6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces

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6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces

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It’s summer and there is light all around us — we take it for granted until those dark winter months come along. The sheer lack of sunlight can be depressing. Every year we encounter this longing for summer,craving those long,bright days when we feel energetic and in a good mood. The sad news is,we have again passed the longest day of 2015,but the great news is that the perfect artificial lighting in your office can help you through. Good lighting creates pleasant working conditions in a functional and atmospheric way. Satisfaction and efficiency will improve if you make sure you have sufficient daylight ingestion and a well-lit office space. Artificial lighting that does not just help you view,but also meets your biological lighting needs,is the future of office lighting. Here are six lighting hacks to keep you healthy and awake through those dark winter days.

Best Office Lighting

1 Produce atmospheres where your ideas can develop

We are all attracted to light,and there is not any other medium that’s as large an influence on our bodies and minds as light. Both daylight and artificial light play an integral role in our health and wellbeing. Increasingly,companies face the question of how they could improve staff wellbeing and create a dynamic,creative and motivating atmosphere. The design of the office space plays a very important role,as evidenced by a study from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering. The research shows that in companies with a high standard of interior design,productivity can increase by up to 36 per cent. Who would not like to see their efficiency skyrocket? Additionally,in depth research from the Light Right Consortium,came to the conclusion that light raises productivity. Only around 70 per cent of the interviewees stated that working at workstations with only downward lighting was comfortable. In comparison,91 per cent saw that a lighting atmosphere with direct/indirect lighting and a high quantity of vertical lit surfaces pleasing. Moreover,if the desk light is independently controllable,people feel motivated and operate with greater accuracy. TIP: Create a lighting atmosphere with indirect and direct lighting. Avoid having just downwards-directed illumination.

best modern desk lamp

2 Light for people,not just tasks

Lighting is often just seen as a requirement to enable us to see,but in fact it has many more attributes than the obvious ones. We should move away from just thinking of lighting for tasks and focus on creating light settings for people. Today,most men and women work indoors,and spends nearly the entire day indoors,in an unnaturally dark setting. Our light intake is responsible for sleeping and feeling well,and affects our productivity. When there is a shortage of natural light to help us tell the time of day,then our circadian rhythm (body clock) loses its pace,with fatigue and listlessness because of this. It is a lot more than just lighting. It inspires,attracts,enables communication,sets a mood,and has emotional qualities. When this knowledge transcends into our built environment,pleasant atmospheres are created. Think of a trip to a theatre,a restaurant,or nightclub. These experiences are shaped by light. Good lighting accentuates the mood and desirability of spaces,consequently contributing to people’s sense of wellbeing. Every building and space expresses and communicates an identity,and at times also a corporate value. Superior lighting should be a part of this,because what other element can enhance an atmosphere as much as light can? TIP: Produce a Combination of different lighting. Use illumination that supports a space’s identity

3 From homo sapiens to homo officunus

In the world today,we spend many hours working in biotopes — surroundings created by humans. Instead of trying to adapt ourselves to our own creations,we should adapt these biotopes to our own needs. Sufficient light is one of those needs. Here are a few tips: Take the biological quality of lighting into account. Light synchronises the circadian rhythm. It influences our sleep-wake cycle and this has a large influence on the health and productivity. Adapt the lighting to the daytime and season,as well as to the individual needs of the user. Vertical surface lighting,rather on large wall surfaces,is vital to create a feeling of depth and space. Additionally,it gives a visual resting stage for the eyes and provides a nice atmosphere to the working environment. Too frequently,office surroundings are insufficiently lit,not just from the perspective of biological lighting demands but also from an architectural one,where the room feels smaller due to insufficient lighting. The chart below demonstrates how office workers analyzed their working environments — showing which aspects are important to them and how satisfied they are with each aspect. As you can see,lighting is rated the most important of all the aspects mentioned,but there is loads of room for it to improve. TIP: Have a light for general lighting,a standing luminaire that uplights the ceiling and a desk light

4 Get the best spot in the house

Are you based at a co-working space? And is there a flexible desk coverage? Choosing the right spot in the house can go a long way. Pick a place with a lot of daylight. It is advised that around three per cent daylight reaches a individual’s working area. However,in the majority of offices this is not the case. Daylight gives an emotional quality to a space and the possibility to look out is an added bonus. If you can,select a spot near the window. But make sure thatthere is sun shading to prevent harsh reflections on your computer screen. TIP: Take the window seat,north,west or east facing

5 Light against the blues

About 80 per cent of allinformation is taken in through our eyes. Until recently it was believed that our eyes used two kinds of photoreceptors — rods and cones — to receive light,but a decade ago,a third kind,called ganglion cells,was detected. Unlike rods and cones,these cells do not contribute directly to our sight; they’re nevertheless light dependent and help to regulate our circadian rhythm. So light is not just a requirement for viewing,but is also an important zeitgeber (timer) and a regulator for our own bodies. Unfortunately,we often don’t get the light consumption we really need,especially during the darker time of the year,leading to the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a kind of depression associated with a lack of light. It leaves people feeling moody and lacking energy. In a workplace setting,light treatment makes people feel more alert and energized. It is found that an illumination that goes up to 2000 lux in the working place in the morning and the day,reduces the physiological reaction of stress and gives an energising effect to the body. If you would like to check the quantity of lux at your desk,then download a lux meter program. It is not very exact,but it gives you an idea on how little light we really have indoors. Not only is a greater quantity of light needed,but also the color temperature of the lighting plays a role. At noon the sky’s colour is a very cool 10000K but at sunset it’s a far warmer 2000K. Additionally lighting should reflect indirectly into the eyes from large surfaces,such as walls and ceilings. TIP: Attempt to catch enough daylight at any time of the year.

modern lighting

6 Light,java,action!

A deadline and stilla lot of work ahead,no time to sleep! As lighting can disrupt your sleeping routine,it can also boost your activity. In case you have followed the above-mentioned advice for mutually successful lighting than you are already on the right path. If you need to pull an all-nighter,increase the light intensity and also the quantity of bluish white light in the room. Almost done with your work? Change the setting to warm,low-intensity lighting,which will calm you down. You may also have experienced that if you work late on a computer or tablet it’s difficult to sleep afterwards. The reason for this is that the high blue content of the backlit displays. So use this lighting hack consciously. There are a number of applications you can install that correlate the display’s brightness and color,to the daylight of your location. F.lux,by way of example,works on many systems,or the Twilight program reduces the quantity of blue lighting on your Android phone. TIP: Have different lamp types and color temperatures in your working area. Warm light sources in your desk could be combined with indirect and general lighting with different color temperatures,for example 3500K and 5000K.