Lighting is a key part of any office design. Similar to the layout of the office, it can have a significant impact on those using the space.
The lighting present can impact everything from the way people make decisions to how well they sleep at night. While lighting design is often overlooked when considering office setup and design, it shouldn’t be. It has a huge impact on the health of those using the building and the company image. The good news is there are several tips that can be used to improve interior office lighting from letting in more natural light to making an investment for fluorescent light covers. Keep reading to learn more.
Install LED Bulbs
For years, fluorescent tubes have been the go-to bulb choice for offices. That is because they are affordable and easy to install. They can also be used in suspended ceilings and easily light bigger areas. However, there are also common issues with fluorescent tubes. The lights may flicker and as the bulbs get older, they may become dimmer. As a result, they may not be the best option for offices.
A smart alternative to fluorescent tubes, and one used in many buildings today, is LED bulbs. LEDs were considered an expensive option in the past, but over time, they are more cost-effective and safer than fluorescent lighting. Also, LEDs are much more energy efficient than the traditional fluorescent tubes, along with other common bulbs, such as HID lamps.
LED bulbs don’t contain any mercury or the other chemicals that can be dangerous and that are found in fluorescents. The most common sizes for office lighting fixtures are T8 tubes, with the “8” referring to the diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch. This means the T8 is eight-eights of an inch (a.k.a. one inch) around in diameter. Modern T8 LEDs are designed to last up to 50K hours, which is 20K longer than most fluorescent T8s, which means they don’t have to be replaced as often. With LED bulbs, glare is reduced, too, which can help improve productivity and comfort in the office.
Utilize Natural Light
Natural light is one of the biggest and often overlooked assets when designing an office. Sufficient natural light can help make an office appear brighter and much more welcoming. It is best to think of natural light during the design phase, and only use artificial light where necessary. The goal with this strategy is to help individuals feel confided to the outside world while being comfortable while working.
Proper levels of daylight inside an office have been proven to help increase worker employee productivity and sales by as much as 40%, along with creativity by 15%. Employees who are exposed to natural light often will sleep longer, exercise more often, and have an improved quality of life than those who are exposed to minimal light.
Current evidence has proven that commercial buildings that don’t have windows are about 20% less in rent than the ones that have windows. This means that for landlords, it is a good idea to consider using natural light when and where possible in an office.
The presence of natural light can also help to reduce energy costs, as well. This is because when there is more natural light in the space, it means that less artificial light will be needed, which is a bonus of maximizing the natural levels of light.
Install a Lighting Control System
Modern lighting control systems are uniquely designed to help save energy in offices by responding to the way that every part or section of the office is used. By adding a lighting control system into the office redesign, or a fit out, it means it is possible to get the most out of new lighting that is installed regarding energy savings capabilities and performance.
Along with making the most out of the natural light, a lighting control system will help save money by regulating the amount of lighting in various areas of the office. The areas that aren’t being constantly used, like meeting rooms, toilets, and corridors will benefit from the installation of a lighting control system because this will make sure that the areas are only lit when being used. The occupancy control sensors will help ensure that areas are lit when they are being used and that the lights are turned of when they are not needed.
Choose the Right Lighting for Each Task
Every modern office demands unique lighting to suit the needs of the people who work there. It is essential that the lighting is incorporated into any newly designed office so employees can work effectively and comfortably. Open plan offices may be easily flooded with artificial lighting because it must be strong enough to illuminate worker’s desks. This often leads to glare or issues related to over-illumination. This may have a negative impact on a person’s health and lead to the unnecessary waste of energy. Lighting needs to be layered to help avoid issues of over-illumination. This means instead of all the light coming from the ceiling, the lighting is layered with task and ambient options. This provides more control for individuals and how their work area is lit. For example, adjustable desk lamps offer an increased level of control for working on specific tasks.
Getting the Lighting Right
When it comes to lighting in an office, there are an array of factors that must be considered. Take some time to consider how light affects employees and how it can be improved. This is going to reduce issues, increase productivity, and be positive for the business’s bottom line. Remember, the lighting should be part of the design plan from the very beginning, but even if it isn’t there are steps a building or business owner can take to improve the lighting options and availability in the space. If necessary, work with lighting experts to ensure that workers are getting the right amount of light and that there are no adverse effects caused by the lighting in place.