The debate in the August issue of Onoffice magazine inspired us to express our thoughts on the vexed question of freestanding office lighting.


When someone enters our studio, our freestanding lighting certainly raises few eyebrows. Like passing by an unusual car or motorbike, people tend to pause for few seconds... you can almost hear them thinking “is this some sort of scientific experiment?”

Hugely popular in Germany and Switzerland and often used as general office lighting, freestanding lighting is very rare in UK offices. Having used the sleek Tobias Grau XT range for over 5 years, it is something our team feels passionate about. Working on prestigious office schemes all over the country, we question the lukewarm relationship of the UK office market to this type of office illumination.

Not only it looks good, it also ticks all the technical boxes. The installation could not be easier, it is efficient and provides a great quality of light. Freestanding lighting is flexible and offers individual control to users, although some may question this and see it as a reason for unnecessary conflict in the workplace.
If installed properly, the cables don’t have to run on the floor causing a trip hazard. The latest LED technology requires little to no maintenance.

So why is that freestanding office lighting does not find its place on specifications?


It doesn’t fit the usual building and property renting model in the UK. One could argue the cost of lighting a desk per person is higher compared to lighting with the “traditional method” of using the ugly 600 x 600. But ….once you've bought it, it’s yours! It can be taken with you if you expand and move offices.

We find the strong visual appearance appeals more to smaller creative studios than to large corporate offices.

Without question, freestanding office lighting has a strong visual impact and using it as general office lighting might not prove economical. Based on our own experience, and a very happy experience it has been, we believe that freestanding office lighting has its own place in the new workplace adding that extra oomph to the visual mix.