At left, PNNL’s glare evaluation apparatus; at center, a room overlayed with vertical stripes representing the color spectrum; at right, PNNL’s experimental setup for flicker visibility testing.

Foundational human factors research supports the development of new metrics and methods to accurately quantify visual responses to light. Improved quantifications reduce barriers to adoption, facilitate technology development, enhance specification precision, and ultimately lead to illuminated environments that deliver better visual outcomes and efficient energy use.

Current research is centered on four topic areas:

  • Color and Spectrum research supports the development of metrics, methods, and tools for improved lighting quality, visual performance, and energy efficiency.
  • Flicker research accelerates our understanding of temporal light modulation (TLM) waveforms that elicit visible responses, improves metrics that predict these responses, and encourages adoption of predictive metrics and appropriate test methods related to TLM.
  • Glare research contributes to the development of improved metrics to measure, report, and predict discomfort glare, for better comfort, safety, and visual performance.
  • Luminance perception research evaluates the performance of existing and proposed metrics, identifying tradeoffs between visual appearance and the efficiency of optical materials.

In addition, DOE-funded research examines the integration of daylighting, electric lighting, and controls.