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Challenging the Status Quo - Maria Englezou named SLL Young Lighter 2021

SLL Young Lighter 2021 - Maria Englezou

SLL Young Lighter 2021, Maria Englezou delivered her presentation, Do we need to change the design of healthcare facilities rooms? during the 2021 SLL Young Lighter finals. This year’s finals were hosted by SLL president-elect, Andrew Bissell FSLL and took place online, with all four finalists delivering their presentations virtually to an international audience. 

Maria Englezou, Architect-Engineer Dipl.Eng., MSc. is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Architecture at the University of Cyprus. Maria holds a Diploma in Architectural Engineering from the University of Thessaly in Greece and a Master of Science in Sustainable Architecture Studies from the University of Sheffield. During her undergraduate and postgraduate studies, she was awarded numerous academic performance scholarships. She is currently a research fellow in the Energy & Environmental Design of Buildings Research Laboratory at the Department of Architecture (UCY). Maria's research interests focus on environmental design for buildings, visual comfort, non-visual effects of lighting, and architectural design for human health and well-being. 

Since the early 20th Century, it has been understood that sufficient daylight and sunlight access in hospitals contributes to improved patient recovery time, health, and well-being.

Focusing on her doctoral research, Maria’s entry explores the optimum patient room configuration to support visual comfort, health, and wellbeing, whilst minimising the need for compromise. The current research focuses on studying the double room, the most widely used patient room in healthcare facilities. 

In the right hands, sunlight can be a medicine

Richard Hobday, The Healing Sun

The methodology used was based on computer simulations, using the software Climate Studio for climate-based metrics and ALFA, for calculations such as the Melanopic Equivalent Daylight Illuminance (mel. EDI) and the Melanopic Daylight Efficace Ratio (mel. DER). Various parameters are examined, such as window sizes, window placement on the exterior wall, glazing types, room orientation, and timing (season and time of the day).

The findings show that the most critical parameters are the orientation of the room and the timing (season and time in a day). Other parameters such as the patient placement, the patient view direction, and the bed's positioning are mainly affected by whether there is access to direct sunlight at specific times.

In her conclusion, Maria identified the need to correlate mel. EDI and mel. DER with specific biological response and called for more attention to be paid to the physiological, psychological and special requirements of patients when designing healthcare facilities.

Maria was one of four finalists in this year’s competition, joined by María Teresa Aguilar Carrasco with her paper, Lighting optimisation in 24 hour work centres to promote a good circadian rhythm; Remedios María López Lovillo with her paper, Adaptive lighting control system - User-oriented; and Verity Rose, presenting her paper Drone Lighting: The impact and the future

After the presentations, the SLL was joined by special guest speaker and SLL Young Lighter for 2018, Emma Beadle MSLL. As the judges deliberated, Emma reflected on her winning entry from 2018, Children’s Utopian Visions of the City: co-designing lighting masterplans through play and exploration. Emma called upon the lighting community to share what they love and engage with the next generation of lighting professionals through creative co-design.

The judges were impressed by the quality of entries from the initial entry stage, maintaining an exceedingly high standard throughout the competition. All the finalists received a cash prize, along with a year's free membership of the Society. 

2021 marks the 27th annual SLL Young Lighter competition and the second year that the finals have been held online. Open to anyone with an interest in light and lighting, the competition is designed to test not just the finalists’ ability to develop a lighting project, but also their presentation skills.

The competition provides a unique platform for young lighters and is open for all to enter, allowing entrants to illustrate their knowledge and research on a lighting subject, hone their presentation skills, and raise their profile within the industry.

Previous winners include Seda Kacel, Christopher Knowlton, Sabine De Schutter, Rachael Nicholls, Janna Aronson, Youmna Abdallah, Sofia Tolia, Matt Hanbury, Emma Beadle and the 2019 Young Lighter, Anna Wawrzyniak and Aluwaine Manyonga.

If you would like more information about the SLL Young Lighter competition and how to enter in 2022, please contact