Millions of people spend a large part of their lives in an office, whether that is in a workplace or at home. Without adequate lighting, workers can suffer from eyestrain, fatigue, eye discomfort and headaches. However, with the correct lighting, workers will feel motivated, and productive and have a sense of well-being.
In the workplace, illuminance is measured in lumens/m² to determine compliance with regulations. This unit is called lux. Depending on the activity, employees need 500 to 1,500 lux at the workplace.
Are there lights that are suitable for winter or dark environments?
Yes, HCL or daylight sensors with an adjustable colour temperature. Lights such as these reduce fatigue so that work feels less stressful overall.
Is there a rule of thumb to follow?
We recommend at least 500 lux, Ra 80 and UGR 19 for reading/writing/data processing. And at least 750 lux, Ra 80 and UGR 16 for demanding detailed work such as technical drawing and graphic design.
The UK Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974 states that an employer has to ensure the health & safety of employees. The Act also includes a duty to provide adequate lighting to ensure work is undertaken safely. It also states that an employee's eyesight or health mustn't be jeopardised. Regulation no.8 of the Workplace Regulations Act 1992 specifically states that employers must ensure:
Every workplace should have suitable & sufficient lighting
This should be natural light, where possible
Emergency lighting should be provided where needed
Different light sources differ in the presence or absence of spectral colours (colour rendering) and the intensity of the spectral colours that make up the light (light colour).
Light colour / colour temperature
The light colour or colour temperature is measured in Kelvin (K) and describes the individual inherent colour of white light, generally perceived as "cool" or "warm". The specification of the light colour in Kelvin should not be confused with colour-changing lighting technologies (RGB), in which light can shine in red, green or blue.
A rough distinction between the three light colours is:
Warm white (<3,300 Kelvin) = cosy light for living spaces
Universal white (3,300 - 5,300 Kelvin) = light for working
Daylight (> 5,300 Kelvin) = bluish light for basement and utility rooms
Colour rendering / CRI
The colour rendering index (CRI) indicates how natural the colours of an object appear when a light is switched on.
A CRI of Ra 100 means that colours are reproduced as they would be in daylight. Ra >= 90 indicates very good, Ra >= 80 good colour rendering. Bulbs below Ra 80 are not recommended for living spaces, as colours can be distorted or rendered greyish.
Individual workstations, groups of desks and open-plan offices
A good ratio of indirect and directed light ensures that lighting conditions are as comfortable as possible for the eyes and removes shadows. Several lights are necessary to accomplish this, for example, an LED panel for large-area room lighting and a desk lamp for support.
Some lights, such as uplighters, can also produce both types of light: an indirect light that shines towards the ceiling and direct light that illuminates the workspace.
An alternative to the office floor lamp can be pendant lights. Diffusers or grids, are entirely glare-free and visually break up the light in the room.
A regularly used home office deserves the same lighting conditions as a company office and can be adjusted to your individual needs.
A space-saving alternative to the floor lamp is the desk lamp. However, attention must be paid to light colour and colour rendering with desk lamps.
Other top functions for office lights
HCL / daylight sensor
Increase the quality of work and relaxation in the office with automatic colour temperature changes.
Covering the screen with felt helps with sound absorption, which is ideal in an open-plan customer service office.
Economical use of light adds comfort for employees due to precise presence detectors.
Bluetooth and group/swarm control allow you to choose the temperature, reduce noise level and improve air quality.
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