Lighting Design Goals

Good office lighting design is a balance between the following three areas:

  • Human Needs
    • Visibility
    • Task performance
    • Visual comfort
    • Safety
  • Environmental and Economic Issues
    • Cost of lighting system ownership
    • Energy costs
    • Sustainability
  • Architectural
    • Lighting systems complement building design

Regardless of the space or area being illuminated, the design scheme usually employs a “layered” approach, combining the three basic categories of lighting:

  • General (also called ambient lighting),
  • Local (also called accent or task lighting)
  • Decorative

Lighting must help people perform their assigned tasks comfortably and efficiently. A typical office building houses people involved in a variety of tasks and activities such as:

  • Writing and drawing
  • Keyboarding text
  • Audiovisual presentations
  • Desktop graphics
  • Conferencing and training

Lighting must provide an environment that energizes people, stimulates productivity and quite simply “feels good” to the occupants.

Lighting systems must be flexible and adaptable to different tenants’ needs, functions and business goals.

Lighting should be controllable, either by automated building control systems or by allowing the occupants to manually vary light levels and determine where the light is directed based on task requirements, time of day, ambient light levels and tasks to be performed. Lighting illuminance levels in the spaces should be controlled based on the availability of natural daylight by incorporating “daylight harvesting” technologies.

Inadequate amounts of light cause visual discomfort and in some cases can compromise safety. Too much light can also cause visual discomfort and consumes more energy than required. The Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) publishes recommended illuminance levels for office lighting applications.

Lighting should help promote your brand image, by engaging and attracting prospective tenants. After dark, highlighting unique architectural elements, signage and ID, facades, thoroughfares will all contribute to presenting a positive corporate image.