22 Best Books About Light Update 05/2022

Books About Light

Light is an important part of how we see architecture and how we live and work in buildings. So, architects, lighting designers, teachers, and researchers haven’t written books about light that are inspiring. As a result, they’ve shared their ideas and turned their experience into rules that can help improve daylight design and the art of light.

This collection is a good place to look for the best lighting design books for students, professionals, and academics. It’s a good place to start. Light, illumination, urban lighting, media facades and landscape lighting are some of the categories in the book list. They are also broken down into subcategories: culture, monographs, history, stage lighting, and light art. In each section, the books are arranged alphabetically, with the most recent books at the top and older ones at the bottom. Find interesting books that will help you see and understand light and space in a new way.

Daylighting and Integrated Lighting Design / Christopher Meek, Kevin van den Wymelenberg

Daylighting and Integrated Lighting Design Christopher Meek, Kevin van den Wymelenberg

The small and clear structure is a great way to learn about daylighting’s basic principles and how it can be used. Among the most important things you can do to cut down on your building’s energy use are things like geometric and material relationships, specific rules of thumb, instructions for ensuring visual comfort, and electrical lighting integration.

Daylighting and Lighting Under a Nordic Sky / Marie-Claude Dubois, Malin Alenius, Iason Bournas, Niko Gentile

It’s important to pay attention to the way daylight looks in the Nordic sky, with its low sun angles and weak intensity in the winter and high sun angles in the summer. This book is a must-read for students and professionals who want to learn how to light buildings in the dark under a Nordic sky with daylight as the main source of ambient light and energy-efficient electric lighting.

Daylighting Handbook I + II / Christoph Reinhart

It doesn’t matter that Christoph Reinhart has had a lot of experience with daylight simulation. This book is more than just a guide to the digital design process. Information about things like seasonal changes and important shading devices is added with practice-oriented comments. In the first volume, “Fundamentals” and “Designing with the Sun” are broken down into two parts. There are eight chapters in the second volume, which are split into two parts: “Daylight Simulations” and “Dynamic Facades.”

Daylighting: Architecture and Lighting Design / Peter Tregenza, Michael Wilson

There is a clear structure that starts with basic requirements for good daylighting, building forms, and standards, and ends with ways to collect and measure daylight in architecture and urban planning. The authors have written a good book for architects, lighting specialists, and students to use as a guide.

Effective Daylighting with High-Performance Facades: Emerging Design Practices / Kyle Konis, Stephen Selkowitz

Effective Daylighting with High-Performance Facades Emerging Design Practices Kyle Konis, Stephen Selkowitz

This publication is for people who work in the field of architecture and facade engineering, as well as people who are more advanced in their studies. The authors talk about simulation-based design workflows, an innovative daylighting system, and examples of low and net-zero energy projects.

Illuminating (Living Concepts) / Michelle Corrodi, Klaus Spechtenhauser

In contrast to many books on daylight, this one focuses on housing. With more and more jobs moving into people’s homes, this magazine should be read. The authors start with natural light for modern living and then talk about lighting technology and different types of lighting. At the end of the book, there are examples from eleven different architects who all have a strong sense of natural light.

The Architecture of Natural Light / Henry Plummer

Henry Plummer talks about natural light in a poetic way with beautiful photos. This shows all the different things that natural light can do. He looks at art history, film, and literature to look at things like evaporation, atomization, and luminescence. Fifty examples from around the world show how his phenomenological approach works in buildings by Tadao Ando, Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas, and Toyo Ito, as well as many other people.

The Art of Architectural Daylighting / Mary Guzowski

Because this book starts with case studies, it is different from other books about daylighting. Twelve buildings are looked at with technical diagrams that show architects like Renzo Piano, David Chipperfield, and Steven Holl. Mary Guzowski talks about the choreography and atmosphere of daylight, but also talks about how materials and architecture work together.

The Secret of the Shadow: Light and Shadow in Architecture / Deutsches Architektur Museum

The Secret of the Shadow Light and Shadow in Architecture Deutsches Architektur Museum

They chose to talk about shadows instead of light, which is what most books do. The first chapters talk about things like how shadows work, how to draw them, and how to take pictures of them in La Tourette. They also talk about how art history and shadows go together. The last part of the book is about 50 architects from around the world who talk about how important shadows are in modern architecture.

Zenithal Light / Elias Torres

Elias Torres has a lot of photos in this book that he took over many years of research and travel. His observations about light coming from above are broken down into groups for domes, skylights, towers, and many other types of things. This is how it works: The image credits show the main idea, and short summaries of each chapter are added. The book is a great source of inspiration because it looks at the history of architecture from a different point of view around the world.

Daylight Performance of Buildings / Marc Fontoynont

Many academics think this book is important because it looks at 60 case studies from small to large and new to old buildings. This shows how complicated daylighting can be. The book sums up a three-year project to keep an eye on Europe. Marc Fontoynont talks about each project, including its features and main lesson, as well as how it was done after it was done.

Light and Color in the Outdoors / Marcel Minnaert

This book by the Dutch astronomer Marcel Minnaert is a classic. It encourages the reader to look at all the different things that happen in the daytime. Even if he talks about the dapples under trees on a sunny day, rainbows, the sky, the sun, the moon, or the stars, his tour of nature is a fascinating look at how light and color work in nature.

Louis I. Kahn: Light and Space / Urs Buttiker

Louis I. Kahn Light and Space Urs Buttiker

Urs Buttiker spends a lot of time looking at one of the best lights: Louis I. Kahn. The strength of his work is that it makes it easy to compare pictograms that he also sorted by date. Then, the reader could see how different types of daylight approaches changed over time: ceiling-framed windows, lookout slots, different types of brise soleils, and a variety of skylights.

Sunlighting as Formgiver / William M.C. Lam

William M.C. Lam wrote a book about sunlighting that is part of the classic literature about daylight. This book has clear explanations, informative graphics, honest criticism of buildings, and many case studies. It links theoretical ideas with practical guidelines for good daylight design. A free copy of the book can be found here.


Architectural Lighting Design / Gary Steffy

Gary Steffy’s book is already in its third edition. It has all the information you need to know about architectural lighting design in a comprehensive and practical way. The well-organized book is a great resource for both students and professionals. The goals and criteria for the design are the foundation before the technical parts like luminaires and controls are talked about.

Architectural Lighting: Designing with Light and Space / Hervé Descottes, Cecilia Ramos

Light in the built environment is explained in a very simple way in this book. It gives the reader a good overview of visual principles of light and the relevant parameters. Examples like the High Line in New York or Helsinki’s Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art are shown in the case studies. Tables for illuminance levels, color temperature and lighting distribution are also shown to help people learn about these projects.

Designing With Light: The Art, Science and Practice of Architectural Lighting Design / Jason Livingston

Designing With Light The Art, Science and Practice of Architectural Lighting Design Jason Livingston

If you’re a student or professional who wants to learn about light and how to make it look good, this book is for you! The book, which is very detailed, covers the basics of perception and technology. It also talks about daylight, lighting controls, energy codes, and how light affects your health.

Detail in Contemporary Lighting Design / Jill Entwistle

The thing that makes Jill Entwistle’s book unique is her love for small things. This book goes behind the scenes with detailed plans to show how the lighting technology works. Many books only show beautiful pictures. Explanatory text led from the original brief to the design concept. This is a good resource for people who don’t want to forget anything else when they’re looking for ideas.

Fundamentals of Architectural Lighting / Samuel Mills

The black and white drawings give architecture and interior design students a picture to help them learn how to use lighting in their own homes. Samuel Mills talks about everything from the distribution of light in a space, design strategies, calculations, and technical issues to technical issues and lighting applications.

Fundamentals of Lighting / Susan M. Winchip

The book is a good source for interior design students who want to learn more about lighting and how to design lighting for a room. The clear structure makes it easy to find your way around. A list of goals makes it easier for students to check what they’ve learned. As a bonus, there is a “One-Minute Study Guide” for each chapter that can help you make sure that new ideas don’t get lost.

Human Factors in Lighting / Peter Robert Boyce

Peter Boyce is a well-known lighting expert. In this book, he gives an in-depth look at the science of lighting and how it can be used in practice. Metrics and visual systems are the foundation for more general topics like lighting and work, visual discomfort, and how people see and think about places. The last section talks about things like light for pedestrians, older people, health, and light pollution.

IESNA Lighting Handbook / David L. Dilaura, Kevin W. Houser, Richard G. Mistrick, Gary R. Steffy

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America wrote a book with more than 1000 pages that is a must-have source of information about lighting. The book has light level guidelines for a wide range of situations, from circulation areas and offices to museums. As a bonus, it has a lot of useful information about things like how light affects human health, how people see light as they get older, and how light pollution affects people.

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