Lighting Design

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group offers full project lifecycle lighting design services to provide its clients with artfully designed sustainable solutions for their most complex lighting challenges.

Our Lighting Studio takes a broad approach to building performance, encompassing occupant experience and resource efficiency. We integrate daylighting strategies wherever possible—from generating a basis of design, through construction documents, to post-occupancy evaluations. We create aesthetically pleasing, practical solutions that fit within the defined budget. We prioritize the use of energy-efficient technologies and applications, while scrutinizing emerging technologies before recommending them.

Project-specific Approach

Our Lighting Studio sees lighting design as an integral piece of the larger picture and works to take full advantage of every opportunity to enhance the project and so it reaches its full potential.

We approach every project with creative zeal and work closely with the client to gain an in-depth understanding of the project and client goals. We help the design team determine the best direction to take the project while considering owner requirements, the architect’s design, industry standards and trends, building systems, operations and maintenance strategies, sustainability goals, and energy efficiency. We understand a building’s community has different aesthetic and practical preferences, so we look at each project individually and with an incredible attention to detail. We have extensive experience coordinating with structural, landscape, acoustical, mechanical, civil, security, plumbing, and signage consultants.

Our Lighting Expertise

Our lighting experts come from varied backgrounds, including electric lighting, architectural, and daylighting consulting and have designed lighting for a range of facility types. Typical daylighting applications include offices, conference rooms, hotels, schools, and gymnasiums. Our expertise also includes more complex daylighting design. We have crafted solutions to prevent direct light from fading art installations in galleries and analyzed the shading effect of a new awning for a baseball stadium’s exterior bleachers to boost flagging ticket sales. However unique the facility or need, we have the expertise to find effective and workable design solutions.

In addition to supporting a range of facility types, we also offer a range of design and analytical services and tools to support projects from start to finish. These include schematic daylighting design studies, building orientation, influencing the organization of solid and void in facades, and daylighting modeling to yield calculations as required for LEED certifications.

Daylighting Design

Daylighting design ranges from seamless integration of daylight and electric lighting to create an evenly lit environment to using the dynamic nature of the sun to animate and activate a space. We create solutions that address design goals ranging from simply reducing energy consumption through daylight harvesting to creating lively and invigorating spaces by playing with light and shadow. We understand how to let daylight into a space, evenly distribute light, and mitigate glare as well as how the eye adapts to these changes.

Daylighting and outdoor views have positive effects on people. Our designers value and focus on a biophilic design approach, which connects occupants to nature within the built environment.

Communicating through Imagery

Our Lighting Studio understands how to use daylighting modeling software to produce images that communicate the impact of daylight, enabling the client to make informed design decisions. We find the right imagery for each project, from simple calculation points on a floor plan to photo-realistic or pseudo-color renderings to visually display light quantity and distribution. We can create floor plans, 3D views, and sectional perspectives to aid the design team in understanding how daylight is affecting the project


  • Interior and exterior architectural lighting design
  • Daylighting modeling, design, and analysis
  • Theatrical lighting design
  • Conceptual design
  • Circadian lighting design
  • Visualization, including computer renderings and hand sketches
  • Systems integration
  • Custom luminaire design
  • Economic evaluation
  • Energy and light level calculations
  • Code compliance forms
  • LEED project lighting design and documentation
  • Light modeling
  • Lighting audits
  • Urban art
  • Light pollution studies
  • Environmental impact studies
  • Lighting refurbishments
  • Lighting strategy across multiple portfolios and sites
  • Road lighting
  • Sports lighting
  • Expert witness or opinion
  • Lighting control system design
  • Site lighting
  • Landscape lighting
  • Airfield and taxiway lighting

Image courtesy of Ankrom Moisan Architects/Casey Braunger

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