Creating the right environment
Modern offices are increasingly dominated by display screen technology. Whilst appreciable quantities of paper documents are still in use they are normally in association with computers, and this balance is gradually moving toward increasing display screen use and decreasing quantities of written or printed text. A side-effect of this is the reduction in the amount of filing requirements as documents are stored on a computer disc.
This has resulted in a change in office furnishings with fewer storage cabinets and an increase in technology, and also in a fundamental shift in task position, from predominantly horizontal documents to predominantly vertical display screens.
Additionally in many offices collaborative working is encouraged where formal or informal face-to-face discussions occur to consider short-term issues or long-term plans.
Building design has also developed as energy costs and sustainability issues gain importance, resulting in a high proportion of modern office space receiving significant levels of daylight.
These changes impact all aspects of the design of modern office building services including artificial lighting. Lighting must be designed to prevent disturbing reflections on display screens, requiring a high level of optical control and technical competence in luminaire design. Lighting must also provide adequate illuminance to occupant's faces, modelling features sympathetically and therefore allowing good visual as well as aural communication. This interplay of display screen versus human requirements needs careful planning of a lighting installation to produce a fulfilling space suitable for the task. Recommendations for lighting for DSE and also for modelling of faces and vertical surfaces are provided in the European Standard EN 12464-1:2011 Light and lighting – Lighting of work places Part 1: Indoor work places.
EN12464-1 provides recommended illuminance levels for a variety of office tasks. These illuminance values are task related and best practice is to layer the lighting levels, balancing the level on the task, the level on the surrounding area and the level on the background. It has been shown that the perception of how light or gloomy a space appears is based upon a 40° band in front of the viewer. This is generally the room walls and a portion of the ceiling. It is therefore important that room surfaces are lit to prevent a gloomy, oppressive ambience and EN 12464-1:2011 recommends an average illuminance of 75lx on the walls and 50lx on the ceiling.
Supplying comfortable and effective light is not the same as supplying controlled and energy-efficient light. A lighting system should interact with the space, dimming in response to increasing levels of daylight, turning on or off in response to occupancy within the space, and with increasing use of technology, especially within meetings, allow lighting scenes to be set to provide the optimal conditions for the task at hand. Lighting should be an integral part of the office ambience, giving a calm or lively atmosphere dependant upon the needs of the task and space, providing a fulfilling workplace for people to enjoy and be stimulated in, benefitting both the individual and the business.
Key products for this application are:
- Chalice 190 LED