Office Lighting Guide
Why do you need good lighting in offices?
Choosing the right lighting in an office space impacts working conditions, productivity and overall aesthetics of the space. Staff will perform better in a healthy and suitably lit work environment created specifically for practical use. Attention must also be paid to the overall look of the lighting plan and the image impression it creates for visitors of your premises.
What are the drawbacks of traditional lighting used in offices?
The recessed fluorescent troffer tube lights (1200mm x 300mm) commonly used in offices can be expensive to maintain and time-consuming to replace. Performance wise they experience a loss of light levels over time, can have flickering issues, emit buzzing sounds, and have poor light distribution qualities.
Why LED lighting is the future of office lighting.
LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular because of its long lifespan, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness. These low maintenance and low heat lights have a high lumen output, provide an even light distribution, and can be integrated with digital dimming systems. LED lighting also allows for customized light levels for individual work spaces creating an optimal lighting experience.
What is the best light for office productivity?
Research conducted in the mid-to-late 1990’s alludes to the disruptive impact that poorly maintained lighting can have on productivity. Flicker, insufficient lighting for tasks, absence of brightness controls, and unnatural colour temperatures which are characteristic of older lighting methods were cited as the main causes for complaint.
Given that LED lighting addresses many of these unwanted impediments to productivity, it is unsurprising that a 2010 study found that ‘…LED lighting supports positive mood, extended wakefulness and speeded performance…’ when compared with fluorescent lighting.
Minimal maintenance for lights within an office space equates to less interruption and more productivity. This is a benefit of choosing light fittings with longer lifespans. With all of the operating costs associated with an office, choice of lighting can save time spent tending to repairs and can also save on energy expenditure.
Ceiling heights within an office will typically range between 2800mm and 3500mm. Surface and recessed mounted lights provide a more even distribution of light for general purpose areas within this range. Work spaces that have ceilings at the higher end of this range are best served by using suspended light fittings over task areas. This allows for the correct concentration of light for important tasks.
Cool WhiteCool white lighting (3100K - 4500K) has an intense and vibrant white colour. It is best for task areas because they provide the best lumen output per watt. This type of lighting is ideal for reading and writing.
Warm WhiteWarm white lighting (2000K - 3000K) is often used for communal areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and break rooms. This colour gives the room a more relaxed ambiance and provide staff with needed a feeling of rest whilst not performing high concentration tasks.
AS/NZS 1680.2.2:2008 mandates that workplace light levels are appropriate for tasks carried out in an office. Levels of 320 – 400 lux in areas where visual tasks are moderately difficult with moderate detail are recommended. These light levels are intended for routine office activities such as reading, writing, typing, and attending an enquiry desk.
Pathfinders and exit lighting are required emergency lighting in any office. Pathfinders provide a sufficient level of light to help guide occupants toward exits. These can be in batten form or a round disk similar in appearance to downlights. Exit lighting is fixed above a door or level change.
Watts Per Square-Metre
Building Code of Australia Section J6 dictates the maximum watts per square meter to ensure energy efficiency and appropriate lighting is utilised within workplaces.
Computer screens and other reflective surfaces can impact glare. Installing the correct light fitting is essential to avoid unwanted light distribution.
There is no typical office space. They vary in ceiling height, construction technology and materials and configuration. Often a combination of surface and suspension mounted light fittings will ensure your space has adequate lighting to perform necessary tasks.
There are a lot of lighting options for plasterboard ceilings, as there is generally a cavity between the ceiling and roof or floor level above which can be cut into and will conceals wiring and fittings. We recommend using recessed lighting solutions for plasterboard ceilings, because it allows you to create smooth surface and a refined look.
In this way the light fitting protrudes less and is concealed from view but still retains the benefit of the light output. This can be achieved using downlights (for general lighting areas), or recessed aluminium profiles (for feature areas, or high light output areas like work desks).
Concrete ceilings are a structural element in the building therefore special considerations needs to be taken when drilling or cutting into it. Where the ceiling height permits, it is better to suspend the selected lighting from a concrete ceiling, as this will require less points of fixing in the concrete.
Drop / T-Bar Ceilings
A Drop or T- Bar system is made up of a metal grid system with infill panels that sit rest the grid. This ceiling type is common in office and commercial buildings from the 1970’s. Because the panels are not fixed to the structural grid, it is simple to recess or surface mount light within the grid. Troffer lights or linear aluminium fittings, such as the LED World linear profile lights are commonly used in drop ceilings.
Colour Rendering Index
Colour rendering refers to the way that a light source impacts the way a colour is seen by the human eye and how colour variations and shades are interpreted. The Colour Rendering Index or CRI is a scale from 1 to 100.
The higher the CRI level, the more accurate the lighting source represents the true colour of the workspace environment. It is always recommended to specify lighting with a higher CRI level, no lower than 85, but higher than 90 for optimum results.
Track Lighting Series
The Track Lighting Series is the keystone of the LED World product range. The fittings are semi-modular, meaning that you have the ability for light fittings to be switched between and slid along tracks without the help of an electrician. Featuring a 360 degree movement range, they provide the ability to change the illumination focus area.
This is great for retail stores or art galleries, where the environment is frequently changing. The architectural cylinder shaped design makes the Track Lighting Series perfect for every application.
Linear Lighting Series
Linear pendant lights are best suited for a variety of projects including offices, retail space, shopping centres, hotels and residential kitchen areas. The profiles can be cut to custom sizes and lengths which are surface mounted, suspended or recessed into the ceiling and can be painted any colour to suit company branding or the interior scheme.