LED Lights for Commercial Offices
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Office lights are an important aspect of the office environment. They are used to light up office spaces like general areas, workstations, lobbies, meeting rooms, and storage rooms. These lights are generally installed in ceilings. Some are installed on walls while others are placed directly at workstations for task lighting. LED office lighting can also be used outside offices – in corridors and entrances.
The Evolution of Office Lights
Halogen lights are incandescent lamps that comprise tungsten filaments sealed into small transparent envelopes filled with a combination of halogen (such as bromine or iodine) and an inert gas. They are made in many shapes and sizes. In the office setting, they are in form of small lamps and are normally used for accent lighting or task lighting.
They give off a lot of heat to produce sufficient light, so they are hot to the touch and could burn you when they overheat. Worse still, halogen lamps that are mounted on the ceiling could also cause office fires, which means they can be a safety hazard.
Their lifespan is only 3,600 hours, so they are costly to maintain. They are also delicate and can easily be damaged with the natural oil on our fingertips. Advanced LED technology has since replaced halogen lights. LED lamps do not overheat, are sturdy, and have a longer lifespan.
Metal halide office lights are commonly found in offices with high ceilings, especially in the lobbies. They produce very bright light with a wide coverage. Their lifespan is between 6,000-15,000 hours.
They have a long warm-up period of 15-20 minutes, longer than any other lighting system. Their light is non-directional and projects in all directions, unlike LED office lighting that is directional and focused. LEDs also have no warm-up period and light up instantly.
Compact fluorescent lamps are known for their spiral tube and usually have a screw-in base, a 2-pin base, or a 4-pin base. They deliver a high lumen output, illuminate a wide area, and burn at a cooler temperature than halogen lamps.
They have a lifespan of 6,000-15,000 hours and it can get shorter if they are constantly switched on and off. They get dimmer over time, providing less quality lighting than at the beginning of their life. They also flicker a lot more than other lights and contain mercury, which is a hazardous chemical that’s dangerous to humans and the environment.
But they were a popular choice for office lighting because they consumed less energy than other conventional lights. However, LED office lights are now being used in more offices because they last longer, have no mercury, and are more energy-efficient.
Fluorescent tubes have been a popular choice for office lighting over the years. They are made in the following different sizes:
T12 fluorescent tubes: T12 tubes have a diameter of 1.5” (12/8”) and are made in various shapes and lengths, especially 2’, 4’ and 8’. They also come in a U-shape design.
T8 fluorescent tubes with reflectors: T8 tubes have a diameter of 1” and like T12 tubes, come in lengths of 2’, 4’ and 8’. They are also designed in a U-shape.
T8 fluorescent tubes with no reflectors: These are usually in closed fixtures and have a diffuser. The fixture must be opened to access the lamp inside.
T5 fluorescent tubes with reflectors: T5 tubes are tiny with a 5/8” diameter but look like T12s and T8s. They require an adapter for use in 4’ and 8’ fixtures.
T5 fluorescent tubes with no reflectors: These are usually in closed fixtures. Fixtures that have diffusers are usually opened for proper lamp identification.
Fluorescent tubes are known to worsen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because they make a work environment look dull, especially as they reach the end of their lifespan. They also cause eyestrain. They require delicate parts like ballasts and starters which easily malfunction, making costs of maintenance high. Ballasts will also cause humming and flickering when they age.
Note: LED tubes do not contain ballasts and starters, therefore require minimal maintenance. The great thing about LED tube lights is that they are designed to replace all fluorescent tube office lights.
LEDs feature a modern, efficient lighting technology that has been designed to replace all other types of office lights. They are capable of producing the same amount of light using significantly less energy. They use 75%-80% less energy than other lighting systems, saving tons of money spent on electric bills each year.
Even though they are initially expensive, they are the cheapest lighting technology, considering their very low energy consumption. The savings you’ll make once they are installed cover the initial cost – over and above.
LED office lights boast the longest lifespan of all lighting systems – between 50,000 to 100,000 hours. This can be attributed to the fact that they are made with shatterproof glass – which is shock resistant – and do not contain delicate components like filaments which easily get destroyed. Also, unlike halogen lamps, they do not require high heat to operate and are cool to the touch.
Their long lifespan makes them easy and cheap to maintain as they will not be frequently replaced or repaired like other traditional lighting systems.
LEDs are environmentally-friendly and do not contain any hazardous chemicals or toxins like mercury. At the end of their lives, they usually end up in recycling plants. Since the amount of electricity they require to operate is minimal, carbon emissions into the atmosphere are greatly reduced.
Specialty Office Lighting
Also known as ceiling lights or recessed troffer lights, they provide general illumination to the whole off
These lights provide specialized lighting for a particular activity, for example, writing, using a computer, reading, or drawing. They are easily portable as they have a plug and a cord. Examples of task lights include table lamps, desk lamps, swing arm lamps, and wall-mounted reading lights.
Task lights are necessary in an office because only using ceiling-mounted lights in the whole office isn’t convenient. Workstations should have desk lamps so that office workers can control the amount of light they require for specific tasks – like writing or going through paperwork. They help create a perfect atmosphere for work.
LED desk lights are the best task lighting option. They produce directional light and have a controlled beam. They are cheaper than traditional lights (in the long run) because they are more energy-efficient. They are cool and don’t get extremely hot like other lights.
The fixtures that house these lights are hidden in the recesses or ledges of a ceiling. They give offices a sophisticated and professional look that many businesses want to project. The light fixtures provide indirect, soft, and even light that is directed towards the ceiling. They are commonly used in office lobbies, boardrooms, and meeting rooms.
T5 fluorescent tubes were commonly used for cove lighting because they were more efficient than traditional lighting systems. However, LED strips have replaced them as they are the most energy-efficient and emit less heat. They have a long lifespan and require very little maintenance and no replacements for several years. What’s more, business owners and workers have the liberty to control their brightness with dimmer switches.
A pendant light is normally suspended by a chain or cord from the ceiling. It hangs like an actual pendant from a necklace, hence the name. Pendant lights bring a modern and personalized feel into the workplace and enhance the office atmosphere. They can be used in clusters for general lighting or as single units to provide individual workstations with specific lighting. They are designed in various unique shapes and sizes.
These are used in areas of the office that require a significant amount of light. LED spotlights provide quality illumination using a limited amount of energy. They offer a wide range of colors. To provide the best illumination, the beams of LED spotlights should overlap.
Exit and emergency lights are crucial in an office. They enhance office safety by helping workers to navigate and exit an office building to a safe area during an emergency. These lights are so important that they should be able to function in the event of a power outage. The U.S. has longer power outages (3.5 hours each year) than other countries in the developed world like Japan which only experiences 6 minutes of outages the whole year.
Exit and emergency lights are usually ignored after installation. But due to their importance, business owners and building managers must ensure that they perform monthly tests and inspections on them.
Compact fluorescent lamps or fluorescent tubes are commonly found in exit signs. However, LED exit and emergency lights are better because they are more efficient and last several years. LED emergency lights appear either red or white.
What to Do When Buying Office Lighting
Careful consideration must be taken when buying office lights. This process should not be taken lightly as it directly affects the alertness and productivity of workers. Choosing the right lighting for your office space will result in high-quality illumination, the well-being of office workers, and money savings. When buying office lights, do the following:
The first step to take when buying office lighting is drawing up a plan. Lighting designers and experts can create a lighting plan that suits your particular space. It will indicate how many lights you require, where they should be installed, what sizes are appropriate, and what types you should buy.
Picking the right bulbs has a significant impact on the office environment. Most offices have used fluorescent lights for years. However, they not only affect the productivity, mood, and creativity of workers, they also use a lot of energy and contain dangerous chemicals.
The best bulbs for offices are LED office lights. They have the capability of imitating sunlight which has a positive impact on the behavioral and biological processes of human beings. Workers are happier and more productive when exposed to natural-looking light. The lights are also safe for the environment and very energy-efficient.
Indirect lighting occurs when fixtures project light upwards towards the ceiling or the walls and it bounces off to illuminate the whole area with even light. Direct light causes headaches and eye strain. Indirect light eliminates glare which affects worker productivity. It also creates a calm and comfortable working environment for employees. You can achieve indirect lighting by mounting LED office lights on walls or the ceiling, particularly LED flat panel lights.
The right bulb size matters when buying office lights. Large bulbs are more appropriate for a spacious office. If your office is small, consider buying smaller size bulbs. Also, if you are replacing conventional lights with LED office lights, make sure they are the right size.
Natural light is recommended for office spaces because of its effect on human mood and behavior. In offices where natural light is insufficient, it should be complemented by LED office lights because of their similarities.
If your office is designed in such a way that it cannot access any natural light, LED office lights are the best alternative. Their cool white light creates a calming effect in the office and improves the mood and behavior of workers, making them more productive.
While overhead lighting is important, ensure that you buy task lights to complement it. Task lights like desk lamps provide direct light for specific tasks at workstations, for example reading paperwork. Overhead lighting may be sufficient for other general duties but not for reading documents.
Choosing the right color temperature for your office greatly impacts the mood and behavior of workers. LED office lights come in a wide range of color temperatures. The appropriate color temperatures for an office setting are neutral to cool white, between 3500K and 5000K. Temperatures below 3500K are too yellow and will result in low worker productivity.
The color rendering index indicates how a light source causes objects to appear compared to natural light. It is a scale from 0-100. A CRI of 85 and above is considered good. LED office lights typically have a high CRI of 80 and above. In offices, it’s imperative to see objects as they would naturally appear. Fluorescent lights make the environment look dull.
When buying office lighting, look for lighting controls. Workers spend most of the day at their desks or designated workstations. This means there are areas within the office that do not require constant lighting. For example, in break rooms, stores, and restrooms, the amount of light can be conveniently controlled with motion sensors. In personal offices, dimmer switches can be used to control the lighting levels.
Some LED drivers have dimming abilities and can dim LED office lights from 100% output to 0%. This does not affect the lifespan or efficiency of the lamps, as is the case with fluorescent lamps. Photosensors can be used to detect the sufficiency of natural light and signal to the fixtures to either reduce or increase their light.
The setup of office desktops and laptops should not be ignored. Lighting sources should not be placed in such a way that they directly face electronic devices as they can cause glare. They should be positioned away from laptops or computer screens to eliminate glare.
Being mindful of the energy consumption of your office lights will save you thousands of dollars in electricity bills – and also help your company to achieve its sustainability targets. Fluorescent lamps are no longer the most energy-efficient, LEDs are. Choosing LED office lights is one of the best decisions you can make for your office. They will provide quality illumination with 75% less energy usage than conventional lighting systems.
Office Lighting Standards and Requirements
The common misconception that brighter light is equal to better light in the workplace has caused debate and complaints among office workers over the years. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) is responsible for setting lighting requirements for offices as part of overseeing the health and safety of workers in the U.S. The agency provides requirements for different areas of the office:
The minimum lighting required for general areas like lobbies, corridors, and hallways is 5 foot candles. Office areas require 30 foot candles.
For emergency purposes, exit-ways, hallways, and corridors should have illumination of 5 foot candles.
For specific tasks at workstations, OHSA recommends 50 foot candles. According to research by the Light Right Consortium, having a set maximum amount of light in a building may affect productivity and profit. The research concluded that workers should be allowed to have control of their lighting because each individual requires a different level of light to perform their tasks.
The lights should go on or off according to individual and departmental preference. This will lead to employee retention, better communication, low energy costs, and a happier work environment. It will not violate any OHSA regulations as long as the lighting level does not go below 20 foot candles.
|Office/Area||Recommended Foot Candles||Recommended Luxes|
|Administrative: filing, sorting mail, copying,||30||300|
|Conference and meeting rooms||30||300|
|Data processing, reading, typing, writing||30||300|
|Shipping and receiving||30||300|
|Lunch rooms, cafeterias||10||100|
|Passageways, corridors, stairs||10||100|
|Entrance halls, waiting rooms, lobbies||15||150|
Benefits of LED Office Lighting
LED office lights are no longer the expensive lighting option that building owners and office managers feared to adopt. LED technology has replaced, and continues to replace, inefficient lighting. The common issues faced by office workers – like harsh lighting, migraines, tiredness, occupational accidents, and absenteeism – are all solved by LED office lights. Office and building managers also enjoy benefits like money savings and low maintenance costs. Let’s look at the benefits of LED office lighting.
Employers often consider several factors to boost worker productivity but don’t usually think about the lighting. One flick of a switch can make the difference between happy, productive employees and tired, demoralized workers.
Poor lighting kills worker productivity in the office. Lights that are too harsh, too dim, not focused, continuously flicker, or have no controls cause sleepiness, eye-strain, headaches and fatigue – which greatly affect worker efficiency.
Chances are some workers will be absent from work for several days, impacting the company’s bottom line. Traditional office lighting systems like halogen and fluorescent lights produce very intense light which has been shown to cause migraines among office workers, affecting their output.
A U.S. workplace survey done in 2006 found that 90% of workers felt that their work environment affected their attitude towards work. You can’t produce your best work if your work environment is bad.
Natural light is highly recommended for workspaces because it provides sufficient light for workers to see properly and improves behavior and mood. However, in some offices, it may not be possible to access natural light, so the next best option is LED office lighting. In such instances, LED lighting takes the place of natural light. LED office lighting has the ability to imitate the intensity of natural light and support the biological processes of human beings.
A study was conducted in 2010 to compare fluorescent office lighting to LED office lighting in terms of worker efficiency. The study concluded that for perceptive and visual office tasks, LED office lighting increases wakefulness, enhances a positive mood, and drives performance. There were reduced depression rates, lowered fatigue, quicker reaction times, and improved vigor. LED office lighting makes for effective brainstorming and enhanced creativity in the office.
Long Lifespan Equals Low Maintenance
LED office lights are sturdy, high-quality lights that last for 50,000 to 100,000 hours. Unlike fluorescents, they do not contain fragile inner components which get damaged easily. Halogen lights last for only 3,600 hours and CFLs have a lifespan of 8,000-10,000 hours, therefore they need to be replaced and repaired often. When all is said and done, LEDs are much cheaper since they don’t require replacements for a long time.
The long lifespan of LED office lights makes them cheaper to maintain. Time is not wasted frequently repairing and replacing these lights. This also eliminates the recurring costs associated with maintenance, like new lamps, transportation, and labor.
The frequent maintenance of traditional lights causes inconveniences within the office. If a set of lights suddenly gets damaged, the workers will be affected as repairs are done. They may also have to change their workstations temporarily.
According to studies, office workers are more likely to get injured by a fall than other workers. In areas like stairwells and hallways, if the lights have burned out or flicker, workers may slip or fall. Using LED office lights mitigates all these risks.
In offices, the lights are normally on for several hours a day. 30% of the energy consumed by most office buildings is spent on lighting. This huge consumption should not be ignored. Your office could greatly reduce this consumption by using energy-efficient technology like LED office lighting.
When it comes to saving energy, conventional office lighting technology is no match for LED office lighting. LED office lights utilize 75% less energy than other light sources and produce the same amount of light. They hardly produce any heat, meaning that you will use the air conditioning only when necessary, saving energy.
Although LEDs are said to be expensive, they are a much cheaper option when you look at the big picture. The huge savings made from less electricity usage speak of the affordability of LED office lights.
LED office lights can direct light specifically where it’s required, unlike traditional lights (like fluorescents) which emit excess harsh light without direction. LED lights can be tuned to illuminate specific office workstations as required and do not require reflectors.
LED office lights do not contain harmful chemicals like mercury which end up in landfills, rivers, and lakes when the lights are disposed of. The contamination caused by poor disposal of traditional lights in the environment can be fatal for human beings and animals. The amount of electricity required to start LEDs is minimal, which reduces carbon emissions into the atmosphere. LEDs are also recyclable.
Lighting controls like occupancy sensors, timers, and dimmers are a crucial part of office lighting. They allow you to easily control the lights in your office environment. This enhances convenience and also saves on electricity costs.
Areas in your office that have little to no traffic can have occupancy sensors installed, ensuring the lights only function when there are people in that particular area – for example, stores, corridors, and toilets. Timers are usually set in such a way that the lights are on during particular hours. Dimmers allow you to adjust the light to your preferred level.
Photosensors detect the amount of natural light and signal to the fixtures to either reduce or increase the light they are producing to suit the area they are in. If sunlight is sufficient, they will decrease illumination and when it gets dark, they will increase it. If you already have LED office lights and want to install photosensors, make sure they are LED compatible.
Over the years, LED lighting technology has made significant improvements; one of them is tunable color temperature. You can adjust the color temperature of some LEDs according to the application, the time of day, or for particular displays in the office.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory carried out an office lighting experiment and discovered that different people require different levels of light. People have different tasks and glare tolerance. It is therefore important for each office worker to have control over the light at their particular workstation with individual control units.
LED office lights are not only for functional purposes, their high-quality lighting also creates an aesthetically pleasing environment. This promotes your brand by making a great impression on visitors and potential business partners. Office lighting makes a statement about your brand, especially in areas like the lobby and the board rooms.
When products are illuminated by LED lighting, they become more appealing and make clients want to buy them. In a financial or consultancy setting, the lighting inspires trust and confidence. Imagine a scenario where clients and investors are in your office and the lights keep flickering or some bulbs don’t produce light – because they’ve burned out. How unprofessional will your company look? LED office lighting prevents that from happening.
Easy to Retrofit
LED lighting technology has evolved to the extent that you can easily find an LED bulb to replace any traditional bulb. You can easily upgrade from a conventional lighting system to LED lighting by simply replacing the lamps without changing the fixtures.
You can replace fluorescent troffers with LED light panels. For even better efficiency, your 32-watt T8 fluorescent bulbs can be replaced by 18-watt T8 LED tubes. They’ll produce high-quality light at a much lower cost.
Upgrade to LED Office Lighting Today
To stay ahead of the competition, your office design should be reviewed every five years. However, if you still using traditional office lighting, five years is a long time. Improving your office lighting does not necessarily mean that you buy more bulbs. Increasing the quantity of traditional light bulbs will only make the negative effects worse for office workers, let alone increase your electric bills.
Is your office still using fluorescent lights or metal halides? Would you like to enjoy high-quality lighting and also save thousands of dollars on energy every year? LED office lights will considerably reduce your electric bills and create a good working environment for your employees. Your maintenance costs will significantly reduce because the lights last for a long time.
After you install LED office lights, you’ll receive fewer complaints from workers about glare, eyestrain, headaches, and other problems related to bad lighting. And when your LED office lights have served their purpose after many years, they will not harm the environment upon disposal (with harmful chemicals).
To reduce costs & save even further, we recommend LED office lighting retrofit kits. These office lighting retrofit kits allow offices to keep existing office ceiling lighting fixtures but replace the luminaires with LEDs. These LED office lighting retrofit kits are a cheaper way to convert to LED in the office all while still gaining all of the benefits LED offers.
Talk to us about your office lighting plans and join several businesses across the world that are adopting highly efficient LED office lighting.
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Most lighting within an office comes from the office ceiling lights, making it the biggest lighting factor within an office facility. We ensure our efficient office LED ceiling lights, office ceiling panels, and office ceiling recessed lighting products are of the highest quality, allowing for an office’s biggest light contributor to be one that delivers quality lighting.
Commercial office lighting is critical to get right, and we are dedicated to help customize your LED office lighting system to your requirements, all of which will meet proper office lighting standards and regulations.
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