Light Level or Illuminance, is the total luminous flux reaching on a surface, per unit area. Lighting systems in offices are usually designed based on the light levels or illuminance required by the tasks performed within each working area .
Office spaces are often over-lit as a result of using outdated lighting fixtures. These older lighting systems were designed to accommodate paper-based reading tasks , that usually needs light levels of 500 to 750 lux. Today’s work at the office primarily involve computer based tasks, and the lighting levels can range from 300 to 500 lux.
We should bear in mind that having the right lighting requirements onto a task area such as a desk is only one of the elements that has to be considered in the overall lighting project. Indeed, the whole working environment should be taken into consideration: the impact of lighting onto the walls, and across the space has also to be considered, so as to create a pleasing and productive working atmosphere. It is recommended to avoid any sharp change in light levels within an office space as this will cause the eyes to have to continually adjust, resulting in eye fatigue, and affecting negatively the productivity of workers.
What is the recommended lighting level for offices?
The below table represent light level recommendations for office areas.
|Areas and activities||Intensity||Recommended Lux|
|Accounting office||High||500 – 750|
|Office in general||Medium||250 – 500|
|Waiting room||Low||150 – 400|
|Reception desk||Low – Medium||300|
|Computer work station||Low – Medium||300 – 500|