The importance of lighting in the workplace can be divided into multiple categories, including safety, health, productivity, ergonomics, and personal choice. Among these categories is also corporate social responsibility, which is where the energy saving aspect comes into play. It’s beneficial for a manager to be able to say that they’re pleasing their employees while benefitting the environment. At the same time, they’re saving money due to lower bills and reduced maintenance needs.
LED, also known as light-emitting diode, is an energy-efficient source of lighting that is rapidly growing in popularity in not only the workplace, but in homes as well. According to Energy.gov, “widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.”
In the workplace specifically, energy-efficient technologies are easily found, and soon enough LED lighting will be one of the easiest.
The high quality of LED lighting allows workers to be fully aware of their surroundings, including small hazards that may cause a trip or a fall. Along with possible everyday hazards, there are unexpected emergencies. Emergency signs that are used to highlight the nearest exits are typically LED due to their clearness, brightness, and lifespan, and workplace LED lighting can provide the same. In the case of an emergency, it’s crucial that the officespace, stairwells and exits are well lit.
Lighting and health correlate in numerous ways. Poor lighting has the ability to make people feel lethargic and cause eye discomfort. It can even be linked to two illnesses, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sick Building Syndrome is an illness caused by an element inside the building. In this case, it would be lighting. Symptoms of SBS include headaches and dizziness. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a kind of depression caused by seasonal change, typically starting in the fall and going through the winter. According to Mayo Clinic, those suffering from SAD may use light therapy boxes to lessen symptoms.
When it comes to productivity, poor lighting can either decrease it by lacking task-friendly features, or motivation can be reduced because of the lack of brightness. Either way, productivity is negatively impacted and light can be to blame. Task lighting is important, especially today. People tend to work in different spots throughout the day, and task lighting allows them to do it in a comfortable, productive manner.
Ergonomics follows the productivity category closely. It’s the study of people’s efficiency in a work environment, which lighting most certainly affects. The way the overall workplace is designed, specifically lighting in this case, can either add ease to an employee’s job or limit them. Reflections, glares, shadows, and other issues alike play a role in negative ergonomic studies, while strategic changes in design show to bring positives. Beyond lighting, ergonomics focuses on relieving stress in other areas as well, such as seating positioning and the way physical jobs are handled. According to OSHA.gov, it’s about fitting the worker to the job, not the other way around.
With LED lighting, personal choice is possible. This may come down to what the person prefers, but it can also come down to the task. Either way, LED lighting allows different people to use different levels of lighting. Workplaces are now implementing individual controls that workers can control themselves at their desks. With this, productivity has the potential to increase, as well as overall well-being, making the investment more than worth it.
Corporate Social Responsibility:
As mentioned above, reducing energy is a major benefit of using LED lighting in the workplace. Making the change to LED is a corporate social responsibility effort, also referred to as CSR. Along with reducing energy, they help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which decreases the company’s overall carbon footprint. While environmental responsibility is a large part of CSR, employee responsibility is just as important. The benefits LED lighting brings to employees can definitely be marked as a CSR effort.
A well lit workspace has the ability to benefit the employees, the company and the environment. For those that have yet to consider LED, there are a couple ways to go about it. Existing fixtures can be altered for LED purposes or new LED fixtures can be put into place where needed. Contact a lighting professional to make a design plan.
Author Bio: Frank Capasso is the president of Valley Lighting & Home Decor.