Here at ECO LED Mart, we speak often about the ROI of replacing your existing light fixtures with modern LED solutions. However, there is no greater return on investment on better lighting solutions than the increased productivity of your workplace on a daily basis. At the end of the day, labor is typically your highest cost , and ensuring your employees have a comfortable and well-lit work environment can significantly improve their efficiency, focus, and overall well-being.
In order to maximize employee performance and minimize labor related costs, you need adequate lighting in your workspace. But what exactly does that mean?
In this blog p, we will explore the importance of adequate lighting in the workplace, the various factors that contribute to creating an ideal lighting environment, and how LED lighting solutions can help achieve this goal.
What is considered adequate lighting in the workspace?
Adequate lighting in the workplace is essential for ensuring employee comfort and productivity. It involves providing a well-lit environment throughout the entirety of the space and providing additional subtle lighting cues to make the overall space feel welcoming and spacious. This in turn makes your workers feel safe subconsciously.
Adequate lighting is not about providing "the best light fixture" for your space. There is no such thing. It's about using a combination of light fixtures that all serve a purpose. Lighting Designers are educated in this space for this exact reason.
Different types of workspaces require different levels of light, but generally speaking, an appropriately lit space should have even light output, with no harsh shadows or glaringly bright spots. We have broken down the ideal lighting for your office space into the following characteristics
- Even Light Output
- Increased Perception of Space
- Well intentioned Task Lighting
Even Light Output
Even lighting is an essential part of any lighting design for both indoors and outdoors. For the office space, it's especially important as it helps with the employee's perception of the space.
Over heer at ECO LED Mart, we beat the drum on the fact that uniformed lighting is more important than brighter light output that is littered with shadows. Not only are the shadows an eye sore,, but they hurt employees due to light adaptation
Light adaptation refers to the process of the eye and brain adjusting to changing levels of brightness in the environment. When entering a dark room, for example, our eyes will take time to adjust so that we can see clearly in the reduced light. The same is true when going from a dark room into a bright one - our vision takes time to get used to the increased level of light.
Imagine what that does to an employee working a minimum of 8 hours a day in that office. As all business owners know, a productive workforce can be the difference between a wildly successful business and one that is struggling to survive. Improving this one simple aspect of your business, however subtle it may be, can make a world of a difference to your bottom line.
How Modern LED Panels Improve Light Output
Having an even lighting workspace makes sense but this may sound like a tall task, how do you cover every nook and cranny of a given workroom with minimal shadows? Well thanks to advancement in lighting technology and the popularity of LED fixtures, we are able to achieve a much more even lighting in the workspace nowadays than year's past.
How Volumetric LED Fixtures help even lighting in a given space
Volumetric lighting refers to light that shoots down and out into the room as opposed to parabolic that shoots straight down onto the work surface. Old Fluorescent troffers were equipped with multiple reflectors to help shoot the light straight down onto the office desk. The thinking at the time is that focusing the light on the workspace will help employees focus on the task at hand.
However, we have over time learned that having to constantly adapt from dark to bright environments takes a toll on an employee and ends up being a net negative to the businesses bottom line.
As a result, we have moved to volumetric LED troffers instead which provide lights throughout the space. Although LEDs are more directional in nature, when paired with a diffuser, they provide a much more even lighting than any of the alternatives.
Increased Perception of Space
Adequate lighting not only improves the overall functionality of a workspace but also contributes to an increased perception of space. When we talk about increasing spatial awareness, it refers to creating a balance between light and shadow that helps employees accurately perceive their work environment.
Fixtures that enlarge the space visually
An added benefit to using volumetric LED Panels and Troffers is that they direct light outward toward the perimeter of the room including the walls. This in turn will make this given room feel a lot roomier. This works well but a ceiling mounted fixture can't illuminate the ceiling. As a result, most office spaces tend to have shadows up above which is not ideal.
A suspended Panel will take care of this issue as it provides direct and indirect lighting. This type of fixture hangs from the ceiling and projects light both downward and upward toward the ceiling. This in turn gives the working end users a sense of a much larger room. Think of the difference taller ceilings make in a kitchen, a lighted ceiling can have the same visual effect.
Task Lighting over work areas
Task lighting is essential in any workplace, as it focuses on specific work areas where employees perform their daily tasks. This targeted illumination helps ensure that workers have enough light to carry out their job efficiently and comfortably without straining their eyes.
It's important to understand that task lighting is an added layer of lighting that focuses the end user's attention on the task at hand. As such, it should be complemented with adequate ambient lighting. This can be achieved with additional fixtures such as track lights, recessed lights, or even freestanding light fixtures.
Task lighting can also be achieved with strategically placed LED panels over the right surface areas, as long as it's offset by other means of ambient lighting. Think of a conference room with perimeter recessed lights with more focused LED panels over the meeting room desk.
How Adequate Lighting Improve Performance
Now that we've learned about the characteristics of adequate lighting for the workspace, it's important to understand how these techniques will improve the overall worker's performance.
It's also important that adequate lighting is only one factor when it comes to employee performance, there are of course more obvious reasons why your workforce may and or may not produce up to expectations. However, the reason office lighting is so important is because this factor is often overlooked. As a result, most companies could benefit from paying attention to this space.
Adequate lighting is not about any one thing, it's about all these techniques coming together and playing a role for your business' specific needs. In order for your workers to perform to the best ability they need to be
- Comfortable in their workspace
- Be able to Focus on the tasks at hand
- Be inspired to create and innovate
Proper ambient lighting throughout the space is needed to create a comfortable environment in the office. Ambient lighting provides general illumination and proper visibility. Without that, none of the other lighting techniques matter in terms of worker's performance. Proper ambient lighting is the foundation of any good lighting design.
Proper illumination to the perimeter walls also provides a sense of comfort as it increases the perceived space of the work environment. Additional indirect light to the ceiling is the icing on the cake for an optimized workplace lighting design.
In order to enhance a worker's focus throughout the work day, it's important to have proper task lighting in each individual workspace. Additionally, it's important for the task lighting to be a complement of the overall illumination of the room. In other words, there should be proper contrast, enough to focus, but not too much to create light adaptation issues and tired eyes.
Employees need to be inspired in order to perform at their best, and lighting can play a significant role in creating an inspiring atmosphere. Creative and unique lighting designs can evoke positive emotions and stimulate productivity. Incorporating natural light, where possible, also contributes to a more pleasant and inspiring work environment.
Accent lighting that highlights specific elements or areas of the workspace can also create a visually interesting and engaging atmosphere. This can be achieved through the use of wall sconces, pendant lights, or even colored LED lights to highlight artwork or architectural features. By creating an inviting and stimulating environment, employees are more likely to feel motivated and inspired to perform at their best.
How Adequate Lighting improve workplace safety & well being
Adequate lighting in the workplace plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees.
Poorly lit areas can lead to accidents and injuries, as well as contribute to eye strain and discomfort. By providing even, well-distributed light throughout the workspace, employees can navigate their environment with ease and confidence, reducing the risk of accidents and promoting a healthier work atmosphere.
As most business owners are aware of , an unsafe work environment is a major liability, especially in manufacturing plants and warehouses. Appropriate task lighting over work areas helps workers identify potential hazards, such as exposed cables or uneven surfaces, thus minimizing the risks of slips, trips, or falls.
Investing in adequate lighting in the workplace is essential for optimizing employee performance, safety, and well-being. A well-designed lighting environment incorporates even light output, proper lighting on perimeter walls, task lighting, and accent lighting to create a comfortable, spacious, and inspiring space.
By prioritizing proper lighting in your office space, you can significantly improve productivity, reduce workplace accidents, and promote a healthier and happier work environment for your employees. Ultimately, this investment in lighting will yield significant returns for your business in terms of enhanced efficiency and employee satisfaction.