Illuminance, light color and performance at work are more closely connected than they appear at ﬁrst glance. The right lighting not only makes ofﬁce workers more alert; it also motivates and boosts efﬁciency.
Digitisation and globalisation are trans-forming the office workplace. Employees are becoming more mobile, new types of organisation are emerging and work-time is increasingly project-oriented. Modern light-ing concepts go beyond ergonomic and emotional aspects of lighting quality: they bring the dynamism of natural daylight indoors and support human biological rhythms.
Especially during the darker months of the year, many people’s internal clock fails to synchronise with daylight. Biologically effec-tive lighting can have a positive influence on mood and wellbeing and thus also boosts the motivation of employees. Light-ing solutions with non-visual effects are particularly recommended for rooms where people spend a good deal of time, e.g. offices, conference and meeting rooms or canteens. Rooms that are not well served by daylight, such as open plan offices or corridors, are also suitable candidates for dynamic lighting.
The right light – it’s all in the mix
Aided by lighting control and sensor tech-nology, biologically effective lighting changes the brightness and colour of light dynamically over the course of the day. Large-format luminaires and illuminated ceilings simulate the sky during the day, delivering energising planar light with a high blue content and more than 500 lux illumi-nance. In the evening, lighting should not
have an activating effect; the body needs a chance to produce sleep hormone, mela-tonin. That is facilitated by lower illumi-nance and directional warm white light from direct luminaires.
Many applications and studies show the positive effects of circadian-effective light-ing:
- Employees feel more alert.
- They are measurably more motivated.
- Small pools of higher illuminance and dynamically changing light colours have a positive impact on concentration.
Some office buildings are now completely fitted out with dynamic lighting. At one Hamburg company, lighting is electroni-cally controlled throughout the day to cre-ate programmed lighting atmospheres that support circadian rhythms. Large-area luminaires fitted with daylight white and warm white fluorescent lamps steplessly produce light of any colour temperature between 3,000 and 5,500 kelvin at differ-ent illuminance levels. The lighting at work-places can also be tailored to individual requirements.
The energy requirement of a complete solu-tion like this is around 30 percent greater than that of a non-regulated, fixed-colour lighting installation with LEDs (as of 2014). At the same time, however, employees are more focused and motivated.