6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces
It’s summer and there’s light all around us — we take it for granted till those dark winter months come together. The sheer lack of sun can be depressing. Every year we experience this longing for summer,craving those long,bright days once we feel energetic and in a fantastic mood. The sad news is,we’ve 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 make sure you have enough daylight intake and a well-lit office area. Additionally,your productivity will be positively affected by well-designed illumination. Artificial lighting that does not just help you see,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.
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1 Create atmospheres where your thoughts can develop
We’re all attracted to light,and there isn’t any other medium that’s as big an influence on our bodies and minds as mild. Both daylight and artificial light play a key role in our health and wellbeing. Increasingly,companies face the question of how they could improve staff wellbeing and create a lively,creative and motivating atmosphere. The design of the office area plays a vital role,as evidenced by a study from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering. The research shows 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,in depth research from the Light Right Consortium,arrived at the conclusion that light raises productivity. Only around 70 per cent of the interviewees said that working at workstations with only downward lighting was comfy. In contrast,91 per cent saw a lighting atmosphere with direct/indirect lighting and a high quantity of vertical lit surfaces pleasing. Moreover,if the desk lighting is individually controllable,people feel motivated and operate with greater accuracy. TIP: Create a lighting atmosphere with direct and indirect lighting. Avoid having only downwards-directed illumination.
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Two Light for individuals,not just tasks
Lighting is often just regarded as a requirement to enable us to see,but in fact it has many more qualities than the obvious ones. We should move away from just thinking of lighting for jobs and focus on producing light settings for individuals. Today,most men and women work indoors,and spends nearly the entire day inside,in an unnaturally dark atmosphere. Our light intake is responsible for feeling and sleeping 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 tiredness and listlessness because of this. It’s a lot more than just illumination. It arouses,attracts,enables communication,sets a mood,and has psychological qualities. If this knowledge transcends into our built environment,pleasant atmospheres are made. Think of a trip to a theater,a restaurant,or nightclub. These experiences are formed by light. Good lighting accentuates the mood and desirability of spaces,consequently leading to people’s sense of health. Every construction and distance 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 lighting can? TIP: Create a Combination of different lighting. Use illumination that supports a space’s individuality
3 From homo sapiens to homo officunus
In today’s world,we spend many hours working in biotopes — surroundings made by humans. Instead of trying to accommodate ourselves to our creations,we should adapt these biotopes to our 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 account. It affects our sleep-wake cycle and this has a big influence on the health and productivity. Adapt the lighting to the daytime and year,as well as to the individual needs of the user. Vertical surface illumination,preferably on large wall surfaces,is vital to create a sense of depth and space. Additionally,it gives a visual resting point for the eyes and provides a pleasant atmosphere to the working environment. Too often,office surroundings are insufficiently lit,not only from the perspective of biological lighting demands but also from an architectural one,where the space feels smaller because of insufficient lighting. The chart below shows how office workers analyzed their working environments — revealing which aspects are important to them and how satisfied they are with every facet. As you can see,lighting is rated the most important of all the aspects mentioned,but there’s plenty of space for it to improve.
4 Get the best spot in the house
Are you based in a co-working space? And is there a flexible desk coverage? Choosing the right spot in the home can go a long way. Pick a place with a great deal of daylight. It’s recommended that around three per cent daylight reaches a individual’s working area. However,in the majority of offices this isn’t the case. Daylight gives an emotional quality to some space and the option to look out is an additional bonus. If you can,choose a spot near the window. But make sure thatthere is sun shading to prevent harsh reflections on your computer screen. 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 type,called ganglion cells,was detected. Unlike rods and cones,these cells don’t contribute directly to our sight; they are nevertheless light dependent and help to regulate our circadian rhythm. So light isn’t just a requirement for viewing,but is also an important zeitgeber (timer) and a regulator for our bodies. Unfortunately,we often don’t get the light consumption we actually need,especially during the darker period of the year,resulting in 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. Many people who suffer from SAD benefit from bright light treatment. In a workplace setting,light treatment makes people feel more alert and energized. It’s found that an illumination which goes up to 2000 lux at the working area in the morning and the afternoon,reduces the physiological reaction of stress and gives an energising effect to the body. If you want to check the amount of lux at your desk,then download a lux meter program. It’s not very exact,but it gives you an idea on how small light we actually have indoors. Not only is a greater quantity of lighting required,but also the color temperature of the lighting plays a role. At noon the sky’s colour is a very trendy 10000K but at sunset it is a much warmer 2000K. Additionally lighting should reflect indirectly into the eyes from large surfaces,like 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 a day
A deadline and stilla great deal of work ahead,no time to sleep! As lighting can disrupt your sleeping routine,it may also boost your own activity. If you’ve followed the above-mentioned advice for biologically effective illumination than you are already on the right path. If you will need to pull an all-nighter,increase the light intensity and the amount of bluish white light in the room. Almost done with your job? You may also have experienced that when you work late on a computer or tablet it is difficult to sleep afterwards. The cause of this is the high blue content of the backlit screens. So use this lighting hack consciously. There are a number of applications you can install that correlate the screen’s brightness and color,to the daylight of where you are. F.lux,by way of instance,works on many systems,or the Twilight program lowers the amount of blue lighting on your Android phone. TIP: Have different lamp types and color temperatures at your working area. Warm light sources at your desk could be combined with general and indirect lighting with different color temperatures,such as 3500K and 5000K.