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Photometry and Colorimetry Laboratory

The Photometry and Colorimetry Laboratory (UFC) is part of the Buildings Department of LNEC, within the Acoustics, Lighting, Building Components and Facilities Unit (NAICI).

UFC had its genesis during the 1980s and arose from the need to support the Portuguese industry in the areas of the characterization of light measurement equipment, lighting equipment, and optical components for the automotive industry, having been formally established in 1992.

Additional information can be found at this laboratory's flyer.

Field of expertise

UFC develops a diversified activity within the characterization and performance evaluation of the following types of equipment, materials, and construction systems, either in laboratory or in situ:
  • Characterization of photometric sensors;
  • Characterization of the luminous and colour properties of materials;
  • Evaluation of optical characteristics of motor vehicle components and signalling equipment;
  • In situ evaluation of daylighting and electric lighting conditions.


UFC performs several tests in the fields of photometry, colorimetry and lighting in general, including the following:

Laboratory tests

  • Calibration of photometric sensors;
  • Determination of the retroreflection coefficient;
  • Determination of the luminance factor;
  • Determination of chromaticity coordinates;
  • Determination of the visible reflectance and transmittance of materials.

In situ tests

  • Characterization of the indoor luminous environment;
  • Characterization of indoor lighting conditions according to EN 12464-1;
  • Characterization of the outdoor luminous environment;
  • Characterization of outdoor lighting conditions according to EN 12464-2 and other specific normative documents.

Other services

In addition to the tests mentioned, and within NAICI’s framework, UFC also conducts studies of a more comprehensive nature, which are related with: the visual comfort conditions in buildings; the energy impacts resulting from the use of natural and artificial lighting and the suitability and compliance of daylighting; and with the electric lighting conditions in the interior spaces of buildings. In general, these studies are associated with contract research services in various areas such as:

  • Planned research studies, development of materials and building systems;
  • Consulting and design support as refers to new constructions or to conservation and rehabilitation of existing buildings;
  • Support to the construction sector, through the execution of characterization and performance tests in daylighting and artificial lighting domains and related areas.