The Harmony of Light and Comfort
A poorly lit commercial office can lead to eyestrain and diminish the overall satisfaction of employees. Conversely, excessively bright lighting can cast harsh glares on computer screens, leading to headaches and distractions. Achieving the right blend involves utilizing natural light whenever possible and incorporating indirect ambient lighting and task lighting to ensure even illumination without glare or shadows.
Types of Lighting & Light Fixtures
The best office lighting is a fusion of various types of lighting to cater to the unique needs of the workspace. Here’s a breakdown of essential lighting elements:
- Natural light has the most significant influence on employee mood, behavior, and satisfaction. It can even increase the real estate value of an office property by up to 20%.
- Ambient lighting serves as the primary source of lighting, and ambient lighting is derived from windows and ceiling lights, providing general illumination to the entire room.
- Task lighting is placed at individual desks or workstations. Task lighting complements ambient lighting by enhancing performance, reducing eyestrain, and alleviating workplace fatigue.
- Corrective lighting goes behind monitors, corrective lighting eases glare and ensures a comfortable viewing experience.
- Accent lighting, also known as mood lighting, is primarily decorative and plays a lesser role in productivity for employees.
With all of the available and beneficial lighting options for office buildings, we highly suggest including a lighting control solution with any new lighting installation. There are significant benefits to installing lighting controls. We suggest reading, 5 Benefits of Customized Lighting Control Strategies to learn more.
Selecting the appropriate light fixtures is crucial for achieving the desired lighting effect in an office setting. Indirect light fixtures, direct-indirect light fixtures, and shielded light fixtures offer unique benefits in terms of minimizing glare and providing even illumination.
- Indirect light fixtures project light upward to reflect off the ceiling and upper walls. These fixtures are effective in achieving the most even illumination with minimal direct glare.
- Direct-indirect light fixtures distribute light equally downward and upward. These fixtures strike a balance between providing task lighting and reducing glare.
- Shielded light fixtures use diffusers, lenses, and louvers to obstruct bulbs from direct view, and shield fixtures prevent glare and ensure even light distribution.
How to Improve Workspace Lighting
- Use cool blue or white lights to imitate natural lighting, promoting concentration and productivity.
- Reduce blue spectrum light in offices with fluorescent lights by using filters to create a more natural lighting environment.
- Incorporate cove lights or hidden fixtures to provide indirect illumination comparable to window light, enhancing the overall brightness.
- Lamps and task lights allow individual employees to adjust lighting to their preference, reducing glare and saving energy.
In addition to these lighting solutions, consider enhancing the ambiance of windowless offices with reflective accessories, warm paint, or wallpaper to create a brighter and more inviting workspace.
To maintain a healthy and safe working environment, consider the following strategies:
- Regularly assess employee satisfaction with office light levels to make necessary adjustments.
- Keep up with regular maintenance by replacing light bulbs on a schedule to ensure optimal brightness and cleanliness of fixtures.
- Use strategic positioning to avoid placing workstations with a window or light source directly behind the worker to prevent glare.
- Comply with OSHA’s lighting standards, which include a minimum of 500 lumens and protective plates on light fixtures.
LED Lighting for Business
Opting for LED lighting in the workplace brings numerous advantages. Although initially more expensive, LED lights prove cost-effective over time due to their extended lifespan, lower electricity consumption, reduced heat output, environmental benefits, and rebate recovery options.
Boost Employee Productivity with Action Services Group
The right office lighting is a cornerstone for fostering a productive and positive work environment. By understanding the various types of lighting, selecting appropriate fixtures, and adhering to recommended standards, businesses can illuminate their path to enhanced employee well-being and efficiency.