A Guide to Office Lighting

Office Lighting
that focuses on
User Satisfaction and
Increased Productivity.

The 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?

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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 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.

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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 a modern office lighting scheme, or why not sign up for our free Workplace Lighting Design RIBA approved CPD?

 

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 as part of the branding and can be anything from tubular luminaires 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 are 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.

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.

 

How to achieve the 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 the 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 emphasis on the responsible use of lighting energy and user comfort.

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 workplace 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 no 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.

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 the 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.

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.

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 a UGR complaint, the whole scheme needs to be taken into consideration.

 

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 the 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.

BRAND IDENTITY.

Not only does lighting provide 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.

 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.

 It creates emotion and transforms the space. Often referring to basic geometric shapes, it complements contemporary architecture. It can be used as a single pendant or a cluster of many smaller light fittings. Feature luminaires do 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.

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.

 

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

Talk to us about your project.