December 2, 2019

A Guide to Office Lighting

What to consider when designing lighting for a modern workspace.

Office Lighting That Focuses on User Satisfaction and Increased Productivity.

Workplace is developing at rapid speeds. The traditional office design is being challenged by introducing new technologies, facilities and spaces. Who would have thought twenty years ago that sleep pods or an underground bicycle storage space to accommodate 200+ bikes would now be a normal part of an office space?

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

Driven by productivity research, design, and fashion to some extent, the office sector is witnessing the most dynamic changes for decades. Lighting for offices is also entering a new, exciting era. It’s no longer acceptable to light the entire office space to 500 Lux and the dreary Cat 1, Cat 2 and Cat 3 recessed ceiling lights (previously deemed as the best office lighting for computer work) are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. 

More schemes are using natural light effectively and exploring new ways of illumination using indirect office lighting, ambient lighting and introducing concealed lighting as part of the interior design.

New technology and innovations are pushing the demand of the specification, putting the visual appearance and user comfort to the forefront of the office design, alongside the sustainability and control.

Fuelled by a constant chase to attract the best talent, employers and landlords now see the value of an attractive workplace and are prepared to invest in lighting that enhances well-being and productivity whilst reflecting their brand position.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

What are the best office lighting solutions in a contemporary workplace?

What are the best office lighting solutions in a contemporary workplace?

Read our OFFICE LIGHTING DESIGN GUIDE to see what to look out for when designing modern office lighting scheme, or why not sign up to our free Workplace Lighting Design RIBA approved CPD?

DESIGN.

Contemporary workspace is appearance driven and the design is becoming far more important than just prescriptively following the box ticking exercise of meeting the office lighting lux levels. Some schemes promote home to home look and feel, others bring the elements of luxury hotel design to position the client’s aspiration and position within a sector.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

Walls and ceilings are also turning into a creative space for concealed LED wall lights or decorative wall lamps, office track lighting is appearing in breakout spaces or circulation areas. Office ceiling lights are becoming a feature of design element, enhanced with joinery details or hidden behind a ceiling mesh. Office wall lights are used part of the branding and can be anything from tubular luminaries to wall mounted linear lighting. In the era of Instagram, anything is possible and the design boundaries are constantly challenged.

On the other side of the scale, there are more than 1.54 million people currently working from home in the UK ( according to the ONS Labour Force Survey). Some of them see the benefit of a well organised home office and seek advice on good home office lighting, hence the search term for ‘home office ceiling lighting’ is coming up frequently.

GUIDELINES AND REGULATIONS.

There are several regulations for new and existing buildings applicable to office spaces. Perhaps the two most important ones being the CIBSE office lighting guide LG7 and BCO Guide to Lighting. The LG7 guide focuses on ensuring minimum lighting levels for the office space are met whilst providing a stimulating working environment at the same time. It recognises daylight as a key component of the design.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

GUIDELINES AND REGULATIONS.

There are several regulations for new and existing buildings applicable to office spaces. Perhaps the two most important ones being the CIBSE office lighting guide LG7 and BCO Guide to Lighting. The LG7 guide focuses on ensuring minimum lighting levels for the office space are met whilst providing a stimulating working environment at the same time. It recognises daylight as a key component of the design.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

GUIDELINES AND REGULATIONS.

There are several regulations for new and existing buildings applicable to office spaces. Perhaps the two most important ones being the CIBSE office lighting guide LG7 and BCO Guide to Lighting. The LG7 guide focuses on ensuring minimum lighting levels for the office space are met whilst providing a stimulating working environment at the same time. It recognises daylight as a key component of the design.

The British Council for Offices (BCO) new publication The 2013 Guide to Lighting covers Daylight and energy use, Visual comfort and performance and the use of artificial lighting in Shell and core, CAT A developer’s fit out  and CAT B user fit out.

Understanding all guidelines and regulations can sometimes be overwhelming, but our in-house team will make sure your scheme will meet all recent requirements. We will design your commercial premises to whatever standard you are trying to achieve.

For more information about all workplace lighting guidelines and regulations read here.

WELLBEING.

Insufficient or harsh lighting can make employees feel uncomfortable, irritable or demotivated. Lighting has a significant effect on the human body and has a proven effect to enhance productivity in the workplace. For years, the positive effect of wellbeing could not have been measured in numbers, but the first pioneers adopting the WELL Building standard in their buildings are already reporting a positive reduction in sick leave, demonstrating a positive return on investment.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

WELLBEING.

Insufficient or harsh lighting can make employees feel uncomfortable, irritable or demotivated. Lighting has a significant effect on the human body and has a proven effect to enhance productivity in the workplace. For years, the positive effect of wellbeing could not have been measured in numbers, but the first pioneers adopting the WELL Building standard in their buildings are already reporting a positive reduction in sick leave, demonstrating a positive return on investment.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

How to achieve best office compliant lighting for enhanced office productivity? Ambitious schemes aiming to qualify for WELL Building standard follow the illumination standards aiming to minimise the disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. The standard takes into consideration adequate lighting lux levels for offices, circadian rhythm, glare control and right to light, all to improve the measurable physiological benefits.

For the existing schemes or offices in listed buildings, reaching the WELL Building standard might not be a realistic goal, but addressing the key factors, should make a difference.  Daylight should be considered from the very beginning of the project. Correct product specification for specific task areas and the addition of ambient lighting in breakout spaces is a great start. Adjusting the colour temperatures in specific areas can make a huge difference to how people perceive the atmosphere. Using dimming and office lighting control systems can give the staff freedom to adjust the brightness of light. 

Find out more about Wellbeing in the Workplace here.

VISUAL COMFORT.

The interpretation of lighting standards has traditionally been obsessed with task lighting and correct light levels, but the latest standards put the emphasis on the responsible use lighting energy and user comfort.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

VISUAL COMFORT.

The interpretation of lighting standards has traditionally been obsessed with task lighting and correct light levels, but the latest standards put the emphasis on the responsible use lighting energy and user comfort.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

VISUAL COMFORT.

The interpretation of lighting standards has traditionally been obsessed with task lighting and correct light levels, but the latest standards put the emphasis on the responsible use lighting energy and user comfort.

The key to providing a visually comfortable work place is a good balance of surface brightness. If the contrast is too high, it may cause fatigue. If the contrast is too low, the space will be dull, uniform and lacking stimulation.

Office lighting should be designed around the tasks as and where required. It is not longer acceptable to light the entire floor plate to 500 lux and the BCO Guide to Lighting expands on introducing the concept of task area, immediate surround and background area into the design scheme.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY.

According to the International Energy Agency, lighting consumes around 19% of the electricity generated worldwide, meaning the emphasis is on the responsible use of lighting energy.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY.

According to the International Energy Agency, lighting consumes around 19% of the electricity generated worldwide, meaning the emphasis is on the responsible use of lighting energy.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

With the increasing environmental consciousness and the progress of the LED office lighting using 10W/sqm, there is no surprise that the tungsten or fluorescent lights using near 70W/sqm are being pushed out of the workplace.

 Longer lifespan, higher efficiency and less maintenance contribute to the overhead reduction in the long term. Present guidelines require meeting an efficacy of at least 65lm/W for the fixed lighting equipment. Both emergency lighting and track mounted lighting are excluded from this figure. In practice, much energy is wasted outside normal working hours by lighting being left on when not required. This is when lighting controls can contribute to energy efficiency of a scheme.

GLARE.

Glare can cause both annoyance and discomfort. The glare is defined as disability glare and discomfort glare. Primary factors causing glare from artificial lighting are the luminance of the sources, their size and position in the field of view.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

GLARE.

Glare can cause both annoyance and discomfort. The glare is defined as disability glare and discomfort glare. Primary factors causing glare from artificial lighting are the luminance of the sources, their size and position in the field of view.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

GLARE.

These are calculated into the CIE unified glare rating ( UGR). The general office environment should have a glare rating of no greater than 19, higher values are acceptable in circulation areas, breakout spaces and reception areas. It is important to understand that a luminaire alone can’t be UGR complaint, the whole scheme needs to be taken into consideration.

These are calculated into the CIE unified glare rating ( UGR). The general office environment should have a glare rating of no greater than 19, higher values are acceptable in circulation areas, breakout spaces and reception areas. It is important to understand that a luminaire alone can’t be UGR complaint, the whole scheme needs to be taken into consideration.

CONNECTED LIGHTING.

The wireless technologies are now becoming a reality and more and more clients choose to use systems that would give them enhanced control of their lighting installation. You no longer simply have on-off control, but can set scenes, dim the lights to a preferred level and schedule the luminaires to activate at different times depending on the use of the room.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

CONNECTED LIGHTING.

The wireless technologies are now becoming a reality and more and more clients choose to use systems that would give them enhanced control of their lighting installation. You no longer simply have on-off control, but can set scenes, dim the lights to a preferred level and schedule the luminaires to activate at different times depending on the use of the room.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

The light fittings can live-monitor the occupancy of a space, or the energy consumption of each luminaire.

There are many different technologies, both wired and wireless that offer these solutions. With the increase in development of wireless technologies, lighting control systems are now available with reliable wireless data transmissions. Wireless systems can demonstrate some significant installation cost savings over more traditional systems, which can often be complex and expensive. Systems such as a Philips Easyair or Casambi can be easily installed, with very little up cost but provide excellent functionality and energy saving features.

For more information on Connected Lighting, click here.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

BRAND IDENTITY.

Not only does lighting provide a visual comfort, performance and safety, it’s also a crucial element when it comes to representing your company.

BRAND IDENTITY.

Not only does lighting provide a visual comfort, performance and safety, it’s also a crucial element when it comes to representing your company.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

BRAND IDENTITY.

Not only does lighting provide a visual comfort, performance and safety, it’s also a crucial element when it comes to representing your company.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

 If you wish to portray your brand as modern and technology savvy, a professional lighting scheme using LED lighting with exact colour temperatures, smooth dimming, wireless controls will enhance the brand perception of your business. Lighting can make an abstract connection with your company logo as part of a CAT B user fit out.

FEATURE LIGHTING.

These are the lighting fixtures that people remember. Feature lighting furthers the experience of the space and is usually procured within the CAT B fitout or directly by the end user.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

FEATURE LIGHTING.

These are the lighting fixtures that people remember. Feature lighting furthers the experience of the space and is usually procured within the CAT B fitout or directly by the end user.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

 It creates emotion and transforms the space. Often referring to basic geometric shapes, it compliments contemporary architecture. It can be used as a single pendant or a cluster of many smaller light fittings. Feature luminaires does not always have to be suspended, other mounting styles like recessed office lighting using linear lighting or recessed ring-shaped luminaires can turn into a feature. 

MADE-TO-MEASURE LIGHTING.

This is where we love to get involved! With our experienced in-house team of designers, we can make sure that even the most creative of designs will turn into a reality.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

MADE TO MEASURE LIGHTING.

This is where we love to get involved! With our experienced in-house team of designers, we can make sure that even the most creative of designs will turn into a reality.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

MADE-TO-MEASURE LIGHTING.

This is where we love to get involved! With our experienced in-house team of designers, we can make sure that even the most creative of designs will turn into a reality.

We have designed countless lighting solutions for boardrooms, complex staircases and reception areas. Customisable lighting systems are becoming our signature piece and we are constantly pushing boundaries on creative office lighting ideas.

Lighting an office space well can be a complex process. Our in-house lighting designers will support you throughout the design process, making sure the results of your project are truly outstanding.

Projects featured in this article:

Products featured in this article:

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
Rio Suspended Direct
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
Bellart Suspended
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
Ouse Suspended
A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name

Looking to up your game and still get a good return on investment?

Talk to us about your project.

Looking to up your game and still get a good return on investment?

Talk to us about your project.

A Guide to Office Lighting-Image Name
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Name*
I am interested in: