June 3, 2021

The right lighting in the workroom

Good lighting in the office is essential for a pleasant working atmosphere that promotes concentration. Daylight, the right mix of direct and indirect lighting, office luminaires with the right lumen and lux values, and good basic brightness are essential for healthy, motivated employees. It is also possible to equip office spaces with innovative lighting control systems that provide optimal lighting quite automatically. Here's what you should know about the legal requirements for lighting in offices.

Daylight as an essential factor for office lighting

A good supply of daylight is indispensable for correct lighting in the office. As much daylight as possible should be used in the office. After all, daylight is irreplaceable. Daylight lamps can imitate natural light, but only real sunlight can trigger the biochemical processes in the body. 

The light that enters the office from outside through windows has a positive effect on concentration and motivation; employees do not become tired and unfocused as quickly. 

By the way: There is no such thing as too much daylight. If the sun shines into the office for many hours in summer, blinds and roller blinds provide excellent protection and regulate the incidence of light.

Daylight Homeoffice
Design: Studio Carver/ Photo: Richard Chivers


Direct & indirect lighting in the office: the right combination makes the difference

A good mix of direct and indirect lighting is essential for productivity and efficiency. Indirect lighting refers to the general background brightness achieved by reflections from walls, floors and ceilings. Direct lighting, on the other hand, is achieved when light is directed directly onto the desk and work surface. 

Wall lamps and ceiling luminaires that blend harmoniously with the rest of the furnishings are particularly suitable for indirect lighting in the office. Ceiling lamps should not be installed directly above workplaces, so that the brightness is well distributed in the room. In this way, office ceiling lights can also be left on all the time.

Office Loft design
VizLine Studio

For direct lighting, each employee should have a desk lamp. The task lights are placed on the side of the desk - depending on whether the employee is right- or left-handed - and must not create reflections on the monitor under any circumstances. In addition, it is advisable to choose flexible, dimmable desk lamps with individually adjustable lamp heads and integrated color change.

By the way, desk lighting should always be considered as a supplement to the overall lighting in the office. Desk lamps as the only light sources are definitely too dark!

Tip: When it comes to office furnishings and lighting design, care should also be taken to avoid reflections in the room, which could be created by wall murals, chrome surfaces or high-gloss fronts, for example.

office lamp
Ferm Living


Trend: dynamic lighting control in the office

In the morning, normal daylight causes our bodies to release serotonin due to the high blue content, which has a positive effect on concentration and attention. In the afternoon, on the other hand, long-wave light with an increased red component boosts the release of melatonin, which has the opposite effect on our performance: it drops - we find it more difficult to remain focused. 

Dynamic lighting control adapts to the natural course of sunlight. For example, the illuminance is regulated up to 1,000 lux at midday to counteract the midday low.

In this way, the biorhythm of employees is supported, which has a positive effect on health, well-being and productivity in the office.

the correct office lighting


Legal requirements for office lighting

The Workplace Ordinance sets out in law the requirements that the legislator places on the lighting of office workplaces.

These are:

1. the lighting level must be adapted to the visual task. 

The decisive factor here is illuminance, which should be at least 500 lux. Specialist luminaires recommend even higher values: 1,000 lux in combination with a light color of 5,300 K (which corresponds to daylight white) is, according to their statement, perceived by many people as particularly pleasant.

It should also be noted that the color of walls, floors and ceilings has a decisive influence on the brightness in the office due to reflection. Thus, it is recommended to choose white at least as a color for the office walls, because the incident light is reflected so incredible 85%.

2. a uniform luminance.

The brightness between the workstation and the office environment should not vary too much and at the same time should not be too balanced (for example, through indirect lighting), otherwise a monotonous impression of space would be created, which in turn would have a negative effect on productivity.

3. light color 

Office lamps with 5,300 K (daylight white) are optimal.

4. flicker-free

5. color rendering

Colors produced by artificial light should be as close as possible to natural colors. For this purpose, it is recommended to choose office luminaires with a high color rendering property (measured in Ra).

6. avoid direct glare and reflected glare

7. good rendering of bodies (shadiness) and avoidance of disturbing shadows.

Shadiness here means that shadows are important for good recognition of objects - otherwise we would only see in two dimensions.

Learn more about setting up your home office.

In our article you will also learn how to integrate your workroom into other rooms.


Disclaimer
We do not own the right some of the images . We do try to provide the original source, however, this is not always possible. Should you wish to have an image removed or you would like to make a  correction, please contact us hello@upscale.ch.

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