Can Lighting be an Effective Productivity Tool?
Until the advent of the industrial revolution, 90% of humans’ waking lives were spent outdoors. On the contrary, we now spend the same proportion of our lives indoors, yet as humans, our natural need is for daylight. However, we generally work under light that is monotonous both in terms of light level and colour temperature, which is not consistent with daylight and, therefore, not in tune with our basic human needs. Without regular exposure to lighting that fulfils those needs we are likely to suffer from health issues.
Lighting for people, not buildings
The primary objective of lighting in any building is to provide suitable levels of illumination to enable the performance of visual tasks and promote feelings of comfort and wellbeing. However, it is important that lighting also make a space visually interesting and stimulating but not distracting or deterring.
As we have discussed in our previous blog posts, the effective application of human centric lighting can improve wellbeing and even health, as well as bringing great benefits to workplaces, educational and healthcare facilities through improved concentration, productivity, efficiency and safety. Studies show that the incidence of mistakes can be reduced by as much as 30% and work speed by the same amount when task areas are illuminated by with a neutral light of 4000 K and peripheral areas such as walls with a cool light of around 6500K. Appropriate lighting can even increase reading speed.
Light in offices
Good lighting in offices brings many advantages, such as increased performance and motivation. Performance cannot be measured only according to work output but also based on the quality of that output, employee satisfaction and overall health and comfort, employee retention, company image and ultimately business success.
According to research done into various aspects of light and its use in offices, 91% of participants preferred lighting which consisted of a combination of direct and indirect light distribution, wall washing and individual control of illumination level over each employee’s workplace. Those who liked their lighting rated the space as more pleasant, felt happier and more comfortable and were more contented with their work environment generally.
The research also showed a direct correlation between the use of individual lighting control and the performance of employees when performing tasks. Normally motivation and vigilance decreases throughout the day, but those with access to individual control of the lighting over their workplace were able to sustain consistent performance.
Light in industrial workspaces
Studies have shown that workers are more alert and focused under the right light, which leads to reduced error rates, less waste, fewer accidents and improved productivity. Research conducted in this field has consistently concluded that manual workers, if given the choice, will choose higher illumination levels that required by standards. This preference for higher illumination levels cannot be fully attributed to improved vision, but is largely connected with the physiological effect it has. Brighter light not only enables the performance of tasks but enhances concentration and performance and increases general feelings of wellbeing. The use of brighter lighting is especially beneficial for those who work varying shifts or consistent night shifts, as such workers often suffer from poor health and sleep problems associated with the disruption of the circadian rhythm by their work patterns.
Employing human centric lighting can also result in energy savings, sustainable design and better lighting performance. Learn more about how your workplace, school, hospital or care home could benefit by downloading our Human Centric Lighting Applications e-book here or call our friendly team of experts on 0330 800 5555Read more blog posts