The three main tasks of modern lighting design are to support the visual performance, satisfy color emotion (color quality), and promote positive non-visual outcomes. In view of large-scale applications, the use of simple and inexpensive RGB color sensors to monitor related visual and non-visual illumination parameters seems to be of great promise for the future development of human-centered lighting control systems. In this context, the present work proposes a new methodology to assess the circadian effectiveness of the prevalent lighting conditions for daylight and artificial light sources in terms of the physiologically relevant circadian stimulus (CS) metric using such color sensors. In the case of daylight, the raw sensor readouts were processed in such a way that the CIE daylight model can be applied as an intermediate step to estimate its spectral composition, from which CS can eventually be calculated straightforwardly. Maximal CS prediction errors of less than 0.0025 were observed when tested on real data. For artificial light sources, on the other hand, the CS approximation method of Truong et al. was applied to estimate its circadian effectiveness from the sensor readouts. In this case, a maximal CS prediction error of 0.028 must be reported, which is considerably larger compared to daylight, but still in an acceptable range for typical indoor lighting applications. The use of RGB color sensors is thus shown to be suitable for estimating the circadian effectiveness of both types of illumination with sufficient accuracy for practical applications.
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