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Saving energy with light? Experimental studies assessing the impact of colour temperature on thermal comfort

Huebner, GM; Shipworth, DT; Gauthier, S; Witzel, C; Raynham, P; Chan, W; (2016) Saving energy with light? Experimental studies assessing the impact of colour temperature on thermal comfort. Energy Research & Social Science , 15 (C) pp. 45-57. 10.1016/j.erss.2016.02.008. Green open access

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Abstract

We tested whether the colour temperature of the illumination (realised through manipulating the ceiling light) impacted on thermal comfort, based on the hypothesis that a lower colour temperature is associated with feeling warmer and a higher colour temperature with feeling cooler. If confirmed, then light might be a tool for energy-saving through allowing ambient air temperatures to vary over a wider range and hence reducing the need for space heating and cooling. Testing took place in a climate chamber. In Study 1, comfort ratings were collected using thermal comfort surveys (N = 32). In Study 2, an observational design was used, where changes in clothing level, interpreted as thermal discomfort responses, were observed (N = 32). We compared comfort ratings and changes in clothing level under light with a colour temperature of 2700 K vs. 6500 K. Results partly confirmed the hypotheses: both self-report and observation indicated higher comfort under the low colour temperature. Further research will need to replicate findings in a real-world setting to see if light might indeed be a tool to modulate thermal comfort, and hence reduce usage of heating and cooling.

Type: Article
Title: Saving energy with light? Experimental studies assessing the impact of colour temperature on thermal comfort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2016.02.008
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.02.008
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Thermal comfort; Colour temperature; Hue-heat-hypothesis; Energy saving
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501093
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