In todays work environment, it is important to create comfortable work environments to facilitate productivity and wellbeing of the staff.
One of the ways to ensure staff wellbeing and productivity is to provide adequate lighting in the work environment.
Artificial lighting has become the main source of illumination in the workplace. However, for the wellbeing of the staff, natural light from the sun should be considered a significant source of illumination in the workplace by design professionals.
A well designed lighting system that combines adequate levels of natural and artificial light can contribute positively to the overall health and productivity of the workplace.
Poor lighting can contribute to fatigue, ill health and generally less productivity of employees. Equally, too much light or the wrong kind of light can be distracting and cause a disruption to the occupants circadian rhythm.
Types of lighting
There are 3 types of artificial lighting used in the workplace.
Ambient lighting also known as general lighting, serves as the primary source of light for a room. It should be bright enough to allow safe movement around the space but not too bright to cause visual discomfort. Aside from the basic lighting functionality, the ambient lighting improves the sense of warmth and depth of a room or space and should be integrated with the daylight control system to maintain proper light levels in the workplace.
Task lighting is lighting which illuminates a specific area to make the completion of visual tasks easier. it is usually controlled by the user. The use of Task lighting can reduce the amount of ambient light required thus reducing energy costs.
Accent lighting also known as decorative lighting. They are directional lighting which emphasizes a particular object or draws attention to a particular area of visual interest. This usually a small percentage of the overall lighting load but can be used to create a positive effect on visual acuity and occupant health.
A well designed lighting system employs the proper use of all these types of lighting and also ensures efficient use of energy.