Selecting lighting system based on workers’ cognitive performance using fuzzy best–worst method and QUALIFLEX

  • Asma Zare
  • Mahdi Malakoutikhah
  • Moslem AlimohammadlouEmail author
Original Article


The present study aimed to evaluate different illumination systems in the control room of a power plant and decide on the optimal illumination system in terms of the operator’s cognitive performance. This study was conducted on a control room, consisting of 16 operators. The cognitive performance and sleepiness of the subjects were evaluated under three illumination systems: fluorescent lamps (230 lux); fluorescent lamps and LEDs (415 lux), and LEDs (210 lux). The weights of the criteria determined by the FBWM and systems were ranked using the QUALIFLEX. In the morning shift, the simple cognitive function (FDST) and the complex cognitive function (BDST) indices for the fluorescent and LED-illumination system showed the best values. In addition, in the evening shift, the FDST index for the fluorescent and LED-illumination system and the BDST index for the fluorescent illumination system showed the best values. Results related to the weight of each criterion indicated that BDST with the weight of 0.665 is the most important criterion, and then FDST, with the weight 0.2, was placed at ranks 2. The results of this study showed that the best cognitive performance for control room operators provided by combined fluorescent and LED-illumination systems in the morning and fluorescent system in the evening. It is suggested that more appropriate conditions should be provided for individuals in terms of cognitive performance by adding LEDs to the traditional fluorescent systems in the control rooms and setting the appropriate time for the use of LED lamps.


Lighting Cognitive performance Decision-making methods FBWM QUALIFLEX 



Light-emitting diode


Analytic hierarchy process


Analytic network process


Technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution


Fuzzy best–worst method


Qualitative flexible multiple criteria method


Forward digit span task


Backward digit span task


Karolinska sleepiness scale



The authors would like to acknowledge the support and assistance provided by all the participants, who collaborated in this study.

Author contributions

MA managed and planned the project. MM as a statistician, he re-checked statistical analysis and fixed all the bugs. AZ collected the data in the field, and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Not applicable.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics approval

Ethics approval was obtained by ethics committee of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS).

Consent for publication

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asma Zare
    • 1
  • Mahdi Malakoutikhah
    • 1
  • Moslem Alimohammadlou
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Student Research Committee, Department of Occupational Health, Faculty of HealthShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Economic, Management and Social ScienceShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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