Lighting should support a flexible use of space. A multifunctional space should be lit in layers where layers can be turned on and off to support the needs of active programs. Some possible lighting applications include:

Natural Light: The appropriate use of natural light within a space can help support many activites such as reading or painting.

This photograph was taken in the lobby of the Seibel Center at the University of Illinois. The large wall of windows takes advantage of its Northern Exposure. Light can lend a sense of warmth to a space, but consideration must be given to the use of the room, as large amounts of natural light can cause glare on computer screens.

Ambient Light: The term usually refers to sources of light that are already available naturally (e.g. the sun, moon, lightning) or artificial light already being used (e.g. to light a room).

This photograph was taken in the Granger Library at the University of Illinois. This space makes use of both natural and ambient light. Besides the large, South facing windows, large light fixtures throw light downward using spotlights, and upon each table are lamps for more localized lighting.

Indirect or Up-lighting: Flourescent lights are most commonly used for up-lighting. This approach creates an even lighting for a space by bouncing light off of the ceiling. This is one of the most comfortable general lighting applications.

This photograph was taken from the second floor balcony of the NCSA building at the University of Illinois. Demonstrated here are two examples of indirect lighting, one of them being up-lighting. This lighting method emitts a very pleasant light.

With the pendant lamps, light is reflected off the ceiling and evenly distributed within the stair well. This application also works well in a room or lobby space.

Spotlight: Spotlights work well for highlighting pictures, artwork or sculptures. The use of spotlights in a multifunctional space adds drama and character to the overall scene.

This photograph was taken from the third floor balcony of Grainger Library at the Univresity of Illinois. This circular chandelier uses parabolic aluminumized reflector lights to light the study area below.

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