Many of us spend a lot of hours in our office, with work taking up a considerable amount of time. At this time of the year, when it’s still dark in the mornings and the sun is going down quite early, the importance of the lighting in your office is essential.
It can improve your productivity, as well as your mood, if your workspace is properly lit. And there’s another reason why 2020 is a good time to look at your office lighting - the climate.
City AM recently explored some of the ways in which offices could help to combat climate change, noting that there are some simple switches that many businesses could make that can have a bigger impact than you might imagine.
The first is in terms of lighting. Switching from regular light bulbs to LED ceiling light fittings and other LED desk lights can cut energy consumption in an office building by over 50 per cent, Joao Pola, UK and Ireland director of Signify, told the news provider.
Introducing LED lights as part of a connected lighting system, meanwhile, can cut energy consumption by up to 80 per cent, he added.
Smart systems and sensors are an important part of the picture, because they can tell how an office space is being used and when people are still in the building - no more worries about lights being left on overnight when there’s no one around to make use of them.
It’s not just about the lights being able to respond to what’s happening, but also for managers to see how the office is being used.
Connected lights, and many other devices, generate data and this can be helpful in terms of designing more efficient office space, and indeed figuring out if you need as much space as you’re currently occupying.
Lighting has also been found to have an impact on people’s wellbeing, which means it could be used to boost staff morale and productivity throughout the day, Mr Pola explained.
“Through different light recipes at the right time of day, businesses can help boost employee energy, aid concentration and improve collaboration,” he stated.
An article for Facilities Net recently noted that lighting can be used to help improve people’s alertness during their working day.
It cited research showing that people are exposed to blue light in the mornings, it wakes them up and makes the more alert more quickly. However, in the afternoons, it’s better to expose employees to red light, which can help them avoid the mid-afternoon slump, which is common for many office workers after lunch.
The red light needs to be delivered in combination with ambient white light to have the greatest benefit, the study by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the US General Services Administration found.
Other areas that businesses will need to explore at their offices include how they’re heated, and how the space is designed to encourage maximum efficiency.
This, too, will involve investing in new technology, like infrared panels that can be fitted to walls and will retain heat that is then released gradually throughout the day, removing the need to have radiators and other heaters on constantly during working hours.