Office lighting plays a very important role in morale and motivation. People tend to associate light with positive energy and activity, and they tend to be very alert and enthusiastic in a well-lit office environment. Office lights also represent a significant portion of the company’s overhead because they rank among the highest consumers of electricity. Ideally, they should be as energy conscious as possible. Depending on the type of business as well, office lighting may play a critical role in interior design. If a business decorates extensively with fine furniture, fine art, unique color schemes, or even statuary, lights will have to be installed in the office to provide these decorations with the special significance they deserve. Cornerstone to all of this is functionality. No matter how large or small the office or what type of industry it operates within, office lighting systems should be configured to support the specific activities that make the organization money. In more and more instances, this involves not only the very best luminaires, but also customized lighting control systems.
Morale and Motivation
Studies have proven that office lighting has a direct impact on the psychology and performance of the workplace. Lighting in offices should think beyond the simple functional requirements of visibility. In order to be truly conducive to establishing a tone and momentum appropriate for the workplace, office lighting should provide enough bright, comfortable illumination that people are not straining their eyes. This often requires a skillful combination of direct and indirect layers of light, because too much direct light will almost always cast a shadow behind any large object like a cubicle. Too little direct lighting, however, is often too dim, and people end up looking out the windows too much to get their jobs done.
A room’s length, height, and width will determine the optimal number of horizontal and vertical foot candles the office lights will need to produce to strike this delicate balance. These dimensions must be factored together to determine the room cavity ratio for the office before lighting fixtures and their placements can be selected and determined.
Companies that host a large numbers of clients or business partners at their offices tend to decorate toward the high end of the spectrum. They frequently use fine photography, artwork, floral arrangements, eclectic furnishings, and even statuary to set apart different office spaces from normal operations. These places within an office require lighting that compliments and enhances whatever decorative themes and elements are used in these areas.
Three places that you really want to impress your clients with your lighting design skills are foyers, conference rooms, and executive offices. These areas not only host special activities, but they also feature unique interior architecture that requires specific decorative and ambient lighting fixtures, such as cove lights, to properly compliment the color scheme and fine furnishings that typify these environments.
These office lights will perform at their highest when wired to dimmers and lighting control systems that can adjust the level of light, manipulate single fixtures or groups of fixtures, or even one or more specific colors of light mixed with general white light for special effects.
On the practical end of the spectrum, office light must facilitate the workflow process by providing glare-free luminance that eliminates pockets of shadow and white spots on monitor screens and desk areas. This often requires the use of indirect lighting. Because indirect lighting reflects from either the ceiling or wall back into the open spaces where people are working, it tends to be more diffused and therefore less likely to reflect a second time off of work areas.
To determine how much indirect lighting an office will need, you will have to calculate the room’s reflectivity ratio. Different colored walls will absorb more light than others, so before installing any type of office lights it is necessary to factor this value into your photometric equations before you choose equipment for your client.
As fuel costs rise, energy costs also rises. Along with this inflation, concerns about climate change continue to mount as well, placing a great deal of pressure on businesses to use more energy efficient indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures. Because it has been determined that 40% of all the world’s greenhouse gases are produced in buildings, new types of office lighting fixtures are being developed that conserve electricity and operate at more environmentally standards. Compact fluorescents, new commercial fluorescents, induction lights, and an explosion of fixture and lamping options in revolutionary LED technology give you more options in cost effective office lighting than ever before. Not only does your proposal make a business look better in this way, but it also creates a savings surplus which helps recession proof a business in unstable times.
Adjunct Lighting Design Assistance
To effectively light an office, it is necessary to first develop a point-by-point photometric analysis based on room cavity ratio and reflectivity ratio. Without a clear understanding of the many nuances that characterize the office’s interior architecture, floor space, and general range of activities, it is difficult to know exactly which office lighting fixtures you should propose to your clients. Room cavity ratios and room reflectivity ratios are lengthy and complex calculations to work out by hand, and computing these when you are a solo proprietor or have only a few employees can slow you down too much.
Let RLLD Commercial Lighting handle this for you by using our advanced design software on your behalf. We will provide upon request a free photometric analysis of sites and interior office space for all clients who purchase equipment from us. We also provide design services on paid basis at a reasonable fee. Smaller companies and contractors who lack the budget, manpower, or time to invest in lighting design software can now compete with larger firms that have these software programs. If this describes you, simply pick up the phone and provide us with general dimensions and specifications of your client’s site, and we will use our tools to help you develop the schematics and technical parameters of your proposal.