10 Tips to choose the right lighting for an office
Lighting is an essential part of an office, impacting everything from ambience to employee motivation and productivity. As employees spend a good part of their day in the office, the type of lighting chosen has the ability to influence their health and well-being. Here are some factors to consider when choosing lighting for an office space.
Every country has lighting standards in place for various types of workplaces. This includes lighting requirements for different areas and office types, as well as emergency and hazard lighting. Lighting standards ensure that workplaces are safe for the employees, and it is important to first consider these standards before coming up with a lighting plan.
2. Natural Light
One of the benefits of the extensive use of glass in workplace architecture is the ample natural light available to the employees. Natural light has been shown to be beneficial to mental and physical health, so if the office space has natural light available, use it to your benefit. Consider the amount and intensity of the light available in each of the areas in the office. Use this to decide areas to supplement with extra lighting.
Use the concept of light layering in the lighting design. Utilise general and task lighting in work areas. In entry and reception areas, use a mix of general, task, accent or decorative lighting as needed.
Consider the type of office and the various tasks performed to decide on ideal lighting for each purpose. An office for an accounting firm will need different lighting from an architecture firm or a software firm. Within each office, different areas will have distinctive requirements. Reception desk, work spaces, collaboration areas and break rooms are common areas in most offices with varying lighting needs. Create a lighting plan based on these requirements.
Take design into consideration before choosing lighting fixtures. Look for lighting that merges well with your existing office design to create a pleasant space. While the look and style of lighting fixtures may seem unimportant, it adds to the overall ambience of the space. Unattractive lighting can stand out, especially when there are multiples.
An increase in health problems like back aches and computer vision syndrome have led to more focus on using ergonomic designs in the workplace. However, ergonomics is not just limited to office chairs and desks. Lack of adequate and good quality light in workspaces lead to headaches and eye strain, as well as a significant decrease in productivity. Ensure that workspaces are well lit and that the placement of lighting does not cause discomfort.
Provide more control over the lighting to employees to help them choose as per their needs. Allow the lighting to be controlled based on areas for larger offices, with separate task lighting like desk lamps that can be used when needed. This is especially helpful when employees need to switch between various tasks, granting them the options to adjust as needed.
8. Energy Saving
Lighting takes up a significant amount of the electrical cost of an office. Using energy efficient lamps will cut down these costs while being better for the environment. Using schedulable systems as well as lighting that turns off when spaces are unoccupied also help with reducing the overall energy usage.
9. Color Temperature
The color temperature of a light refers to the color emitted by the light. Higher color temperatures are called cool tones while lower temperatures are called warm tones. Cool tones help employees be more alert while warm tones promote relaxation. A good balance of both types are required for the different areas in an office. As color tones also affect the circadian rhythm, lighting systems with programmable temperatures are great options for offices.
With most office work now mostly dependent on computer screens, it is vital to ensure that the lighting choices and placements do not create a glare on the screens. Use indirect lighting to illuminate workspaces so that it does not create glare, while also using anti-glare lighting solutions.