Right up until the 18th century people only had two light sources at their disposal: natural daylight and the flame - the latter being the only artificial light source since the Stone Age. These two types of lighting dictated the patterns of life and architecture down through the ages, but a new epoch was ushered in with the invention of gas lighting and then electric lighting.
Seeing and perception
The majority of the information that we receive about the world around us comes through our eyes. Light is not only an essential prerequisite , it is the medium by which we are able to see. Through its intensity, the way it is distributed and through its properties, light creates specific conditions which can influence our perception. Lighting design is, in fact, the planning of our visual environment. Good lighting design aims to create perceptual conditions which allow us to work effectively and orient ourselves safely while promoting a feeling of well-being in a particular environment. At the same time it enhances the environment in an aesthetic sense. The physical qualities of a lighting situation can be calculated and measured. Ultimately, it is the actual effect the lighting has on the user of a space and his subjective perception, that decides whether a lighting concept is successful or not.
Physiology of the eye
The eye as an optical system
Psychology of seeing
The role of the brain in the perception of visual information
Why objects appear the same despite changes in lighting
Perception of gestalt
Recognition of spatial and light patterns
Objects of perception
The perception process purposefully selects specific things to look at