Human Centric Lighting in offices

Humans spend most of their time awake indoors. That makes office areas excellent places to implement Human Centric Lighting solutions. Such solutions can bring increased energy and motivation to employees.
For example can a cool white light with high intensity in the beginning of the workday shift our sleep phase forward and help reset our biological clock. For countries with little daylight during the winter months, “tuneable white light” luminaires may reduce winter depressions and other seasonal affective disorders. The same lighting settings may also give short-term concentration and alertness effects, when applied correctly.

Workplace lighting can, in addition to providing sufficient light to conduct work-related visual tasks, affect employees’ alertness, mood, cognition, sleep-wake pattern and health. The timing, duration and spectral composition of the light exposure all play important roles in these non-image forming effects. Moreover, research has shown that these effects may depend on the environmental context, type of activity, person characteristics and employees’ momentary level of fatigue.

Benefits

  • Exposure to more intense light may boost employees’ feelings of alertness and vitality during daytime and at night.
  • Circadian effective light exposure during the daytime may have a positive effect on office workers’ sleep during the subsequent night.
  • The light settings can influence employees’ appraisals of the lighting and the working environment.
  • Individuals’ preferred light settings show substantial variations. Individual lighting control will affect job satisfaction positively.

A balance must be found between the need for individual control and automatic control to ensure the maximum circadian effect and minimum risk of misuse. To allow for more individuality, tuneable white free standing or pendant luminaires by or above each workstation is recommended. A semi-automatic control system where parts of the cycle is automated, for instance in the morning when the energy light is needed, is the best solution. During the day, the user may set the colour temperature and intensity levels according to his or her own preferences. That would give the user access to activating light whenever he or she wants, just by the push on a button. Office landscapes with luminaires that emits light with different colour temperatures may pose an aesthetical challenge.