Methodological approach to creating an urban lighting atmosphere with regard to human needs

  • Alina I. Turekulova International Educational Corporation, IEC, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Atanas D. Kovatchev University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria; Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar”, Varna, Bulgaria
  • Galina R. Iskhojanova International Educational Corporation, IEC, Almaty. Kazakhstan
Keywords: lighting design, urban lighting, needs of society, concepts and city lighting programs


The purpose of this paper is to assess how lighting correlates with human needs and emotions and to examine the implications for lighting design. The complex variables of urban lighting include practical, social, cultural and semantic elements of the urban environment. The research identified the most promising opportunities for using lighting technologies responsive to the basic levels of the human need for lighting. The dynamics of “LIGHT-VIEWER-ATMOSPHERE” were applied in order to explore critical areas of interdependence. To determine the most critical areas, the hierarchical principles of A. H. Maslow’s pyramid of needs were adapted and applied to the data. The authors studied the interaction between the viewer and light technologies in order to determine the most likely enhancements to the emotional impact of lighting. The “Expanded hierarchy of needs with regard to the presence of light” illustrates the issues considered here. The classification of societal needs is based on an analysis of the emotional impact of examples of lighting solutions in architectural environments within a clear social context. A morphological analysis was carried out using the cross-consistency assessment method (CCA). Criteria for evaluating the effects of light were considered on 4 basic levels of needs following Maslow’s pyramid configuration.


Álvarez, A., Ritchey, T. (2015). Applications of General Morphological Analysis: From Engineering Design to Policy Analysis, Acta Morphologica Generalis, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 1-40.

Askinasi, R. (2018). Photos show what life looks like in one of the darkest places on earth after residents built a system of mirrors to mimic the sun. INSIDER,, accessed 28th October, 2019.

Barnaby, A. (2016). Light Touches: Cultural Practices of Illumination, 1800-1900. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Bille, M. (2019). Homely Atmospheres and Lighting Technologies in Denmark: Living with Light. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Böhme, G. (1993). Atmosphere as the Fundamental Concept of a New Aesthetics, Thesis Eleven, Vol. 36, No. 11, pp. 113-126.

Collman, A., Christie, J. (2015). Tribute in Light shines bright: Most powerful shafts of light EVER projected from Earth are beamed into the Manhattan sky in spectacular 9/11 commemoration as America pauses to remember,, accessed 28th Oct, 2019.

Demirkan, H., Afacan, Y. (2018). Setting The Key Issues And A Prioritization Strategy For Designing Sustainable Interior Environments, METU JFA, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 201-219.

Edensor, T. (2015). Light design and atmosphere, Visual Communication, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 331-350.

Edensor, T. (2017). From light to dark: daylight, illumination, and gloom. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Efimov, A. V. (1990). Koloristika goroda (in Russian). Moscow: Stroĭizdat.

Ellin, N. (2012). What is good Urbanism?, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 247-251.

Enikeev, M. I. (2005). I͡Uridicheskai͡a psihologii͡a. S osnovami obshcheĭ i social'noĭ psihologii (in Russian). Moscow: NORMA publishment.

Farahani, L. M., Motamed, B., Ghadirinia, M. (2018). Investigating heritage sites through the lens of social media, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 199-211.

Filin, V. A. (1998). Videoecology. Good and bad for eyes. Moscow: “TASS-Reklama”.

Filin, V. A. (2007). Problem of ecology of urban visual environment. Beijing conference, Moscow centre of “VIDEOECOLOGY”.

Fisher, T. (2014). Is there a right to architecture?, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 176-179.

García-Salgado, T. (2010). The Sunlight Effect of the Kukulcán Pyramid or The History of a Line, Nexus Network Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 113-130.

Hare, A. P. (2003). Roles, relationships, and groups in organizations: Some conclusions and recommendations, Small Group Research, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 123-154.

IESNA (2008). Light + Design: A Guide to Designing Quality Lighting for People and Buildings. New York: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Ingold, T. (2016). Lighting up the atmosphere. Elements of Architecture. New York: Routledge.

IWBI (2017). Light: background. International WELL Building Institute,, accessed 4th Apr, 2019.

Khaw, K. (2015). No, Chinese are not watching giant fake sunsets. Daily Dot,, accessed 4th Apr, 2019.

Krietemeyer, B., Andow, B., Dyson, A. (2015). A Computational Design Framework Supporting Human Interaction with Environmentally-Responsive Building Envelopes, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-24.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation, Psychological Review, Vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 370-396.

McQuire, S. (2008). The Media City: Media, Architecture and Urban Space. London: SAGE Publications.

Novatorov, V. E. (2016). Personalʹnyĭ marketing (in Russian). Moscow/ Berlin: Directmedia.

Ozorhon, I. F., Uraz, T. U. (2014). Natural light as a determinant of the identity of architectural space, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 107-119.

Powell, B. J. (2002). The Ergonomics of Light,, accessed 4th Apr, 2019.

Ritchey, T. (2015). Principles of cross-consistency assessment in general morphological modelling. Acta Morphologica Generalis, Swedish Morphological Society, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 1-20.

Rode, P., Burdett, R., Robazza, G., Schofield, J. (2014). Cities and Energy. Urban Morphology and Heat Energy Demand. London: The London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Cities.

Roth, L. M. (2007). Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press.

Rüdiger Ganslandt, H. H. (1992). Handbook of Lighting Design. Braunschweig/ Wiesbaden: ERCO.

Schwartz, E. (2018). Os curiosos enigmas projetuais da Pirâmide de Chichén Itzá. ArchDaily,, accessed 4th Apr, 2019.

Shchepetkov, N. I. (2006). Svetovoĭ dizaĭn goroda (in Russian). Moscow: Architecture-S.

Smalley, E. (2013). State of LED Streetlight Adoption in U.S. City of Seattle: US Departmentof Energy.

Taylor, H. F. (1970). Balance in small groups. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Tomassoni, R., Galetta, G., Treglia, E. (2015). Psychology of light: How light influences the health and psyche, Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 10, pp. 1216-1222.

Yoshimoto, S., Garcia, J., Jiang, F., Wilkins, A., Takeuchi, T., Webster, M. A. (2017). Visual discomfort and flicker, Vision Research, Vol. 138, pp. 18-28.

Zielinska-Dabkowska, K. (2019). Urban lighting masterplan – origins, definitions, methodologies and collaborations. In N. Davoudian (Ed.), Urban Lighting for People: Evidence-Based Lighting Design for the Built Environment. London: RIBA Publishing, pp. 18-41.

Zwicky, F. (1969). Discovery, invention, research through the morphological approach. New York: Macmillan.

Review Paper