At the time of designing your office, your main emphasis is always the interiors, the furniture and other tangible aspects. But definitely lighting always remains the least concerned aspect and we need to realize that lighting in the office premises is just as important to consider.
The best quality of light to work under is daylight. It varies naturally during the day to provide a visual delight and renders colours accurately. It is also the most cost effective way to light up a workplace.
Unfortunately this is not possible for most of us in today’s urban life with all the sky scrapers around us, to have access to plentiful daylight within our working environment.
Where daylight is scarce or unavailable, the quality of the artificial lighting system becomes a significant factor in defining the overall quality and comfort that an occupier/employee will experience in the space.
Therefore it is essential that the artificial lighting is carefully designed to complement the available daylight and ensure that the right quality and quantity of light is provided in the right place and at the right time throughout the day.
The Effect of Natural Light
Nothing can beat nature. Open areas are ideal in allowing greater flow of daylight from windows. For example, incorporating glass walls to divide cubicles/offices instead of dry wall allows for more natural light flow.
As a result, the usage of artificial lights is significantly reduced during the day which leads to lesser energy consumption further reducing cost.
Additionally, installing skylights if possible is another way to get more natural light into your office. And of course having plenty of natural light in your office keeps you energetic and alert enough helping you to avoid longing for that relaxing afternoon nap after lunch!
The Brighter, the Better
As mentioned earlier, there is no comparison to nature but unfortunately natural resources are limited and need to be utilized in an optimum way to best suit the need of the hour. Having artificial light in your office is better than not having enough illumination.
As such, consider how bright you want your office to be and how you can achieve it. From including a decent amount of fixtures to placing them to illuminate desks, you can plan a lighting scheme that brightens the office.
Make sure you know how bright different fixtures get and where they spill their light. More the dimmer fixtures, more you will require to install, whereas bright fixtures cover more area.
Natural and Artificial Can Go Hand In Hand
There is no doubt natural light is always better on morale, energy and stress levels than artificial light is, but you can’t avoid using the latter in an office space. Your best option is to combine and make use of both.
Make windows your primary source and supplement through lighting fixtures.
You’ll have to make sure light from the windows can move throughout the space. This requires strategic planning so that even on one of those cloudy and rainy days where the sun is nowhere to be seen with everything grey and dark outside you have enough illumination within your workplace to continue and meet your work deadlines without any hurdles of lighting.
Reconsider the Colors of Your Walls & Interiors
The two obvious light sources are windows and fixtures, but you can use those two and always make the reflection work in your favour.
Lighter color shades reflect more light than dark shades, so painting your walls in white or pale colors will make the room seem brighter than painting in darker tones will. Like an area in office which is far from windows or tends to be more darker than the other spaces can be painted with a bright colour to bring some light in that area.
Another option could be the use of metallic surfaces; and mirrors also reflect light, so they can be used to further brighten your office adding a style statement as well. What’s more, they appear decorative and appealing.
And not forgetting your employees could also catch a glimpse of themselves every time they pass by that mirror.
Don’t Forget Task Lighting
This is also a very important factor while you plan the lighting scheme for your office space. Till now, our ideas have served to help you brighten your office overall, but including task lighting is also important.
Now what does Task Lighting mean?
Task lighting refers to fixtures that provide concentrated light in a specific area so that employees can see what they’re doing clearly.
Don’t overlook this type of illumination as you plan your office as these task lights prove to be quite helpful when an employee needs to stay back after the normal working hours.
The task light is sufficient enough to be put on rather than keeping the entire office lights on.
A bright, illuminated office not only makes it easier for employees to see, but it also improves productivity and quality of life. Moreover, a weakened eyesight, fatigue and dullness are always a result of bad lighting set up. For this reason, planning your lighting scheme should go hand in hand with designing your office layout and picking quality furniture.