What is the correct lighting for an office?

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Office Lighting Ideas London
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How do I choose the best Office Lighting?

Office Lighting Ideas

Commercial and office lighting is not the same as residential lighting. Subsequently it is more complicated than just picking out a lightbulb. In addition the requirement is to light entire areas rather than individual rooms. So what are some office lighting ideas?

To help you with selecting the best commercial and office lighting to suit your needs, consider the following top four items that you need to consider:

  1. Office Lighting Levels
  2. Aesthetics
  3. Budget
  4. Quality and Longevity

Lighting Levels

Office lighting levels are measured in either Lumens or Lux calculations. The Calculation is based on  output of visible light. Thus a light source is measured in lumens. Usually, the more lumens an office light fixture provides, the brighter it is. Furthermore when comparing Lux, one lux is equal to one lumen per square mete

Therefore Lumens refers to light output. Our professional recommendation is to use LED lighting when and where possible. LEDS provide the best lumens. LED lights will be more cost effective due to this factor.

However depending on the age of the office you will see several different types of office lighting fixtures

As an outline the following lighting levels are recommended in an office by the CIBSE

  • General Office Areas        – 500 Lux
  • PC Work Areas                  – 300 – 500 Lux
  • Filing Rooms                     – 300 Lux
  • Print Rooms                      – 300 Lux
  • Toilets / Changing           – 100-150 Lux

What Types of Lighting is used in Offices

When reviewing lighting in an office the following 3 types are commonly found

  1. Incandescent
  2. Fluorescent
  3. LED

Incandescent Lighting

This category is the most outdated and least found in modern offices. Most will have been replaced. However they can still be found in older office lighting

One of the biggest issues with this category of lighting is that it is the least energy efficient of all the options

More energy is consumed by these fittings as the incandescent bulbs operate at a hotter temperature. Thus, when operating at a hotter temperature they consume more energy. Furthermore by consuming more energy the fixtures don’t last as long because requiring maintenance and replacing

These lights were commonly chosen as they reached their full light levels quicker than their fluorescent competitor. They also had a warmer feel to the lighting. In fact with these fittings you can feel the warmth underneath then when sitting directly. This can actually feel uncomfortably in closed in areas

They are also commonly seen in decorative bulbs and bespoke lighting fixtures

Fluorescent Lighting

This type of fixture is a big step up in comparison to the incandescent option. This is due to the longevity of the bulbs in comparison. By comparison they last up to 20 times longer than the incandescent option.

Also with these types of fittings you don’t get that warm or hot feeling underneath the bulb or fitting. Therefore they operate at a cooler temperature and therefore less energy and cost. However the brightness of the fittings is actually increased. Thus, a higher lumen and lux level

This type of bulb and fitting although an upgrade to previous categories still has its issues however. They create a good coverage of light but are prone to flickering and creating a noise between the starter and the bulb. (commonly known as tubes).

This is usually cured by replacing the tube. However maintenance of these bulbs can be common, time consuming and costly over time. The tubes are easy to replace but working around a busy office can be the challenge

LED Lighting

The LED category is the most used and commonly seen in modern office space. In fact it is pretty much the only choice when installing new lights in any installation. Some bespoke lights will still use other technology but the large majority of lighting is now LED

The reason LED is used most commonly is due to the fact it has many benefits. Especially since the fittings have become more readily available and the cost so competitive.

The first benefit is of all the categories they are the longest lasting option

In addition, they continue the trend in operating at a much lower temperature in comparison to fluorescent lighting. As we discussed previously, lower operating temperature equals lower energy usage and lower cost. However this lower use of energy doesn’t impact light levels. In fact in many cases the lighting levels and performance are increased like for like.

The fact that the lights operate at a lower energy level also results in the fittings lastly alot longer than other models. Therefore less maintenance and swap outs

LED lighting used to be a higher entry cost to install. The savings were then recovered on the longer lasting bulbs and fittings. However with almost universal adoption the costs are now competitive or even less than previous categories.

Office Lighting Aesthetic Ideas

One of the first considerations in a new office is that aesthetics will be important when you select lighting.

In addition to providing illumination, lighting in an office really sets the tone for the style and design of the office. The style is not only important for your clients but also the productivity of your employees.

Some offices will continue the design throughout the office regardless of area or room type. For example the same lights in the open office space, meetings rooms and break out areas such as kitchen, restaurant and casual areas. This is certainly the most cost effective and manageable way.

However the majority of offices will combine different designs. The open plan areas will have large fittings for good lighting coverage. However the bespoke areas will have bespoke lighting. For example decorative lighting in a reception area always sets a professional tone for employees and visiting clients.

Furthermore, rest areas and welfare areas may have bespoke lighting. This creates a warmer feeling during breaks and an escape from the standard lighting employees are exposed to all day

Office Lighting Cost

AS with all other elements of an office fit out, budget will be an important factor. However there is such a large range of lighting options available that budgets can be adjusted to suit in most cases.

The first consideration should be the lighting levels. There is no point in having expensive looking lighting that doesn’t serve the purpose. Therefore, once the lighting requirements are calculated the different lighting options and costs can be compared.

This is one of the reasons different areas have different lights. The open plan areas with standard efficient light will absorb the majority of the budget. It will also be low maintenance and low operating cost.

The bespoke areas can then have specific lighting. Therefore lower amounts of lighting required results in less impact on the overall budget.

Office Lighting Quality Ideas

Quality will come in several factors. For example the quality of the casing around the lighting. Furthermore the quality of the bulbs within the fittings. Finally the quality of the output of the light. A higher quality fitting may require less fittings overall as a result.

In addition, better quality lighting may have less maintenance and therefore a lower long term ownership cost.

The adoption of LED lighting is now widespread and the majority of fittings operate to a very similar standard. Of course different manufacturers operate to different quality levels. However once you have decided on lighting coverage there are usually many options for that coverage in many price brackets

We have qualified professional electricians that know commercial lighting. When you hire us for your commercial lighting project, you know you will get a job well done. Contact us today.

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