offices lighting design

Good offices lighting design enables the occupants to perform their work efficiently without strain or fatigue.

offices lighting design

Common for all room types

  • A dim lighting level on the floors can be compensated by a perception of brightness by illuminating the walls e. g. by wall-washers – this will define the whole space and helps with alertness.
  • With daylight access, automatic lighting control may provide large savings. Sun blinds or curtains shall only be used when it is necessary.
  • In case downlighters are used as ceiling lighting , then luminaires with low glare should be used.


  • The reception area forms the first impression for visitors, and must support the organisation’s image architecturally and appear bright and welcoming.
  • Combine general and localised lighting with dedicated luminaires at work stations and lower (but sufficient) broad light distribution across the entire area..
  • Built-in LED lighting can be used under reception desks.
  • Pendant lighting used over the counter and alongside visitors’ chairs creates small pools of light that contribute to the ambience..
  • It is very important that the reception staff can see arriving guests in the entrance very clearly and not as silhouettes against bright daylight or artificial light. It is also important that guests can easily see the reception staff.
  • A dim lighting level on floors may be compensated by a perception of brightness by illuminating the walls e. g. by wall-washers – this will define the whole space.
  • Entrances are light transitions zones – hence a gradual change of the lighting starting outside the building (from daylight or later total darkness) maybe necessary. LED lighting systems can provide this with automatic controls.


  • Make a furnishing plan and select the optimal offices lighting design depending on the size of the room, the number of work places, the type of work and the amount of daylight.
  • Especially for very large offices, it may be desirable to create small “recreation islands” with cosy lighting for inspiration, relaxation and small discussions.
  • The task area may be illuminated by general lighting or dedicated luminaires. A higher work plane illumination is recommended for two main reasons: The occupant’s eyes and attention are automatically drawn to areas with more light, and reducing light in the surrounding areas decreases energy consumption effectively compared to higher task lighting from ceiling mounted luminaires.
  • Task lighting should come from the opposite side to the occupant’s dominant hand.
  • Intensive DSE work should be carried out 2 – 3 meters from the windows.
  • For DSE work asymmetric lighting from the work lamps is a benefit.
  • Work tables and DSEs should, where possible be placed with screen surfaces perpendicular to the windows to avoid mirroring of windows in screens and high contrast to the outside view.
  • In deep office spaces, zonal control and daylight sensor automation can be used to switch off rows of general lighting near the windows.
  • For the general lighting, it is often a benefit to install presence sensor controls, especially in spaces that are not used constantly.
  • For general lighting, manual onset (as well as automatic off-set) on a dimmed level is an effective energy saving option. Manual on-set forces occupants to choose a proper lighting level and this provides a sense of personal control.

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