Lighting Design & Specification

January 5, 2018

A seven-month research project conducted by the University of Twente, VU Amsterdam and CBRE Netherlands confirms the relationship between people's working environment and their health, well-being and ability to perform. The “Healthy Offices Research” took place in CBRE’s headquarters in Amsterdam, involving 124 participants and evaluating more than 100,000 data points. Five influencing factors were verified as being crucial to support and promote people working in office surroundings. One of these factors is the right lighting, especially circadian lighting. The research team had commissioned Osram Lighting Solutions to install LED lighting and light management solutions required for the research project.

With more than 75,000 employees and 450 offices worldwide, CBRE is the world’s largest integrated commercial real estate services and investment firm. In 2016, the University of Twente, VU Amsterdam and CBRE Netherlands joined forces for a unique study on employee health. This multidisciplinary research focused on the effects of the working environment on employee potential and involved the departments of neurocognitive psychology, biomedical engineering and business. The Healthy Offices Research project measured the effect of changes in the working environment and health over a period of seven months at CBRE’s Amsterdam office, using surveys, experiments, biological data, movement daily ratings, and interviews.

The research team specified five changes in the working environment that would, in theory, have the greatest impact on employee health and potential. These five changes can be divided into environmental adjustments — Natural Space and Right Lighting — and healthy choices: healthy nutrition, mental balance, and physical exercise. 

Decades of research have shown that light can substantially influence our mood and ability to focus, and the most important aspect of good lighting is timing. Our brains regulate the body's circadian rhythm based on light cues from our environment. This circadian rhythm controls energy levels, mood and sense of wakefulness/sleepiness. When these schedules get out of sync, it can make us euphoric or manic, slowing our responses down. We become less alert and find it harder to focus. This can sometimes affect our perception, memory, and other executive functions. Interrupting or disturbing the circadian rhythms not only affects employees at the office, but it can disrupt the balance of chemicals in the brain. These changes can cause people to stay longer at the office but throws off their circadian rhythm during the night and days that follow.

Even though the lighting environment at the CBRE office met the norms for most workspaces, a drastic change was needed. To help promote healthy sleep patterns and energy levels, Osram Lighting Solutions installed a lighting system with a timer on a circadian-friendly schedule. Warm light in the morning, strong bright light in the afternoon and dimmed light in the evening. Light sources were directed to the walls to stimulate the sensation of light coming in through a window and avoid glare. The lights were almost doubled in brightness and, in the open office area, lowered from the ceiling to allow the indirect part of the light to shine on the right part of the face and avoid glare. All the lights changed from a yellow tint in the morning to a blue tint in the afternoon, returning to a softer yellow towards the end of the day.

Research results for lighting

The participants who were working in the “Healthy Spot,” the part of the CBRE office with the new modern light setting, perceived their work performance as 18% better. Furthermore, 

  • 71% of participants felt more energized
  • 78% felt happier
  • 78% felt healthier

Above all, the outcome of the study shows a 12% increase in accuracy and 10% difference in productivity. On the first day of the research period, the participants struggled with the new lighting. But they soon got used to it and reported that they were very happy working in that area. 

The positive effect of the new lighting was also evident when the office light was switched back to the old setting. In the afternoon, employees believed for a minute that the lights were not just dimmed but actually off entirely. It took quite some time for the participants to get used to the old lighting again, and it was also one of the first things they asked to bring back after the study.

Osram lighting specifications

Arktika Biolux, an ultra-flat and extremely efficient pendulum design luminaire with two different controls, was used for the office’s main general lighting. The LED luminaire can supply direct (4000 K) and indirect (6500 K) monochrome light, which is separately switchable and controllable.

Lunis LED is a new range of square and round LED downlights for demanding requirements, with modular design and many versions, and a high design factor thanks to a shadow gap. Lunis LED luminaires shine with high quality of light and high visual comfort, and have a simple clip system for mounting. Lunis wallwashers were used all over the “Healthy Spot” for high vertical illumination, and additional Lunis downlights, which are individually controllable per room, in the managers’ offices. The recessed RGBW spotlights in the ceiling of the conference rooms can be controlled wirelessly by Lightify Pro and allow users to choose any white or colored light for different working and communication tasks. Decorative round Lightify surface tunable white LED luminaires, surface-mounted on the ceiling, provided uniform illumination with different presets for morning (6500K), afternoon (4000K) and evening (2700K). The luminaires can be manually controlled by pushbuttons and also wirelessly by a Lightify Pro control system. 

Find out more: www.osram.com/ls/projects/cbre/index.jsp.

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Latest News

IES

 

The American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) has issued two reports related to nighttime lighting since 2012. The 2012 AMA Report CSAPH 4-A-12 report, Light Pollution: Adverse Effects of Nighttime Lighting, resulted in AMA Policy H-135.932, noting in particular the “need for further multidisciplinary research of occupational and environmental exposure to light-at-night”, the recognition of how interior lighting and the use of electronic media affect sleep disruption especially in children and adolescents, and the need for work environments operating in 24/7 fashion to have employee fatigue risk management plans in place. The IES supports the 2012 AMA Policy H-135.932. Read more: IES Report. . . 

 

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