IES - RP-1
|Publication Date:||1 January 2004|
Offices are designed to house working people engaged in thought and in multiple forms of communication - written, visual, aural, electronic, and face-to-face. Office lighting should enable these workers to perform such tasks comfortably and effectively in an environment where they will spend one-third of their lives. It is essential that office lighting be included as a vital consideration towards the successful operation of any business. Although initial cost concerns often limit lighting design choices, business owners should understand that while $3.00 - $8.00/square foot might be spent initially on lighting equipment and its installation, and that electrical energy consumes $2.00/square foot annually, the cost of light is only $0.52/square foot. In comparison, the cost of salaries is typically $145.00/ square foot (see Figure 1). Research suggests that employees are nearly six times more expensive than the total annual cost of the facility they occupy. Since lighting affects people and their productivity, it will directly impact a corporation's profitability. Even when high quality lighting is initially designed, it may fall victim to the "budget crunch" where lower quality luminaires are substituted and/or the lighting layout is changed without fully considering the implications for the application at hand. The cumulative effect of an attempt to save money may well be to raise operating costs through diminished productivity in the office environment.
The primary consideration in lighting the office environment is providing visibility for visual tasks. However, both visibility values (quality and quantity of light) and aesthetic values (worker perceptions and mood) must coalesce for successful interior lighting.
Designing lighting for an office environment involves more than calculations and luminaire selection. Since feelings of psychological well being, interest, and enthusiasm, which enhance productivity, are affected by the environment, consideration must be given to the design of office interiors in an effort to create a stimulating work place.
I has become important for aesthetic, economic, and practical reasons, to consider the luminous environment and the lighting of visual tasks separately. However, these aspects must work together to provide an invigorating yet comfortable environment and good visibility. In smaller offices spaces, the same lighting system might contribute to both, but in larger, open-plan spaces separate luminaires are typically used to illuminate the visual task, the surrounding office environment, and accent art or architectural features in an aesthetic, energyefficient manner.
The efficient use of energy is critical to office lighting design and reductions in operating costs and environmental pollution are worthy benefits of a conscientious energy philosophy.
This Standard Practice provides useful, practical information on not only the technical issues, which current research and consensus opinion have advanced, but also information on design elements that can produce both a productive and pleasant environment.
Good lighting design practice recognizes that human perception is as important as numerical standards. Results cannot be judged merely by computer predictions, visualizations, or meter readings even though every effort should be made to use all available tools to ensure that envisioned designs become useful realities. The primary function of light in the office is to support work. Thus the ultimate criteria for an office lighting solution is how well it facilitates work performance and user satisfaction. No matter how pleasing, or how well it conforms to a set of quantitative values, if a lighting design does not support the work, it has failed.