Factors to be considered in designing a good office lighting system
There is no specific lighting system which is suitable for all offices. The following factors should be considered in designing a proper system of lighting in office.
1. The required intensity and quality of illumination.
2. The arrangement and location of lighting.
3. The selection of right kind of lighting equipments.
4. The cost of lighting equipments.
5. The extent of natural light available.
6. Dimensions and the height of office rooms.
7. Colour of ceiling, walls and window panes.
8. Position of work tables, equipment like typewriters, office machines etc, and employees.
9. Running costs of lighting.
10. The appearance of light fittings.
11. Maintenance costs of lighting.
Advantages of Good Lighting in Office
Good lighting has the following advantages from the point of view of efficiency of office staff.
1. Increased Output: A change from poor lighting conditions to good lighting conditions results higher output of the employees.
2. Better Quality: Proper lighting reduces errors and delays in clerical work. Good lighting helps the employees to concentrate their mind in work.
3. Reduction of Fatigue: Poor lighting causes eye strain if the employees are working for longer period. Besides, eye sight defects are increased due to poor lighting.
4. Better Employee Morale: Good lighting system creates a pleasant working atmosphere which improves morale among the office employees.
5. Higher Prestige: An attractive and efficient lighting system creates a favorable impression on visitors in the office. It increases the prestige of the office and business firm
Harry R. Moon and Rollie Cox list out the advantages of good lighting system as detailed below:
1. Improved quality control
2. Reduced absenteeism
3. Improved safety and security
4. More favorable first impression of the business.
5. Enhanced company image
6. Better employee morale
7. Increased space usage.
8. Reduction of exposure to legal liabilities and better space marketability for owner.
Effects of Poor lighting system in office
The effects or demerits of poor lighting system are presented below.
1. Employees may get irritated.
2. Higher rate of errors and mistakes.
3. Lower utilization of efficiency and lower productivity of employees.
4. Eye strain and eye-defects made to employees.
5. Higher absenteeism
6. High labour turnover
7. Less safety and security
8. Decrease the image of the office and business unit.
9. Low morale among the employees.
10. More fatigue to employees.
Use of colours in office lighting system
Use of light colours on office walls and ceilings helps in the maximum utilization of lighting, both natural and artificial. Light colours reflect more light and increase the intensity of lighting. The reason is that light colours reflect rays and absorb less light than dark colours do.
Therefore, office floors, carpets, furniture, walls, ceilings, table fans and equipment should be of light colours to get more light at less cost. It is well established that the nature of colour affects human emotions, senses and thought process of employees.
A good colour combination in office can increase the intensity of lighting, reduce glare and improve vision without incurring any additional investment in lighting. Effect of colour upon one’s blood pressure and disposition to relax is also well known to everybody.
Usually colours in the range of yellow, orange and red are regarded as “warm” and have the psychological effect of encouraging warmth and cheer. But, cool colours like blue, violet, dark green etc. generally produce a subduing effect of restraint and calmness.
Cleanliness and Lighting system in office
Dust should not be allowed to cover the lamps, bulbs, tubes, reflectors, walls, ceilings, windows, lamp shades etc. Dust may absorb as much as 50% or more of light. If not so, the light may be reflected on the working surface.
Therefore, bulbs, tubes, walls, ceilings, lamp shades, reflectors, windows etc, should be cleaned at regular intervals to maximize the intensity of lighting system. Lamps, bulbs and tubes should be replaced as soon as their working life is over.
Means of saving electricity with office lighting system
According to Dartnell, the following precautions should be taken to save 25% to 30% of electricity consumption in office.
1. Office staff should be educated to switch off unnecessary lights.
2. Fluorescent lighting system requires less cost for installation and produces less heat. The reason is that a 40-watt fluorescent tube has 10 times the surface area of a 40 watt incandescent lamp.
3. Researches show that old bulbs give less light. Therefore, all bulbs and tubes in office should be periodically tested and replaced as per schedule.
4. Adequate wattage and voltage consistent with the type of work and the need for illumination should be provided.
5. Auxiliary lighting is wasteful and should be avoided if proper illumination is provided.
6. Fixtures and bulbs in office should be kept clean. Dirty bulbs and fixtures can cut down illumination by about 25%.
7. A proper ceiling colour should be used for indirect lighting.
8. Electrical connections in office should be switched off properly at night or after normal working hours.
Emergency lighting in office
The emergency lighting system should be provided to avoid work stoppages during power cut and power failure. There are various means available to provide emergency lighting system. This includes installing a private stand by generator. Battery operated lamps, inverters, oil or gas lamps may also be considered as economical means of emergency lighting.