Daylight is limited in time and space. In situations where daylight is insufficiently available, virtual natural lighting solutions (VNLS), which are systems that artificially provide lighting and view comparable to those of real windows and skylights, can be promising. VNLS can turn currently unused floor space into space with daylight qualities. The space-gaining potential of VNLS in buildings can be predicted using computational building performance simulation. This paper describes the approach of modelling VNLS with a simplified view, using the Radiance tool to evaluate the lighting performance in a reference office. The VNLS are modelled as arrays of small light sources resembling the sky, the horizon and the ground. The simulation results show that VNLS with wide beam angles generally offer a better uniformity and a larger percentage of sufficiently lit workplane area compared to those obtained with real windows under overcast sky conditions, while the discomfort glare remains comparable to that received from real windows.
Mangkuto, R. A., Aries, M. B. C., Loenen, van, E. J., & Hensen, J. L. M. (2014). Simulation of virtual natural lighting solutions with a simplified view. Lighting Research and Technology, 46(2), 198-218. https://doi.org/10.1177/1477153513476875