6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces

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6 lighting hacks for healthier,more productive workplaces

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It’s summer and there’s light all around us — we take it for granted until those dark winter months come along. The sheer lack of sunlight can be depressing. Every year we encounter this longing for summer,craving those long,bright days once we feel energetic and in a fantastic mood. The good thing is,we’ve again passed the longest day of 2015,but the great news is that the perfect artificial lighting in your workplace can help you through. Good lighting creates pleasant working conditions in a practical and atmospheric way. Satisfaction and efficiency will improve if you be sure you have sufficient daylight ingestion and a well-lit office area. Artificial lighting that doesn’t just help you view,but also meets your biological lighting requirements,is the future of office lighting. Here are six lighting hacks to keep you healthy and awake through these dark winter days.

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1 Produce atmospheres where your ideas can develop

We are all attracted to light,and there isn’t any other medium that has as big an impact on our bodies and minds as mild. Both daylight and artificial light play a key role in our health and wellbeing. Increasingly,companies face the question of how they can improve staff wellbeing and create a dynamic,creative and motivating environment. The design of the office area plays a very important role,as evidenced by a study from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering. The research indicates that in companies with a high standard of interior design,productivity can increase by up to 36 percent. Who would not like to see their efficiency skyrocket? Additionally,in depth research from the Light Right Consortium,arrived at the conclusion that light raises productivity. Only around 70 percent of the interviewees said that working at workstations with purely downward lighting was comfortable. In comparison,91 per cent found a lighting atmosphere with direct/indirect lighting and a high quantity of vertical lit surfaces pleasing. Furthermore,if the desk lighting is independently controllable,people feel motivated and operate with greater precision. TIP: Create a lighting atmosphere with direct and indirect lighting. Avoid having only downwards-directed illumination.

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Two Light for individuals,not just tasks

Lighting is often just regarded as a necessity to enable us to see,but in fact it has many more attributes than the obvious ones. We should move away from just thinking of lighting for tasks and focus on creating light settings for individuals. Today,most men and women work inside,and spends nearly the entire day indoors,in an unnaturally dark atmosphere. Our light intake is responsible for feeling and sleeping well,and affects our productivity. When there is a lack of natural light to help us tell the time of day,then our circadian rhythm (body clock) loses its speed,with tiredness and listlessness because of this. It is a lot more than just lighting. If this knowledge transcends to our built environment,pleasant atmospheres are created. Think of a trip to a theater,a restaurant,or nightclub. These experiences are formed by light. Good lighting enhances the mood and desirability of spaces,consequently leading to people’s sense of wellbeing. Every construction and distance expresses and communicates an identity,and at times also a corporate value. Superior lighting should be a part of this,because what other element can enhance an atmosphere as much as lighting can? TIP: Produce a mixture of different lighting. This will guarantee flexible change of light atmosphere. Use illumination that supports a space’s individuality

3 From homo sapiens to homo officunus

In today’s world,we spend many hours working in biotopes — surroundings created by humans. Instead of trying to adapt ourselves to our own creations,we should adapt these biotopes to our own requirements. Adequate light is one of these needs. Here are a few tips: Take the biological quality of lighting into consideration. It influences our sleep-wake cycle and this has a big influence on our health and productivity. Adapt the lighting to the daytime and year,as well concerning the individual needs of the consumer. Vertical surface lighting,preferably on large wall surfaces,is vital to create a feeling of depth and space. Additionally,it gives a visual resting stage for the eyes and adds a nice atmosphere to the working environment. Too often,office environments are insufficiently lit,not only from the perspective of biological lighting demands but also from an architectural one,where the room feels smaller because of inadequate lighting. The chart below demonstrates how office workers analyzed their working environments — showing which aspects are important to them and how satisfied they are with every facet. As you can see,lighting is rated the most important of all the aspects mentioned,but there’s loads of room for it to improve.

4 Get the best place in the house

Are you based in a co-working space? Choosing the right place in the home can go a long way. Pick a place with a great deal of daylight. It is recommended that around three percent daylight reaches a individual’s working area. However,in the majority of offices this isn’t the case. Daylight gives an emotional quality to a space and the possibility to look out is an additional bonus. If you can,select a spot near the window. But make sure there is sun shading to prevent harsh reflections on your computer screen. About 80 percent of allinformation is taken in through our eyes. Until recently it was believed that our eyes used two types of photoreceptors — rods and cones — to receive light,but a decade ago,a third kind,called ganglion cells,was discovered. Unlike sticks and cones,these cells don’t contribute directly to our sight; they’re nevertheless light dependent and help to regulate our circadian rhythm. So light isn’t just a prerequisite for seeing,but is also an important zeitgeber (timer) and a regulator for our bodies. Unfortunately,we often don’t get the light intake we actually need,especially during the darker period of the year,resulting in the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression linked to a lack of light. It leaves people feeling stressed and lacking energy. In a workplace setting,light therapy makes people feel more awake and energized. It is found that an illumination which goes up to 2000 lux in the working area in the morning and the day,reduces the physiological reaction of anxiety and gives an energising effect to the body. If you want to check the quantity of lux at your desk,then download a lux meter program. It is not very precise,but it gives you an idea on how small light we actually have inside. Not only is a greater quantity of lighting required,but also the colour temperature of the lighting plays a role. The artificial lighting should correspond to the colour temperature of the daylight. At noon the sky’s colour is a very cool 10000K but at sunset it is a far warmer 2000K. Additionally lighting should reflect indirectly into the eyes from large surfaces,such as walls and ceilings. TIP: Attempt to catch enough daylight at any time of the year. Go outside for a break,get off a stop earlier from the subway and walk the rest of the way into the workplace.

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6 Light,coffee,action!

A deadline and stilla great deal of work beforehand,no time to sleep! As lighting can disrupt your sleeping routine,it may also boost your activity. In case you have alreadyfollowed the above-mentioned advice for mutually successful lighting than you are already on the right path. If you will need to pull an all-nighter,increase the light intensity and the quantity of bluish white light in the room. Almost done with your job? Change the atmosphere to warm,low-intensity lighting,which will calm you down. You may also have experienced that when you work late on a computer or tablet it is tough to sleep afterwards. The cause of this is that the high blue content of the backlit displays. Blue light at night causes an out-of-phase circadian rhythm,and is a health hazard. So use this lighting hack consciously. There are some applications you can install that correlate the screen’s brightness and colour,to the daylight of where you are. F.lux,for example,works on most systems,or the Twilight program reduces the quantity of blue lighting on your Android phone. TIP: Have different lamp types and colour temperatures in your working area. Warm light sources in your desk can be combined with general and indirect lighting with different colour temperatures,such as 3500K and 5000K.

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