The plans for your office renovation are underway, and it's time to think about lighting. It's easy to push lighting to the back burner, but it actually has one of the most profound impacts on office productivity. In addition, wise choices about interior lighting fixtures will save you money in energy costs.
The Importance of Natural Light
One interesting study by a Swiss research group found that people who work under daylight conditions are more alert in the afternoon. The workers in the study didn't even need to be next to a window; they simply benefited by having natural lighting and not harsh, overhead glare of typical office fluorescent fixtures.
One reason for this may be that, under really artificial lighting conditions, people's cortisol levels rise. This leads to greater stress and less energy, and the effects are most noticeable in the afternoon.
Making Windows Energy Efficient
It's clear that good office design incorporates as much natural light from outdoors as possible. So this seems to have an easy solution: install lots of windows.
However, from an energy efficiency standpoint, lots of windows lead to increased solar heat and more problems with cooling a building in the summer, and air leakage with more problems warming a building in the winter.
There are solutions that can let you install your windows and stay energy efficient too. These include:
Doing some or all of these during your office reconstruction project can help you reap the benefits of happier and more productive workers without sacrificing energy efficiency.
Using the Right Interior Lighting
You can't get all your lighting from natural sources, unfortunately. You also need to consider the best options for artificial lighting.
While it is important to have full-room lighting, there can be drawbacks to using fluorescent overhead lights. Task lighting is generally the best for employees to use, instead of high overhead lights. Harsh lighting can cause glare on computer screens, leading to headaches and trouble focusing. Most task lighting uses:
Halogen lights can be best for tasks that require really accurate visual assessments, while compact fluorescents and LEDs use less energy overall. Incandescent lights, formerly the go-to for almost all task lighting, are now less frequently used because of their increased use of energy.
Talk to a company like WDI Group interior design about the need for proper lighting for your employees. Your interior office construction project can benefit their work productivity with a bit of extra attention to lighting.
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