6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces
6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces
It’s summer and there is light all around us — we take it for granted till those dark winter months come along. The sheer lack of sun 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 good news is that the right artificial lighting in your office can help you through. Good lighting creates pleasant working conditions in a practical and atmospheric way. Satisfaction and efficiency will improve if you be sure you have sufficient daylight ingestion and a well-lit office space. Plus,your productivity will be positively affected by well-designed illumination. 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 alert through those dark winter days.
1 Create atmospheres where your ideas can develop
We’re all attracted to light,and there isn’t any other medium that’s as large an impact on our bodies and minds as mild. Both daylight and artificial light play an integral role in our health and wellbeing. Increasingly,companies face the question of how they can improve staff wellbeing and create a dynamic,creative and motivating environment. The research indicates that in businesses with a high standard of interior design,productivity can increase by up to 36 per cent. Who wouldn’t like to see their efficiency skyrocket? Additionally,comprehensive research from the Light Right Consortium,arrived at the conclusion that light increases productivity. Only around 70 per cent of the interviewees said that working at workstations with purely downward lighting was comfy. In contrast,91 per cent saw that a lighting setting 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 work with greater precision. TIP: Create a lighting atmosphere with indirect and direct lighting. Avoid having just downwards-directed illumination.
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Two Light for people,not just jobs
Lighting is often just seen as a requirement to enable us to see,but actually it has many more attributes than the obvious ones. We should move away from just thinking of lighting for tasks and focus on producing light settings for people. Today,most men and women work inside,and spends nearly the entire day inside,in an unnaturally dark atmosphere. Our light intake is liable for sleeping and feeling well,and affects our productivity. When there’s a shortage of natural light to help us tell the exact time of day,then our circadian rhythm (body clock) loses its pace,with fatigue and listlessness as a result. We constantly find ourselves surrounded by light. It’s a lot more than just illumination. It inspires,attracts,enables communication,sets a mood,and has emotional qualities. When this knowledge transcends into our built environment,pleasant atmospheres are made. Think of a visit to a theatre,a restaurant,or nightclub. These experiences are shaped by light. Good lighting enhances the mood and desirability of spaces,consequently leading to people’s sense of health. Every building and space expresses and communicates an identity,and sometimes also a corporate value. Superior lighting should be a part of this,because what other component can enhance a feeling as much as light can? TIP: Create a mixture of different lighting. This will guarantee flexible change of light atmosphere. Use illumination that supports a space’s individuality
3 From homo sapiens to homo officunus
In the world today,we spend many hours working in biotopes — environment made by humans. Rather than trying to accommodate ourselves to our own creations,we should adapt these biotopes to our own needs. Sufficient light is one of those needs. So how can you make a setting that increases your satisfaction and productivity? Here are a few tips: Take the biological quality of lighting into consideration. Light synchronises the circadian rhythm. It affects our sleep-wake cycle and this has a large influence on our health and productivity. Adapt the lighting to the daytime and year,as well as to the individual needs of the consumer. Vertical surface illumination,preferably on large wall surfaces,is vital to create a feeling of space and depth. Additionally,it gives a visual resting stage for the eyes and adds a nice atmosphere to the working environment. Too often,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 because of inadequate 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 of the aspects mentioned,but there is plenty of room for it to improve. TIP: Have a light for general illumination,a standing luminaire which uplights the ceiling and a desk light
4 Get the best spot in the house
Are you based in a co-working space? Choosing the ideal spot in the house can go a long way. Select a place with a lot of daylight. It’s recommended 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 some space and the option to look outside is an additional bonus. If you can,select a spot near the window. But make sure there is sun shading to stop harsh reflections on your computer screen.
5 Light against the blues
About 80 per cent of information 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 discovered. Unlike sticks and cones,these cells do not contribute directly to our sight; they are nevertheless light dependent and help to modulate 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 actually need,especially during the darker period 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 stressed and lacking energy. In a workplace setting,light therapy makes people feel more awake and energized. It’s found that an illumination which goes up to 2000 lux in the working place in the morning and the day,reduces the physiological reaction of anxiety and gives an energising effect to the body. If you would like to check the quantity of lux at your desk, download a lux meter program. It is not very exact,but it gives you an idea on how little light we actually have inside. Not only is a higher quantity of light needed,but also the colour temperature of the lighting plays a role. The artificial lighting should correspond to the colour temperature of the daylight. At noon the sky’s colour is a really trendy 10000K but at sunset it’s a much warmer 2000K. Additionally lighting should reflect indirectly into the eyes from large surfaces,such as walls and ceilings. TIP: Attempt to grab enough daylight at any time of the year. You should have at least half an hour of daylight per day
A deadline and stilla lot of work ahead,no time to sleep! As lighting can disrupt your sleeping pattern,it may also boost your activity. In case you’ve followed the above-mentioned advice for biologically effective illumination than you are already on the right path. If you need to pull an all-nighter,increase the light intensity and the amount of bluish white light in the room. Almost done with your work? You may also have experienced that if you work late on a computer or tablet it’s difficult to sleep afterwards. The cause of this is the high blue content of the backlit screens. Blue light at night causes an out-of-phase circadian rhythm,and is a health hazard. So use this lighting hack consciously. There are a number of applications you can install that correlate the display’s brightness and colour,to the daylight of your location. F.lux,for instance,works on many systems,or the Twilight program lowers the quantity of blue lighting on your own Android phone. TIP: Have different lamp types and colour temperatures in your working area. Warm light sources in your desk can be combined with indirect and general lighting with different colour temperatures,such as 3500K and 5000K.