A field study investigation on the influence of light level on subjective thermal perception in different seasons

Giorgia Chinazzo*, Luisa Pastore, Jan Wienold, Marilyne Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Scopus citations


This paper evaluates the influence of light levels (i.e., illuminance) on subjective thermal perception of people, distinguishing between thermal sensation and thermal evaluation. The goal is to investigate whether reported effects found by other studies in controlled environments can be observed in real-life contexts and to understand if results are influenced by the season. By means of a post-occupancy evaluation conducted in four buildings in Switzerland, instantaneous air temperature and illuminance measurements were collected together with occupant's thermal perception votes during daytime in both summer and winter. Findings show that illuminance has a significant effect on the thermal perception of people, but only in terms of thermal evaluation and not of thermal sensation. In particular, results indicate that, at high temperature (above 25 °C), a less satisfying thermal evaluation is reported by people exposed to dim light (lower than 300 lux) compared to people exposed to brighter environments. We assume that this finding can be explained by thermal expectations induced by light intensity. The evaluation of data across summer and winter indicates that results are independent of the season (no interactions between illuminance, temperature and time of the year) and that the illuminance effect is accentuated depending on the season, which tends to highlight the psychological nature of thermal evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of 10th Windsor Conference
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Comfort
EditorsFergus Nicol, Susan Roaf, Luisa Brotas, Michael A. Humphreys
PublisherNCEUB 2018
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780992895785
StatePublished - 2018
Event10th International Windsor Conference 2018: Rethinking Comfort - Windsor, United Kingdom
Duration: Apr 12 2018Apr 15 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of 10th Windsor Conference: Rethinking Comfort


Conference10th International Windsor Conference 2018: Rethinking Comfort
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Illuminance
  • Seasonal effects
  • Thermal evaluation
  • Thermal sensation
  • Visual-thermal interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'A field study investigation on the influence of light level on subjective thermal perception in different seasons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this