The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the European standard EN12464-1:2011 Lighting of Indoor Workplaces recommends around 500-lx (50-fc) for workplace task lighting. LEDs Magazine reports that Philips Lighting has developed an interactive Facebook widget that allows office workers to test the light level in their office space.
Required ranges in office lighting can be significant. Research indicates that workers age 45 and over may need as much as two times more office task lighting than what is typically specified. Tasks requiring intense focus may require lighting levels of 1000 1x, whereas workers in creative phases are more productive at much lower light levels.
According to research conducted by Philips, 90 percent of workers who were allowed to adjust light levels and color temperature to suit their individual comfort reported sharper vision and improved eye comfort.
A number of LED-based lighting products have come on the market, such as Lighting Quotient’s workstation luminaire and Zumtobel’s floor-standing office luminaire, that allow for customized task and ambient lighting adjustments.
Deloitte’s Amsterdam headquarters is an example of best practices in individualized workspace lighting. The project uses Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology to supply DC power to luminaires and enable network connections to each. Workers can use their smartphones to set workplace lighting levels to suit their comfort levels, and the building management system can still turn off the lights when workers are not present.
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