- By Clarissa Allison | April 17th, 2015
Lighting design and its philosophy have changed dramatically over the past decade. Companies are reducing the overall environmental footprint of the space and eliminating the barriers between employees more and more. Similarly, chopping down energy use is more important than ever and less difficult to implement.
It is important to realize that energy efficiency isn’t the only goal of lighting design. Sometimes energy-efficient lighting can provide very poor lighting quality that does not serve the long-term needs of businesses or their employees. Office lighting design should support the visual process and the well-being of people at work. Poor lighting can and does affect productivity, and can cause problems like eye-strain, headaches and fatigue.
Obtaining Lighting Harmony
People who are more satisfied with their lighting rate the space as more attractive, are happier, and are more comfortable and satisfied with their environment and work.
Lighting should feel natural and project managers must consider such diverse factors as daylight, a control system, and the reflecting ability of walls, ceilings, and partitions in an open office. The Illuminating Engineering Society‘s recommended guide to the art and science of quality lighting is one helpful resource to consult.
Daylight is a one example of how a business can combine energy savings with improved lighting quality. Most of today’s buildings would benefit from this strategy. Skylights are a thing of the past, and new tools can be used to harvest and optimize natural light without causing glare. Natural light is a huge benefit for those performing tasks that require fine discrimination of color (like print design work and graphic design). In a redesigned space that has windows, the furniture can also be arranged so that the space gets the maximum benefit from day light.
A lighting designer can help businesses avoid lighting quality problems that can arise when technology alone drives the design. Office spaces should always be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Replacing all lights with LED’s for instance, may not be the answer. A lighting designer can help you meet the requirements for light distribution, light wellness, color, and glare avoidance.
Lighting designers also routinely recommend that desk workers rely on two light sources for their offices: a general indirect lighting source to liven up a room and “task lighting,” a small direct light source that can be trained on what you need to focus on.
Studies have shown that lights in a higher color temperatures (above 3500K) directly impact our learning and productivity, making us better able to concentrate on tasks. The higher the color temperature, the higher the level of focus you are able to achieve. Choose LED’s for the most energy-efficient option. Midday sunlight also produces light over 5000K— and again, natural light is key to your good health and helps to improve your mood. Read about color temperature HERE.
Designers are currently seeing a big change in fixture design. The beam spread or distribution of light is much wider on many fixtures now so that lights may be spaced further apart. Advances in volumetric lenses also make lights easier to look at. These push light further up the walls to make the space feel brighter, rather than pushing more light directly down.
Also, there’s the re-acceptance of bright light sources. In the early 1980′s, there was a movement to eliminate lens luminaires due to the bright spots reflected in the convex lenses or screens on early computers. Everyone wanted to use indirect lighting systems with highly uniform ceiling luminescence. Now, since our modern flat screen computers are not subject to glare, it doesn’t matter as much whether lighting is direct or indirect.
Please visit our website for the latest in lighting technology for your home or business office. If you have any questions on which items would work best for your space, don’t hesitate to contact our lighting experts toll free at 1877 385 2104 or email us at email@example.com. The Louie Lighting team wishes you and yours a fabulous weekend.
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