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Exterior Lighting Design Class
A Resource for Students, Pros





An Exterior Lighting Design course is being offered in the 2016 spring semester at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Scott Williams (background left), who teaches the Exterior Lighting Design course, talked about the school's new Mobile Outdoor Lighting Lab when the Signage Foundation Inc. held its 2015 National Signage Research and Education Conference recently at the University of Oklahoma. The Illumination Engineering Society awarded Williams a 2014-2015 Academic Expansion Grant for the outdoor lab.


Anyone with a passion for outdoor lighting might want to consider enrolling in Professor Scott Williams' Exterior Lighting Design course at the University of Oklahoma. It will be offered again in the spring semester, starting Jan. 19, 2016.

The class is an introduction to the concept of outdoor lighting as an integral part of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning.

"Our Exterior Lighting Design course is the first with a design emphasis to be offered within a LAAB accredited academic landscape architecture curriculum in the U.S.," Williams said. The LAAB is the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board.

Williams also holds the titles of LEED AP, Associate AIA, Associate IES, and Educator IALD.

He was awarded the IES Academic Expansion Grant for Lighting Education in 2014-2015 for his Mobile Outdoor Lighting Lab that he will use in next semester's lighting course. "I am an Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals (AOLP) Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD), and chair of their COLD Education Committee," he said.

Williams is also on the mentor team and a member of the International Landscape Lighting Institute, or the ILLI. He attended the ILLI's Intensive Design and Field Training Course in 2012, and mentored again at the 2015 IDFTC from Oct. 22-27 in Rio Verde, Ariz.

Basically, Exterior Lighting Design is an in-depth study of "humans' use of light in nighttime outdoor environments for safety, security and also enjoyment," Williams said. "We learn about the basic physical characteristics of light and the relationship to human vision."

Class lectures cover the historical, aesthetic, technical and ecological issues related to exterior lighting, he added. Students also take part in interactive projects, and explore design principles and strategies for good outdoor lighting concepts.

Lighting professionals and equipment manufacturers visit the class. Students also take field trips to local lighting design, distribution and signage firms, and exemplary urban lighting projects after dusk.

At the end of the class, students are expected to have a basic understanding of the theory of light, human vision and visual perception, and color; the historical origins and evolution of exterior lighting; the types and applications of exterior lighting; exterior lighting equipment, including light sources (bulbs), luminaires (light fixtures), and controls; photometry and photometric calculations; essential design principles and concepts of exterior lighting; various light distribution methods and the importance of avoiding light trespass and glare; the Dark Sky movement and the ecological consequences of excessive light, such as light pollution and sky glow; and the difference between line voltage (i.e. 120 v) and low-voltage (i.e. 12 v) systems, including applications, equipment, wiring calculations.

Exterior Lighting Design is an upper division elective open to graduate and undergraduate students in the University of Oklahoma's College of Architecture and other design fields.

"Some of our LA (landscape architecture) students do take the course, but most of our students come from the Architecture Division," Williams said.

"Each year, I expand and intensify the course with new lighting equipment, project collaborations with lighting professionals, and the introduction of new educational material for the students," he added.








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July 27, 2017, 11:44 am PDT

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Last Updated 07-24-17