The study investigates learning and pedagogical differences between using physical models and computational simulations for architectural lighting design studies. The vehicle of the study is a real life architectural project for a church building. The research reveals that users of physical models were more aware of the need for technical knowledge whilst the users of simulation software are more contended with the virtual results without evaluating them critically. Preliminary results not only confirm the long established view that the computational simulation lacks the tactile quality for architectural understanding, worst still, it gives inexperienced users illusions of knowledge and claims of understanding. To further validate the results, works involving a larger sample set and a more comprehensive design program should be conducted.