Every location has its own unique lighting considerations. When it comes to library lighting, this location is no exception. Whether for a campus, a public location, or even a small personal one in your home, a library requires certain elements of carefully chosen lighting solutions to achieve the right balance of ambiance and visibility. Here are 5 tips for library lighting to help you make the most of this location.
1. Use natural light
One of the easiest ways to master library lighting is to remember that natural light can be a big part of the plan overall. Regardless of the size of the location, most places will have windows which can let in natural light. Natural light has several benefits such as improving concentration and emotional well-being while helping to lower operating costs of artificial lighting.
2. Create layers of light
When planning your library lighting, you should never feel like you have to stick to one fixture type, lumen output, or color temperature throughout the entire space. Lighting should be as versatile and varied as the location calls for in order to achieve the right effect. Lighting should be done in sections, especially for larger libraries, to get the best result. For instance, having several lights in place, such as overhead troffers for general lighting, wall sconces near doorways, and even shelf sconces to light in between the rows as needed, can help create a more balanced lighting effect overall instead of focusing all of the illumination needs on one type of fixture or placement.
3. Be aware of color temperature
Another way to create a layered lighting plan is to mix color temperatures. The color temperature is whether the light is more yellow or white essentially, but each one has different benefits worth considering. Warmer lights which are closer to the yellow end of the color spectrum offer an inviting and relaxing output which is ideal for accent lighting. Cooler temperatures produce a bluish-white output which helps aid in concentration which makes it ideal for areas such as study rooms and general lighting. It is important to keep color temperature in mind when thinking about screens. When choosing lights for computer labs or areas where students will be working on laptops, it is better to find solutions in color temperature which are similar to the same color temperature as the screen. Opt for a blue-white for this factor and keep the lumens at a moderate level to avoid causing eye strain.
4. Offer task lighting
A great way to make lighting more versatile for the user is to install task lighting. Task lighting can be as simple as a fluorescent or LED strip unit mounted above a study cubicle or table lamps placed in shared study spaces. Task lighting gives more direct lighting needed for reading.
5. Install money saving solutions
Even with the use of as much natural light as possible, the costs of operating lights continually every day for long periods will take a toll for most libraries. There are solutions on the market to make lighting more efficient and save money on utility costs. For instance, LED technology has basically replaced the older fluorescent as the go-to because they offer a longer lifespan on both bulb and fixture, consume less energy to create a high output of illumination, and are practically no to low maintenance overall. LED can also be outfitted with extra elements to make lighting more efficient such as occupancy sensors to avoid running lights when they aren’t necessary, timers to avoid leaving lights on past the specified time, and other innovative pieces of lighting technology to make the system more cost-effective.
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