Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 19–20, 2024
New York Hilton Midtown, New York City

2020 Designing with Luminance and Exitance

Designing with Luminance and Exitance

Wednesday, August 19
9:00am – 10:00am


Credits: 1 AIA LU

This session explores approaches to design using metrics other than illuminance, as well as several studies that make the case for exitance rather than illuminance for establishing the level of lighting in an environment. It will also demonstrate tools that can help analyze and assess luminance and exitance criteria from a pragmatic standpoint, demonstrating the use of some of these tools real-time. Finally, the session will illustrate how High Dynamic Range Imaging using digital photography and apps for cell phones and tablets can be incorporated for measuring luminance and exitance for commissioning a lighting system.


  1. Attendees will recognize the shortcomings of illuminance as a metric for establishing lighting levels in spaces
  2. Attendees will be able to identify the difference between exitance and illuminance as metrics for establishing lighting levels in spaces
  3. Attendees will be able to assess luminance data relative to luminaire glare criteria and luminance ratios
  4. Attendees will identify how HDR imaging can be used to assess the performance of lighting systems in the field to verify luminance and exitance criteria


Craig Bernecker
Professor of Lighting Design, Director MFA Lighting Design Program
Parsons School of Design, The New School/The Lighting Education Institute

Dr. Bernecker has been a lighting educator for over 35 years. He is founder of The Lighting Education Institute, providing professional education, and Professor of Lighting Design and Director of the Masters of Fine Arts in Lighting Design program at Parsons School of Design, The New School. Prior to founding The Lighting Education Institute, he directed the lighting education program within the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University. He has published more than fifty articles on research and education in lighting design and illumination engineering and is known for his work on the psychological aspects of lighting. He also maintains an active consulting practice, providing lighting design services and serving as an expert consultant on many projects and as an expert witness on many legal cases. He regularly serves as a peer reviewer for lighting research proposals and projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

He further has served for 15 years as Educational Facilitator for LIGHTFAIR International, coordinating the development of the annual conference program, and annually teaches the IES online lighting certification review course in preparation for the NCQLP LC exam.

Dr. Bernecker has served the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) as Vice-President for Technical and Research Activities (1991-1993) and Vice-President for Educational Activities (1993-1995). More recently, he served the Society in its highest office, as Senior Vice-President for 2003-2004, President for 2004-2005, and Immediate Past President for 2005-2006. As a result of his contributions to lighting education, the Society named him a Fellow in 1991, and for his service to the IES, the Distinguished Service Award in 2017.