If you go for a walk any pretty day, you can experience the effects of lighting on your well-being. In fact, the right lighting can improve your mood and increase your productivity. According to a recent report by U.S.-based commercial supplier Staples, 33 percent of workers claim their commercial environments need better lighting and that the right light balance would affect their job satisfaction. In fact, 80 percent of workers claim lighting is very important to them as part of their work environment. For these reasons and many others, it is important to consider commercial lighting requirements carefully.
We asked Switch Lighting in Calgary for insight into the importance of proper lighting in the workplace. Below, we provide some of those for you to consider when illuminating your commercial environment.
How Commercial Lighting Relates to Productivity
The type of lighting you provide in your commercial environment affects your workers’ moods, circadian rhythms, productivity, creativity and physical health. There are many studies to support these claims, like those by Staples in 2018 and referenced above. In fact, science has proven that the nature of one’s environment affects how the brain functions and perceives events.
Better lighting in the workplace essentially helps people tap into their creativity and idea generation. The correct lighting promotes better rest at night, alertness during the workday and greater energy all-around. Dim lighting strains eyes promotes drowsiness, encourages tiredness and causes ill health effects like headaches. Having lighting that is too bright can increase the occurrence of employee migraines, sleeplessness and fatigue. At the same time, it causes eye strain, impairs creativity and reduces productivity.
The Best Lighting to Consider for Your Commercial Environment
It can be difficult to find the right lighting quality, type and levels to avoid the above problems and create the most productive commercial environment. But there is lighting available that will help your employees engage, feel inspired and stay healthy.
LEDs Over Fluorescents
LED lighting has rapidly increased in popularity, particularly as an energy-efficient alternative to fluorescents. LED lights are slightly more costly than the older type at face value. But, over the time of their use, they actually save your business money in the long run. LED lighting lasts much longer than fluorescent lights. These newer lights also do not use infrared radiation like fluorescents.
In people who suffer migraines, fluorescent lights can trigger their symptoms and a migraine episode. Fluorescents also interfere with the sleep cycle by reducing the amount of melatonin produced by the body, particularly when employees work under these lights in the early evening as part of a lengthy workday.
LED lighting levels are easily dimmed or brightened to match time and seasonal norms. This keeps the body in a healthy circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. It also reduces other symptoms common to fluorescent lights, like light-induced migraines. LEDs are among the most energy-efficient types of lighting available on the market today.
Natural Light Wherever Possible
Employees who work in areas with some natural lighting enjoy 84 percent fewer occurrences of headaches, eye strain and blurred vision, according to a study by Cornell University. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that exposure to natural light during the workday helps employees maintain well-regulated hormones, healthy circadian rhythm, sound sleep patterns and greater productivity.
Even windowless spaces can feature skylights. Spaces with few windows can maximize natural light infiltration through appropriately placed radiating materials.
The Right Colour and Temperature
Workplace lighting also needs to be in balance in terms of colour and temperature. These levels should vary according to spatial function.
Lighting rules to remember include:
- Warm yellow and orange lighting promotes relaxation
- Cool blue and white lighting promotes work, wakefulness and concentration
- Change lighting colour and temperature to suit the time of day
- Ensure morning lighting is cooler and brighter for enhanced concentration and alertness
- Ideal afternoon lighting is warmer to help employees wind down and work toward healthy sleep at night