Princeton Light Analysis

Princeton University’s Exterior Pathways: Lighting Analysis

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Completed 2009

Exterior lighting performs a range of functions across Princeton’s campus; it enhances way-finding, encourages walking and bicycling use, and promotes safe nighttime environments. These requirements often belie the negative effects of extraneous and inefficient lighting including excessive energy usage and light pollution. This project studies and quantifies the amount, usages and type of exterior illumination across Princeton’s campus to better inform campus planners about existing conditions to facilitate the development of strategies that balance the need for sufficient lighting versus energy use and light pollution. In addition to the collection and analysis of empirical data of the existing campus pathway lighting, alternative designs for illumination that embrace sustainable technology were researched.

Part one of the project maps the presence of exterior light across the campus’ pedestrian paths in a series of new geographic information layers. Various types and intensities of exterior lighting across Princeton’s campus are measured through the linking of readily available light-metering equipment with the hand-crafting of a machine (LUXMETRON) to further expedite the measuring process. The captured data is analyzes through the tools and techniques of Geospatial Information System (GIS) and develops an array of relationships between the growing understanding of the campus’ ecology and serves to enrich the new campus master-plan as a road map to more strategic and sustainable exterior lighting.

School: Princeton University School of Architecture
Grant Funding: High Meadows Fund: Princeton Sustainability Committee, Princeton University
Project Team: Paul Lewis, Professor; Jean Choi, Yu-Cheng Koh, Thomas Wong, Princeton University School of Architecture Student Researchers

Publications: Architectural Lighting, “Light Mapping”