Whenever you are designing a new office, lighting design is an essential part of it. Particularly, choosing suitable lighting for the office impacts employee working conditions and the general look of the space. LED is a great solution for office lighting due to its cost-effectiveness, environmental benefits and the employee productivity it brings. LED produce little amounts of heat while at the same time providing an even light distribution in the space. In addition, many scientific studies have proven the influence of light on human beings. Lighting, if chosen correctly, can boost productivity, motivation, creativity and general well-being of employees working in the office. Unfortunately, many working spaces have old lighting systems, which waste money, decrease employee productivity and have a negative impact on the environment. In this article, we will go through the issues that should be considered when designing the lighting layout of an office in order to reap all the benefits of LED lights.
Choosing a suitale lighting fixture
The selection of the lighting fixture for an office depends on various factors such as CRI, dimming requirements and color temperature, among many others. Additionally, the lighting fixture that you choose for your project will greatly depend on the ceiling type of the space. For example, recessed lighting or LED panels would be the best solutions for a dropped/T-Bar or drywall ceiling, while pendant mounted linear fixtures are a great option for spaces with an open ceiling.
Controllability of light
It is a great idea to provide company’s employees with some control over lighting as different people have different needs and preferences. By providing the employees with control over lights you can increase their job satisfaction, productivity and general comfort. This factor is essential to consider especially when designing lighting in an open office environment. Task lighting, which is discussed further, is an example of how controllability of light can be achieved.
When selecting a fixture for your architectural lighting design, the main goal stays constant – achieving a good quality of light. You can achieve this goal by using different layers. In other words, to achieve a perfect design, you should use different types of lighting fixtures. Firstly, start with the general level, also called ambient lighting, then accent level and finalize your project with task lighting. This way, high-level illumination will be used only where it is needed, not across the entire space. Additionally, when the lighting is layered in this way it enables you to get rid of unnecessary glare and shadows. LED is a great way to achieve a layered design, as there is a great variety of lighting technology which address the needs in the office areas.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
CRI, or the Color Rendering Index, measures the rendering of colors of objects in the space compared to daylight. In other words, CRI measures the light source’s ability to show the colors of objects realistically. It is recommended that a CRI greater than 70 is used for the illumination of offices. The CRI of LED is much higher than other lighting solutions, which means a more accurate representation of objects’ colors.
In order to achieve a desired effect of a well-lit area by using direct and indirect light sources, all of these lighting sources should provide sufficient light distribution in the area as well as a suitable color temperature. Generally, suitable color temperature for office spaces ranges from 3500 K to 5500 K. If you choose something below 3500 K, the color of the light will be too yellow, while anything above 5500 is too bright. However, warm white color (2000-3000 K) can still be used in areas which do not require high concentration on the employees’ part, such as bathrooms, kitchens and breakrooms. You can read more about color temperature from our previous article.