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November 2017

Selecting the Optimal Office Lighting System

It is a known fact that 30% of a commercial building’s electrical bill is attributed to lighting. Often, these buildings are fitted with conventional fluorescent luminaires that require more energy than truly necessary. You might decrease your electrical consumption by 50% by replacing your old office lighting system with LED technology.

Did you know that state-of-the-art lighting is required to ensure workers’ comfort and well-being? Indeed, poorly adjusted lighting can cause headaches, visual fatigue, and irritability: problems that can affect employee productivity.

The following are a few leads you might want to examine when selecting your office lighting to adapt it to your workforce needs while reducing your energy consumption.

Creating a Combination of Various Types of Lighting

In order to ensure proper lighting in a given space, we recommend that you invest in two types of lighting:

  • first, an overall system that supplies consistent and evenly distributed luminosity
  • second, individual points of light attributed to each work zone

Learn more about basic lighting types.

In the case of office space lighting, both broad-based and focal lighting are recommended. On the one hand, an all-encompassing office lighting system prevents a glare effect. On the other hand, localized lighting will illuminate a particular area more exactly.

To achieve this, the optimal combination would bring together various types of lighting systems. These can include ceiling luminaires, wall-mounted fixtures, and track lights, floor lamps, traditional recessed fixtures or downlights as well as desk lamps.

Finally, the use of office lighting management systems will allow you to save energy when turning your lights on and off and adjusting lighting levels when necessary.

Take Technical Lighting Specifics into Account

The lighting solutions you select should supply sufficient luminosity, light distribution and intensity to create an environment that is adapted and conducive to work. This environment should not cause any discomfort to the eyes.

Illumination Levels

The average illumination level required for a workspace with computers should be at least 500 lux. As the visual task becomes more intricate, the illumination level should rise. Learn the ways to measure light levels.


The colour rendering index (CRI) and colour temperature both play a major role in ensuring workers’ comfort level in the workplace. A CRI greater than 70 (on a scale from 0 to 100) is recommended for office building lighting.

Light Output

Finally, essential light output varies according to the job at hand. On average, office tasks require a light output that varies between 300 to 1,000 lumens. The visual accuracy necessary for tasks should direct the light output.

For more tips and tricks to improve your concentration in the workplace through lighting, read our article entitled Lighting and Concentration on our blog.

Assess Lighting Needs in Each Zone

It is important to illuminate each work zone in a strategic manner rather than illuminate the overall office space with an all-encompassing lighting system. Each work zone needs to be assessed to meet the lighting needs of workers based on the attributes of each space.

Reception Area

The reception area is the first contact space with clients and vendors. Lighting in this zone must be inviting and appropriate. A combination of lamps and natural lighting, when possible, can help create a warm effect and still ensure adequate lighting at all times.

Open Concept Office Space

Open-plan offices require a more flexible approach to lighting: there should be no glare effect and lighting systems of at least 500 lux should be pleasing to the eye. Photosensors and motion sensors can also be installed to adjust the lighting for foot traffic as well as for existing natural light in the space.

Conference Rooms and Closed Office Space

Here again, we have a combination of 500-lux all-inclusive as well as individual lighting systems that will serve to enhance employees’ well-being. To achieve this, you may consider installing hanging fixtures and wall packs.


As people do not work in hallways, why not opt for dependable and economical lighting solutions in these spaces? However, you will need to respect all the rules and guidelines that regulate safe lighting. In this way, your people will be able to come and go easily and safely at all times.

And in conclusion, the integration of various types of office lighting systems, as well as a fair understanding of spatial needs, will allow you to establish the optimal work environment. Appropriate, well-adapted luminosity helps to create a pleasant office atmosphere in which everyone will feel comfortable!