Lighting in an office has such a huge influence on how people feel and how productive they can be; people stuck in an office with depressing lighting aren't going to fare as well as people given great lighting. The need to add distance between people in work settings may require you to redo the lighting scheme in your office building, and if you're in the planning stages for that now, here's your chance to create an environment that lets occupants see without making everything look overly bright or oddly lit.
Not Overwhelming Available Natural Light
Always take the amount of natural light into consideration. If an office has glass walls that let plenty of sunlight through, for example, adding harsh "cool white" bulbs to the room could result in one of those types of light being overwhelmed by the other. Or, even if you find wonderful lighting, adding too much of it to rooms that get plenty of natural light makes no sense.
It's better to take note of where darker corners might be and add more focused lighting there, with auxiliary lighting for nighttime use in the areas normally lit by sunlight. For example, a lobby with a glass wall may have lots of sunlight streaming in for most of the day. You might add some gentle, warm spotlights or pendant lights to work areas at the far end that's away from the windows – those lights would be on during the day to add illumination to these areas that might not get that much sunlight – and then add some ceiling lighting that would stay off until it got dark out.
Daylight Sensors Should Have an Override/Manual Switch
Daylight sensors can be helpful, but they need an override or manual switch. There will be times when you may actually need a room to be on the darker side, such as when you have a slide presentation. Give workers the ability to control how much lighting they have in their workspaces as that allows them to customise and find the level that helps them be as comfortable as possible.
Replace Those CFLs With LEDs
If there are any compact fluorescent or bar fluorescents left in the office, even under cabinets, replace them with LEDs when possible. Fluorescent lights are efficient, but they need special disposal. They can also flicker and hum and give people headaches, and the quality of the light can potentially make people feel less than good. If you have a chance to get rid of the fluorescents, do so.
It helps to have a consultation with commercial lighting companies to see the various options available. The remodelling company, architects and engineers will also have recommendations.
Jonathon here. I am currently completing my electrical apprenticeship and I have to say, it has been a challenge. Before I started, I didn’t realise that there was so much involved in wiring a house or building. Safety, efficiency, aesthetics and costs all have to be taken into account. My boss is so patient. One customer asked us to leave electrical wires exposed because he wanted an “industrial effect”. My boss explained that it would be illegal and they compromised. I have really learnt that electrical installation is one area in which people should not take short-cuts or undertake home handiwork. This blog should help you to gain a little more insight into electrical installation and its intricacies. I hope you find it enlightening. Thank you for stumbling into my corner of the blogosphere.