


40 watts for 400 lumens

Interaction of daylight



20,000 hours

Input wattage

40 watts


120 volts




450 lumen

Number of lights

1440 lumens

The design process involves;
a. Identifying the requirement
This is where the data is collected and the engineer understands what the lighting design is intended to attain and it involves;
- Illuminance
- Glare
- Direction of the light
- Type of space
- Shape of space
- Daylight interaction
b. Finding the method of lighting
This is a stage where the consideration of how to deliver the lighting design. This maybe include; direct or indirect, surface mounting, recessed or use up-lighting and will it be prismatic or low brightness etc. it is at this stage we consider using the daylight to reduce use of artificial light.
c. Choosing the lighting equipment
The moment the lighting method is chosen then we can choose the right source of light and this involves considering the following;
- Efficacy(lumen per watt)
- Lifetime
- Output of light
- Input wattage
- Electrical characteristics
- Color characteristics
- Compatibility with other electrical systems
Other factors to consider that affect the choice of luminaire are;
- Size
- Control of glare
- Distribution of light
- Appearance
- Efficiency of luminaire(this is percentage of light output from the lamp transmitted out of fixture)
- Thermal management
d. Calculating the lighting parameters
The lighting calculations can be done under several categories including;
- Visualization
- Three dimensional modelling
- Manual calculation method
e. Determine the control system
For any lighting installation to be efficient and effective the control system is important and is affected light sources as well type of selected fixtures. These must consider;
- Provide several switches to control number of lights coming on at any time. Using one switch is inefficient
- Put switches at exits from rooms and encourage use of two-way switches
- Use smart light switches that uses movement sensors to turn light on or off automatically.
f. Choosing Luminaire
While cost is important how the luminaire performs is also important because in the long term, a well-designed luminaire will prove cheaper compared to low quality. Characteristics of good luminaire include;
- Ease of installation, maintenance and cleaning
- Enough heat dissipation to avoid overheating
- Enough screening of high luminance lamps to reduce discomfort and glare
- Durable finish

Question: Explain the influence of this stakeholder's design brief and requirements in preparing your design specification.

Solution: Influence of stakeholder's design brief and requirements in preparing design specification.

Stake holders in this project include;
- The client paying for the project
- The staff using the designed room
- Managing director of LDEC
The stakeholder's have a large influence on the lighting design process because they are the key players in the process. Also because they are the ones who will be using the lighting design and therefore are directly affected by it
The influence of the client comes in terms of costs. This in the sense that since they will be funding the whole lighting design project, they prefer lighting parameters that are cost effective and that means selecting the materials that can fit the budget of the client.
Also the staff, as stated will be using the room for documenting, reading and computing tasks, the ergonomic factors are considered, and it means selecting lighting components that meets the standard regulations as well as meet the requirements of the staff. The lighting should be well balanced to avoid the strain and glare.

Question: Develop a Gantt chart and describe the use of this Gantt chart in the preparation of your design specification. (P3)

Solution: Gantt chart in preparation of the design

The Gantt chart in this design process was mainly used to illustrate the design project schedule and to show the relation between the activities as well. The Gantt chart for the design brief is as below;


June 20th

July 1st

July 9th

July 20th

July 29th

August 6th

August 15th

August 23rd

Sep 1st

Sep 9th

Sep 18th

Sep 25th

Write proposal













Obtain proposal













Requirement analysis













Design phase













Design signoff













First Implementation













Design review













Revised design signoff













Second implementation


























Final implementation













Design signoff













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Question: Recommend justified improvements for the completed design specification against the relevant industry standard specification.

Solution: Recommended justified improvements for the design against relevant industry standards

Standards define the requirements which are needed to establish a reason for a common understanding as well as judgements of processes, materials and products to be used and also ensure safety, testing and proper illumination levels.

As per usaid the most common standards the American National Standards Institute(ANSI) defines lighting standards for various materials and environments including;
- ANSI C82.13-2002- definitions for ballasts, lamps and fluorescent
- ANSI C82.9-2016 - High Intensity Discharge(HID) and low pressure lamps
- IES G-2-10 - Provides guidelines for usage of general lighting and illumination(white light) such as the LED(light emitting diodes)
The most appropriate improvements for this design will be to have smart lights connected to motion sensors to enable them be automatically be switched on or off. This way the design will be more efficient and effective to use by the staff and make it easy to work in that particular room.
The recommended industry standards for lighting control for the interior declares that the provided automated lighting control system should be installed carefully after maximum consideration such that the safety and security of the occupants is not compromised
Also the design should ensure there is maximum harvesting of daylight if possible.
The standards also require that the design should provide override devices in situations where the automated lighting controls are installed. Also the override devices must be readily accessible and well labeled.
The automated lighting zones should be defined and a lighting control zone schedule provided in the drawings.
Also the automated lighting system should be connected to the BAS(Building automated system) if possible.

Question: Explore and use industry standard evaluation and analytical tools in your design process. (P4)

Solution: Use of analytical tools in the design process

In this design, the analytical tools used was the lighting design software dialux was used for modelling the design space. This tools is important in this design because it provides a wider scope in understanding what is happening in the room such as;
- Luminance of surfaces in varying situations
- Acceptable luminance
- The required graduation luminance
- Which point is luminance distribution of wall is not accepted.

Question: Discuss three conceptual designs via sketches and written report and discuss the role of conceptual designs in the design process.

Three conceptual designs
The conceptual designs are important because is the very first phase of the design process. This is where the designer is able to explore various ideas for the design process where several tools are used and drawings are presented as well as models to render the preliminary ideas.

Also in this phase the designers can identify issues with the design and find solutions to the issues, and also come up with various solutions and choosing the most suitable.

The following are the proposed designs for the specified requirements from the design brief.

Comparison table for the conceptual designs


Design A

Design B

Design c


Number of lights:1440


Size: 12 x 12 ft.

Number of lights:2160


Size: 12 x 12 ft.


Size 12 x 12 ft.

Number of lights:2880


Illuminance(50 per sq. ft.)

Illuminance(50 per sq. ft.)

Illuminance (50 per sq. ft.)

Light behavior

Frequency: 3000k





Frequency: 3000k




Lumen: 40 per sq. ft.

Frequency: 3000k


Wattage: 40watts















Chosen design fixture

From the provided details and the conceptual designs, the chosen design fixture is design B. This is because it meets all the client specific requirements ergonomic, profitability and meets the current industry lighting standards.

Question: Develop a prototype of your solution for the design scenario and illustrate the role of modelling and prototyping in your design.

Solution prototype for the design scenario

Even though it is possible to carryout calculations of luminance for the surfaces in the room, they are extremely tedious and requires time. But with the use of computer modelling, it is possible to have a more flexible approach when designing and have more details to work with as a designer.

Modelling helps to increase accuracy and efficiency in the design and prototype development. The tool used for modelling in this design brief is the Dialux software.

Also prototyping gives the ability to make necessary changes on the proposed design before implementing it.

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Question: Identify appropriate software and hardware recommended for problem solving and indicate how these can assist in the design process.

Appropriate software and hardware recommended

As indicated earlier the most recommended software for the design was the Dialux tool. It is a computer modelling software used for calculations and developing lighting designs. The software is able to take input parameters from the designer using the lighting calculation program that displays the details such as type of luminaire, output of lamps, light loss and aiming points as well as locations for luminaires. It also creates visualization of the calculated parameters, making it easy for designer to choose the best input parameters.

Question: Identify and make recommend justified improvements for any problems/issues with your engineering design.

Justified improvements for problems with the engineering design.

Toensure the effective improvements are met, the building commissioning should be employed according to the size of the space and the components for the design as required to ensure the customer requirements have been met. This includes the inclusion of commissioning requirements with in the design documentation, plan as well as the verification of the installation and the performance of the lighting system.

The most appropriate improvements on the design will be to increase the lumen from the proposed 1440 to about 2160, this will give a better clarity in the room and even increase the room temperature to improve on the comfortability for the occupants. The current proposed design uses 1440 lumen which is the minimal requirement but can be increased for better visualization and brightness.

Increasing the lumen from 1440 to 2160 will consequently increase the brightness level in the room and help in achieving a task focus illumination.


Understanding the design requirement is a very critical element in the lighting engineering design. This is because it helps the designers to make the right judgements of how the design should be created. Also with the use of modelling software, understanding the user requirements will help make right calculations to create models that fit the user requirements more effectively and with ease.


Following the design brief provided the user requirements are determined and the design developed from these requirements so as to ensure client expectations are met.

A combinations of both the manual calculation methods and use of analytical tools to calculate illuminance is highly advised to enhance accuracy during the modelling process.

The client can choose to upgrade the design by adjusting the number of lights in the room for better brightness.

FAQ: Engineering Design Specifications and Problem-Solving

  • 1. What is an engineering design specification (EDS)?
  • 2. How do I prepare an EDS based on a design brief?
  • 3. How can I use EDS examples to solve problems?
  • 4. Preparing an Engineering Design Report?
  • 5. How to use design calculations, drawings, and concepts?
  • 6. What to include in a design presentation?
  • 7. How to use real stakeholder briefs as examples?
  • 8. Where can I find examples of engineering design specifications?

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