Lighting is one of the most important design elements in any space. When it comes to providing the right lighting layout and solution for an office setting, there are a few important factors to keep in mind for a successful environment with adequate illumination. Here are a few basic guidelines for successful office lighting applications.
When it comes to lighting for offices, there are three main areas to keep in mind as the primary focus. They are lighting specifications, efficiency, and placement. There are many other factors at play depending on your needs and expectations, such as affordability, visual appeal, and other distinguishing factors.
- Lighting should be bright, but never overpowering. If this factor is off balance, your entire office environment will be uncomfortable and productivity will falter. Here are a few ways to make sure you get the right specs for your space and needs.
- Calculate the lighting power needed in terms of lumens as the primary deciding factor. Remember, watts are important in terms of efficiency and energy consumption, but lumens will be the total illumination level in a space as indicated by the manufacturers Lighting Facts Guide.
- To calculate lumens needed, the way to find your anticipated lumen need is to multiply the room in square meters by the lux and figure out how many bulbs you will need to reach that lumen output and then divide the number of lumens by the number of lumens each bulb should deliver to find the right option for the space.
- A general rule of thumb in this area of lighting is to strive for a minimum of 500 lux for computer workstations. This level of light is gentle enough to offset staring at the screen, but not so dim it diminishes productivity levels.
- This factor is obviously important because you want an option that will give you the best value for your money, especially since office lighting tends to run for at least 45 hours a week, sometimes longer. Get the best deal by following these guidelines.
- Opt for LED bulbs. LEDs are one of the best cost efficient options on the market. They offer powerful illumination for up to 100,000 hours, depending on the model and brand, and they operate on lower watts to save on utility costs.
- The best way to improve your lighting efficiency regardless of the bulb type is with occupancy sensors. This will ensure the lighting is only used when it is needed.
- Another great tip is to try to utilize natural lighting as much as possible. Natural light is free! If you have large windows, use that light to your advantage as much as possible to cut down on running artificial lights.
- For this factor of choosing lighting, you should be aware of how lighting is received by your employees. Improperly placed lighting can make the workday harder. Avoid this scenario with these tips.
- Always make sure you consider the task being performed when choosing lighting. For work areas with computers, you want lighting that is gentle enough to not be in competition with the light coming from the monitor. For areas with competing light sources, such as conference rooms or work task specific areas, choose lighting that offers a higher lumen output to ensure proper visibility and illumination bright enough to perform the task at hand.
- Make sure you follow all spacing guidelines and suggestions provided by the manufacturer. If you put lights too close together, you overpower the space with too much illumination. If lighting is spread too far apart, you end up with dark shadowy areas.
For today’s office lighting needs, there are several options for different office looks from recessed troffers to suspended lighting fixture or architectural lighting fixtures. With all of these options, you have the choice of either fluorescent or LED to get to your desired lighting level for your office.
Recessed troffers come in many sizes from 2 x 4, 1 x 4, or 2 x 2 and lens options:
Direct troffer lights are typically 2, 3, or 4 lamps t8 which are very inexpensive and somewhat energy efficient for your office. To reduce your energy consumptions on this light fixture you can add a reflector to your troffer and reduce one lamp from the light and get approximately the same light level on the floor. These Recessed fixtures offer two great options for lighting any space. There is an indirect, which throws lighting up into a reflector that disperses the light evenly across the floor. The other direct option to the troffer throws the light down to the floor direct to the floor sharply.
Suspended or architectural lighting fixtures come in all lamp types and fixture lengths. Most of these fixtures offer indirect and direct lighting options much like the troffers above. Lamp types vary from t5, t5ho, t8, and newer LED technologies for energy efficient lighting options. These lights are somewhat adjustable from the hanging height of the fixture.
Creating the right office lighting doesn’t have to a hassle. As long as you know what factors to pay attention to, it should end up being a successful lighting endeavor.
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