When you’re working inside all day, the choice of lighting can have a huge impact on your working environment.
When there is little or no natural light available, artificial lighting can influence how you feel; it can have an impact on safety; and even determine the productivity of your team. Too dim, and it’s a strain to see what you’re working on. Too harsh, and it can feel very uncomfortable.
We’ve come a long way since the days of the standard commercial set-up of rows of flickering and buzzing fluorescent tubes – although there are still plenty of those about! The modern equivalents are much improved and there’s far greater choice available when it comes to lighting fixtures. It’s now possible to create imaginative, inviting and practical commercial and industrial spaces which are well lit and conducive for work, using low energy options which can cut energy bills too.
Whether it’s a traditional office or a factory warehouse, careful thought needs to be given to the choice of lighting. The first step is to make the most of the natural light you have available and consider the layout of the space, including making sure windows are not blocked by furniture or machinery. It’s then a case of considering the nature of the work being carried out in each area before deciding which lighting to choose. It might mean that different areas need different lighting solutions – which is why we work closely with our clients to understand the nature of their business, so we can advise on the best possible lighting to suit their needs.
There are careful calculations which need to be carried out to determine the level of light required, including taking into account any guidelines or codes for particular industries or commercial environments. Building features such as ceiling heights and materials, paint finishes, furniture, flooring etc. can all have an impact on how the lighting works, so these must also be considered.
The position of lighting is also key, so it is directed in the most appropriate way. And there is an amazing array of choice - from sleek LEDs, ‘daylight’ bulbs and industrial strip lighting, to adjustable desk lamps, up-lights and recessed options. The most popular lighting in offices tends to be the 600x600 led panels that fit flush within the ceiling panels.
While there are some pretty funky lightbulbs available these days, these are often more about style than practicality – great for mood lighting in a social space, but not very helpful if you’re trying to read detail on a plan, or fixing a piece of equipment. So, it’s about choosing the appropriate lighting for the space. But you don’t have to have a one-size-fits-all set-up - a mix of lighting can be a great way to mark out different areas and provide a welcoming working environment.
On top of lighting choices, advances in technology mean it’s much easier to create a flexible and responsive approach to lighting with smart controls and automation built in. It’s no longer just a case of lights on or off for the day. Sophisticated technology can adjust lighting to suit the mood, environment, seasons and shift patterns etc.
So, when it comes to lighting a commercial or industrial space, it’s a good idea to get trusted advice before you even consider the kind of lights you want. There’s a lot to take into account, but if you get it right, you can create a really positive working environment that can have far reaching benefits for your business.