New lighting designs for modern offices
Workspaces have changed: They have become open designs with simple lines that seek to create comfortable and functional spaces. For this reason, office lighting should be geared towards the well-being of users as well as to energy efficiency.
Workspaces have changed. Impersonal offices overcrowded with cubicles have given way to new open-plan concepts designed to meet the needs of its users.
Countless new dynamic workspaces have recently emerged, without fixed workstations, in which users can choose the best environment to perform their functions. Flexibility and the democratisation of space are unquestionable values in modern offices. Some examples of this type of space are:
- Co-working environments with open-plan designs in which mobility and the exchange of ideas are the protagonists.
- Think tank rooms or separate, quiet spaces where employees can isolate themselves to stimulate their creativity and concentration.
- Meeting rooms equipped with the necessary technology to carry out collaborative work.
- Rest areas in which to relax and regain energy.
Within this new routine, more and more companies are providing the teleworking option to their employees, making the work-life balance a reality.
How to illuminate workspaces
Lighting has become a major feature of new office designs for a variety of reasons:
- It improves the sense of well-being.
- It connects with the environment and with the emotions of the users.
- It helps to achieve higher productivity.
- It provides significant energy savings.
Health and wellness
The WELL construction standard ensures that the construction of buildings is carried out with maximum guarantees for the health of its users.
In order to obtain the WELL seal, the artificial lighting of workspaces must be approached considering the following aspects:
- Visual lighting design: This evaluates parameters such as the level of illuminance, measured in luxes, as well as the ratio of luminance contrasts, in order to achieve an adequate luminance hierarchy of spaces. It also takes into account the glare index and degree of shielding of the luminaires in order to achieve greater visual comfort.
- As for the most qualitative aspects, it ensures that the chromatic reproduction index is adequate, paying special attention to the saturation of red shades, by introducing the R9 index. This is particularly beneficial when it comes to perceiving people, which is very useful when making video calls, for example.
- Circadian lighting design: The ability to illuminate a space in order to adapt to the physical, mental and behavioural changes of people in any 24 hour cycle. To keep that cycle stable within a building, light temperature must adapt throughout the day, moving from a cooler shade in the early hours of the morning to warmer temperatures at night.
Illumination of workplaces
The success of a lighting project depends on its adapting to the needs of the users and to the available space. To this end, some very effective measures can be taken to increase labour productivity:
- Colour changes: Within the same workspace, cold, neutral or warm lights can be alternated. The variation of these shades will help to keep eyes relaxed and working to full capacity.
- Relationship between colour temperature (CCT) and illumination level: Each workspace must have the optimum light colour temperature, which is closely linked to the level of lighting. In general, greater lighting levels make it more comfortable to use a colder shade of lighting, while lower illuminance levels should be accompanied by a warm colour temperature.
Lighting must be flexible, letting it adapt both in terms of level and in tone, depending on different factors such as:
- The person occupying the location.
- The work to be carried out.
- The time of day when the work is to be done.
- Contrasts strategy: This refers to the variations in luminance perceived by the eye in its visual field and depends both on its sensitivity and the reflectance of the surrounding surfaces. An effective distribution of light must ensure that there are no disturbing glares.
Workplace lighting is one of the issues that companies must address in order to ensure optimum occupational health and safety conditions, as established by Royal Decree 486/1997, of 14 April.
Types of lighting for workspaces
What type of lighting is best for modern offices? There is no single answer to this question. The ideal lighting design will be the one that best suits the needs of its users and the characteristics of each project.
Therefore, the main concern is to determine the desired effect of the lighting and then decide which technology to use.
Flexibility is a key element in the selection of luminaires. In the context of workspaces, being able to regulate luminance levels and colour temperature is key to optimising the installation of light points.
What are the best luminaires for offices?
When deciding on the type of luminaire to choose for workspaces, it is necessary to take into account different aspects such as:
- The desired lighting effect.
- Knowing about the users and the way in which they will inhabit this space, understanding their routines and the tasks to be carried out.
- The physical characteristics of the space in which they will be installed.
- The aesthetics of the room.
At Lamp, we have an extensive catalogue of office luminaires with modern, efficient and comfortable designs.
A suitable lighting strategy requires combining general lighting with accent lighting.
General lighting provides a certain degree of uniformity and visual comfort, is usually provided by luminaires placed overhead in the ceiling, and its installation can be:
While accent lighting helps to prioritise spaces, it enables the creation of lighting layers that help understand the space and create a more pleasant and welcoming environment. They are ideal for drawing attention to specific points in the space where they are installed. These types of effects can be achieved through wall lights, spotlights, downlights with more concentrated optics or suspended luminaires.
This combination makes it possible to design an adequate lighting for a workplace, while at the same time creating a friendly and cosy environment, by always taking care of the technical and comfort requirements of the luminaires.
The latest trends in architecture and interior design are focusing on a new lighting concept in which the boundaries between the most technical and decorative elements become blurred, giving rise to workspaces of domestic inspiration in such a way as to make users feel at home.