04 June 2018 | Darren Riva
Darren Riva, services director at Zumtobel Group Northern European, explains how lighting can impact productivity in the office.
Why upgrade your lighting? Certainly, the energy and cost savings to be gained from today's LED luminaires are compelling.
But these figures do not tell the whole story. Poor lighting can affect employee productivity. Our body clocks are governed by circadian rhythms, and studies point to a significant link between lighting quality and how these rhythms control sleep, stimulation and relaxation.
Working in a poorly lit environment can lead to lack of concentration, not to mention the potential health and safety risks. A recent study found that 68 per cent of employees complain about the lighting in their offices.
Our own research revealed that working where lighting colour and intensity is adaptable resulted in lower heart rates, calmer brain activity and less physical tension.
Daylight is the original light source, connecting with people through an elementary relationship and shaping human behaviour. People in industrialised countries spend about 80 per cent of the day inside, reducing exposure to the essential dynamics of natural light. Office lighting still tends to deliver a largely static brightness.
With nature as its template, lighting technology has recently made major strides, expanding the raft of possibilities offered by artificial lighting design. Traditional limitations are being rejected to favour lighting that can be adapted during the day to factors such as time, purpose of task, and number of people present. Intelligent lighting systems sense when space is occupied, providing valuable data on building use, footfall, and under-occupied space.
Lighting should not be a static, 'once and done' solution. Many factors affect requirements for light on any given day: the weather, time, and type of business being conducted. Flexible, intelligent lighting provides businesses with their desired tailored solutions. Illuminated thinking saves energy, cuts costs, and provides employees with environments that drive productivity and promote well-being.
Darren Riva is services director at Zumtobel Group Northern European