Abstract

Quantitative data were obtained to determine the effects of sources of brightness in the visual field upon comfort and discomfort. The results are based upon subjective appraisals of sources exposed to view in a controlled manner amid a surrounding field of uniform brightness. The criterion involved the visual sensation at the borderline between comfort and discomfort.

Certain factors may be considered as being basic and fundamental and include the brightness and size of the source and the brightness to which the eyes are adapted. Other factors which have a modifying influence upon the basic factors include the position and number of sources in the visual field and the configuration of the sources. The relationships among these factors are expressed by an empirical formula which makes possible the determination of the brightness conditions which should be expected to produce a comfortable visual sensation. A simple rule is developed for converting a group of sources into a single equivalent source. Close agreement is obtained between the observed and calculated brightnesses at the borderline between comfort and discomfort of a simulated visual environment. This indicates the possibility of the ultimate development of a simple and logical method which is based upon experimental data for determining whether a lighting installation can be expected to be comfortable or uncomfortable.

© 1951 Optical Society of America

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