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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses1987-1991 (PC020404.01) ➔ A Reevaluation of Permanent Supplementary Artificial Lighting Installation (PSALI)


Related people/organizations

Mark Loeffler (designer)
Sy Mayerson (thesis advisor)
Robert Prouse (thesis advisor)
Hayden McKay (thesis advisor)


May 1 1990


The principle of Permanent Supplementary Artificial Lighting (PSALI) has largely been overlooked as a design approach by American lighting designers. It is a British technique developed in the late 1950s for balancing daylight with electric light, not simply for reasons of energy efficiency, but to maintain the desirable daylighting characteristics of an interior space. The goal of this thesis is to revive and redefine PSALI with regard to recent advances in lighting technology and reintroduce it as a viable consideration for contemporary lighting designers.

The original intent of PSALI proponents and their guidelines for its implementation are examined. Changes in modern architectural style and the lighting design profession that rendered PSALI almost immediately obsolete are chronicled. Developments over the last 30 years in lamp, luminaire, and control technologies are explored as they have had an impact on PSALI design requirements. Contemporary architectural imperatives and environmental concerns are noted as positive influences in the reintroduction of PSALI. Impediments to the acceptance of PSALI as a legitimate design approach such as perceived expense, system eccentricities and educational gaps among designers and architects are acknowledged. The reevaluation and concluding redefinition of PSALI is a symbol of this research, with the intent to promote effectively designed integration of daylighting and electric lighting.



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