Lighting the path to productivity and wellbeing

Darren Riva, Northern European Zumtobel Group Services Director

Why upgrade your lighting? Certainly, the energy and cost-savings to be gained from today’s LED luminaires are compelling. But these figures do not tell the whole story.

Poor lighting can have a negative impact on employee wellbeing and productivity. Our internal body clocks are governed by circadian rhythms, and studies point to a significant link between lighting quality and how these rhythms control sleep, stimulation and relaxation.

Working in a poorly lit environment can lead to lethargy and lack of concentration, not to mention the potential health and safety risks. Our own research[1] revealed that working in an environment where lighting colour and intensity is adaptable resulted in lower heart rates, calmer brain activity and less physical tension.

Leading businesses are partnering with lighting specialists in order to create safer and more productive environments to optimise employee performance.

Daylight is the original light source, connecting with people through an elementary relationship and shaping human behaviour since the dawn of time. Today, people in industrialised countries spend around 80 percent of the day inside, reducing exposure to the essential dynamics of natural light. Office lighting still tends to deliver a largely static brightness, even in communication and creative areas.

With nature as its template, lighting technology has recently made major strides, expanding the raft of possibilities offered by artificial lighting design. Traditional limitations are being rejected to favour lighting that can be controlled and adapted during the day to factors such as time, purpose of task, number of individuals present and more.

Smart lighting can also be used to capture business intelligence. Intelligent systems sense when space is occupied, providing invaluable data on building usage, footfall, and under-occupied space.

Lighting should not be a static, ‘once and done’ solution. Numerous factors affect requirements for light on any given day: the weather, the time of day, the type of business being conducted. Flexible, intelligent lighting provides businesses with their desired tailored solutions. Illuminated thinking saves energy, cuts costs, and provides employees with environments that drive productivity and promote wellbeing. Businesses across every sector are switching on to the possibilities.

Image courtesy of Zumtobel Group Services.


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