When you are at the office, you want to be productive. Various factors influence productivity and you will find thousands of tips online to improve this. However, one factor is often forgotten: the lighting in the office. Most of the time little importance is attached to lighting when setting up an office. Some consequences of poor lighting are tired eyes, headache, a lesser focus, a negative impact on the mind and motivation. Good lighting, on the other hand, has a significant impact on the productivity and well-being of people at the office. Moreover, it can also lower the energy bill.
What do you take into account when choosing lighting for an office?
1. Natural light versus artificial light
You might know it too? On nice days, you feel fitter and you are more active. The light has a major influence on your biological rhythm, your rhythm of sleeping and being active. In an office, the ambient light also influences our activity. Productivity and health improve with sufficient and properly balanced light. Daylight is and remains the best type of light, but not every working environment gets enough daylight. Usually artificial light is needed.
Choose strategic points for the lighting. Take into account the daylight coming in and adjust the artificial light. Daylight control can offer a solution for fluctuations on cloudy days. The lighting then automatically adjusts to the incoming light.
Light is needed everywhere, but not as much in every place. Take into account the places where people work but also the surrounding areas. While performing tasks, the eyes are focused on specific areas. Both the task lighting and the adjacent areas have standards regarding the desired lighting levels. The lighting levels in the task areas also depend on the type of task being performed.
There are no immediate standards for the other areas in offices. Still, you should think about them. This not only benefits the atmosphere in the office but also the visual communication, the appearance of the building, the (art) objects in the corridors, etc.
If you are a car driver you have probably experienced this phenomenon before. You can also experience this in a poorly lit office. Glare occurs when a clear surface is considered to be disturbing. There is direct glare and indirect glare. Direct glare is caused by a light source that shines directly in your face? For example, from a fixture or incident sunlight. Indirect glare is caused by reflection on a smooth surface such as on a computer screen. Glare at the office keeps you from working and can cause headaches. To avoid this, follow the guidelines for glare in the office task area. For both types of glare guidelines exist. These are expressed in UGR values (Unified glare rating). The higher the UGR, the higher the chance of glare. For offices a maximum of 19 applies.
When choosing lighting for offices, it is best to take a look at the light distribution of the fixture. An even distribution of light gives a more pleasant working atmosphere. Employees will be able to concentrate better.
With light lines for offices you often see prismatic plexiglass. These distribute the light better than a standard plexiglass. Prismatic plexiglass bends the light so that no glare occurs.
5. Light colour and colour reproduction
There are no specific standards for office environments for light colours. The choice of the light colour usually has to do with personal preference and the chosen interior. However, for offices it is recommended to use a colour temperature of 3000K or 4000K. Warmer light is not recommended. Warm light is cosy but has a less favourable effect on productivity. Depending on the tasks, the colour reproduction may differ but this must be at least 80.