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Special Issue "Human Oriented and Environmentally Friendly Lighting Design of Exterior Areas"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 18755

Special Issue Editors

School of Applied Arts, Hellenic Open University, 26335 Patras, Greece
Interests: daylight, exterior lighting; lighting control; lighting design; lighting measurements; photosensors; road and tunnel lighting; sustainable lighting
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
International Dark-Sky Association, Greek Chapter
Interests: astronomy; dark sky parks; environment; exterior lighting; light pollution; lighting; road lighting; sustainable lighting

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The use of artificial lighting in the built environment can affect not only the visual perception and wellbeing of humans but also the environment. As architectural lighting focuses on highlighting building façades and exterior areas, newly formed legislations are trying to minimize the negative effects of the irrational use of artificial lighting. The lack of lighting design and energy consumption restrictions for areas in the exterior of buildings, such as building façades, and sports and recreation areas has led to an increase in the use of lighting installations. On the other hand, awareness of the negative effects of lighting pollution is affecting the lighting design of streets and tunnels. today, with the advent of energy-efficient luminaires (LED) and state-of-the-art lighting control, the need for a better living environment should be placed along with environmentally friendly lighting design techniques. The scope of this Special Issue is to highlight the role of lighting in the built environment, including the corresponding positive and negative issues, and document the current trends of lighting design for areas in the exterior of buildings. Case studies of highly remarkable lighting practices are welcome.

Submitted manuscripts should address one or more of the following topics, in the context of human-oriented and environmentally friendly lighting:

  • Architectural lighting;
  • Building façade lighting;
  • Decision systems for optimized lighting;
  • Dark sky;
  • Light pollution and impact on human health;
  • Light pollution and impact on fauna and flora;
  • Lighting in archeology and cultural heritage;
  • Lighting simulation and modelling for exterior places;
  • Retrofitting strategies, measurement, and verification;
  • Road and tunnel lighting;
  • Social impact and wellbeing (criminality, ergonomics, safety, etc.);
  • Sports lighting;
  • Visual impairment and corresponding lighting needs;
  • Visual perception.
Adj. Prof. Lambros T. Doulos
Assoc. Res. Andreas Papalambrou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • architectural lighting
  • building façade
  • cultural heritage lighting
  • Human-Centric Lighting
  • lighting control
  • light pollution
  • optimized exterior lighting
  • sports lighting
  • road and tunnel lighting
  • wellbeing



•    Ardavani O., S. Zerefos, L.T. Doulos, “Redesigning the exterior lighting as part of the urban landscape: The role of transgenic bioluminescent plants in Mediterranean urban and suburban lighting environments”, Journal of Cleaner Production, 242, (2020), 118477
•    Beccali, M., Bonomolo, M., Leccese, F., Lista, D., & Salvadori, G. (2018). On the impact of safety requirements, energy prices and investment costs in street lighting refurbishment design. Energy, 165, 739–759.
•    Carli, R., Dotoli, M., & Pellegrino, R. (2018). A decision-making tool for energy efficiency optimization of street lighting. Computers & Operations Research, 96, 222–234.
•    Das N., N. Pal, S. K. Pradip, Economic cost analysis of LED over HPS flood lights for an efficient exterior lighting design using solar PV, Building and Environment, 89, 2015, 380-392,
•    Doulos L.T., I. Sioutis, P.A. Kontaxis, G. Zissis, K. Faidas “A decision support system for assessment of street lighting tenders based on energy performance indicators and environmental criteria: Overview, methodology and case study”, Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 51, November 2019, 101759,
•    Doulos L. T., I. Sioutis, A. Tsangrassoulis, L. Canale and K. Faidas, Minimizing lighting consumption in existing tunnels using a no-cost fine-tuning method for switching lighting stages according revised luminance levels, 2019 IEEE International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering and 2019 IEEE Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Europe (EEEIC / I&CPS Europe), Genova, Italy, June 11th-14th, 2019, pp. 1-6. doi: 10.1109/EEEIC.2019.8783789
•    Fotios, S., & Gibbons, R. (2018). Road lighting research for drivers and pedestrians: The basis of luminance and illuminance recommendations. Lighting Research & Technology, 50, 154–186.
•    Galadi-Enriquez D., 2018. Beyond CCT: The spectral index system as a tool for the objective, quantitative characterization of lamps. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer, 2016, 399-408
•    Hermoso-Orzáez, M.J.; Lozano-Miralles, J.A.; Lopez-Garcia, R.; Brito, P. Environmental Criteria for Assessing the Competitiveness of Public Tenders with the Replacement of Large-Scale LEDs in the Outdoor Lighting of Cities as a Key Element for Sustainable Development: Case Study Applied with PROMETHEE Methodology. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5982
•    Jiang, Y., Li, S., Guan, B., Zhao, G., Boruff, D., Garg, L., et al. (2018). Field evaluation of selected light sources for roadway lighting. Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering (English edition), 5(5), 372–385.
•    Kyba, C.M.C., Kuester, T., de Miguel, S.A., Baugh, K., Jechow, A., Hölker, F., Bennie, J., Elvidge, D.C., Gaston, J.K., Guanter, L. 2017.  Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent. Science Advances 3 (11): 1-47
•    Levin N., C.C.M. Kyba, Q. Zhang, A. Sánchez de Miguel, M. O. Román, X. Li, B. A. Portnov, A. L. Molthan, A. Jechow, S. D. Miller, Z. Wang, R. M. Shrestha, C. D. Elvidge, Remote sensing of night lights: A review and an outlook for the future, Remote Sensing of Environment, 237, 2020, 111443
•    López, J.C. , A.L. Grindlay, A. Peña-García, “A proposal for evaluation of energy consumption and sustainability of road tunnels: The sustainability vector“, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 65 (2017) pp 53–61.
•    Moretti, L.; Cantisani, G.; Carrarini, L.; Bezzi, F.; Cherubini, V.; Nicotra, S. Italian Road Tunnels: Economic and Environmental Effects of an On-Going Project to Reduce Lighting Consumption. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4631
•    Papalambrou, A., Doulos, L.T. Identifying, Examining, and Planning Areas Protected from Light Pollution. The Case Study of Planning the First National Dark Sky Park in Greece. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5963,
•    Pena-Garcia, A., J.C. Lopez, A.L. Grindlay, “Decrease of energy demands of lighting installations in road tunnels based in the forestation of portal surroundings with climbing plants“, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 46 (2015) pp 111–115.
•    Peña-García, A., Hurtado, A., & Aguilar-Luzón, M. C., Impact of public lighting on pedestrians’ perception of safety and well-being. Safety Science, 2015, 78, 142–148.
•    Rocha H., Igor S.Peretta, Gerson Flávio M.Lima, Leonardo G.Marques, Keiji Yamanaka, Exterior lighting computer-automated design based on multi-criteria parallel evolutionary algorithm: optimized designs for illumination quality and energy efficiency, Expert Systems with Applications, 45, 2016, 208-222,
•    Tahkamo, L., & Halonen, L. (2015). Life cycle assessment of road lighting luminaires -comparison of light-emitting diode and high-pressure sodium technologies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 93, 234–242.
•    Traverso, M., Donatello, S., Moons, H., Rodriguez Quintero, R., Gama Caldas, M., Wolf, O., et al. (2019). Revision of the EU green public procurement criteria for street lighting and traffic signals - preliminary report. January 2019. EU - scientific and technical research reports ISBN 978-92-79- 99077-9
•    Wojnicki, I., & Kotulski, L. (2018). Empirical study of how traffic intensity detector parameters influence dynamic street lighting energy consumption: A case study in Krakow. Poland. Sustainability, 10, 1221.
•    Yoomak S., C. Jettanasen, A. Ngaopitakkul, S. Bunjongjit, M. Leelajindakrairerk, Comparative study of lighting quality and power quality for LED and HPS luminaires in a roadway lighting system, Energy and Buildings, 159, 2018, 542-557,
•    Zhao L., S. Qu, W. Zhang, Z. Xiong, An energy-saving fuzzy control system for highway tunnel lighting, Optik, 180, 2019, 419-432,

Published Papers (3 papers)

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15 pages, 6558 KiB  
Sustainable Exterior Lighting for Cultural Heritage Buildings and Monuments
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10159; - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1941
The improper illumination of cultural heritage buildings and monuments can be a source of enormous light pollution, which can have a major impact on the overall environment of the illuminated area. Such lighting can be the result of carelessness or a poorly designed [...] Read more.
The improper illumination of cultural heritage buildings and monuments can be a source of enormous light pollution, which can have a major impact on the overall environment of the illuminated area. Such lighting can be the result of carelessness or a poorly designed lighting system. This paper presents one of the methodologies that can significantly reduce light pollution, especially spilt light out of building façades. The methodology is based on using luminaires with specially made shutters and an appropriate silhouette of the object. The shutters are designed with the help of photos of the object and the location’s sizes measured. The methodology was tested during the renovation of the lighting systems of different churches in Slovenia and is described using the example of the Church of St. Thomas near Ptuj, Slovenia (N 46°28.9554′, E 16°0.7416′). The results show that the methodology is effective and can significantly reduce light pollution that occurs when such buildings are incorrectly lit. Full article
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24 pages, 9087 KiB  
Lighting for Cultural and Heritage Site: An Innovative Approach for Lighting in the Distinct Pagoda-Style Architecture of Nepal
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2720; - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5341
Nepal houses many traditional and cultural sites rich in historical cultural diversity. These sites are also economically important to the nation. These monuments show the culture and the living beliefs of the communities; hence, people from all over the world are attracted to [...] Read more.
Nepal houses many traditional and cultural sites rich in historical cultural diversity. These sites are also economically important to the nation. These monuments show the culture and the living beliefs of the communities; hence, people from all over the world are attracted to such place to observe the beauty and to feel the spirit and the conservational perspectives behind these articulated edifices. In today’s context, artificial light is a basic necessity for human activities and has been used in various applications: one such application being night-time illumination of historical sites and monuments. Most of the historic monuments in Nepal were constructed during the 15th to 18th century and are designed to incorporate oil-based wick lamp as the light source. Recently with the availability of modern luminaires and lack of technical expertise and scientific approach, most of the historic sites are being filled up with uneven, exaggerated, and inappropriate illumination. This inappropriate illumination practice may lead to negative consequences that may create disturbance to human and the surrounding environment. Scope of this paper is to identify the special needs for illuminating cultural and heritage sites with Pagoda-style architecture and introduce a methodology for a case study in Nepal. As a first step, this paper analyzes lighting malpractices in the temples of Nepal at different geographical locations and cultural values. As a next step, a prototype LED luminaire that enhances the unique type of architecture of Nepalese heritage sites was built, installed, and demonstrated in one of the temples. The work presents the design process of the lighting system and the results of a new lighting installation. The study also discusses possible problems that may arise while designing lighting for cultural and heritage site and provides recommendations on considerations to be taken during the design. Full article
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32 pages, 6389 KiB  
Assessment of Citizens’ Actions against Light Pollution with Guidelines for Future Initiatives
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4997; - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 10301
Due to the wide reach of media reports about scientific research and technological tools such as the world wide web (WWW), the Internet, and web browsers, citizens today have access to factual information about the negative impact of artificial light at night (ALAN) [...] Read more.
Due to the wide reach of media reports about scientific research and technological tools such as the world wide web (WWW), the Internet, and web browsers, citizens today have access to factual information about the negative impact of artificial light at night (ALAN) on their dark skies, and their health and well-being. This means they can now make educated decisions and take the necessary steps to help protect themselves and their communities from disruptive light pollution. Whilst this action is positive and welcomed, unfortunately, according to collected data, not all such initiatives have been successful. Although our understanding of this groundswell movement is deepening, further studies are required to complete a worldwide picture of the current situation. This paper therefore investigates the various actions taken by citizens, as well as the challenges, methods, and tools involved, regarding good practices initiated by grass roots activism on how to reduce existing and potential light pollution. The results of a comparative analysis of 262 international case studies (lawsuits and online petitions) reveal that, since the 1990s, there has been an increase in the number of legal cases related to light pollution due to the rise in public awareness, the availability of scientific knowledge via the Internet, and the ability to take accurate lighting measurements and perform lighting simulations. Also, in the last decade a new tool for digital participation in the form of online petitions has established a new movement of citizen action to mitigate the effects of light pollution. Based on this information, a seven-step framework involving recommendations for citizen action has been developed. It is expected that this new knowledge will benefit those citizens planning future efforts involving the development, implementation, and monitoring processes of outdoor lighting. Additionally, it might support the evolution of planning and policy approaches that are sustainable and necessary to improve the application and installation of ecologically/biologically responsible illumination for towns, cities, and natural habitats. Full article
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