TLP Lighting Designer, Emad Hasan, was one of 5 professionals interviewed for the February 2013 edition of Building Operating Management magazine. The article offers information and advice to Facility Mangers who are planning to take on an office space lighting design project. Insight from Emad can be found in Part 2: Solve Lighting Quality Problems by Letting Space Guide Technology and Part 4: Avoiding Problems with Office Lighting Design. Below are some interesting points from each section.
Lighting: Getting Office Lighting Right
February 2013 | Building Operating Management | Maryellen Lo Bosco
Part 1: Office Lighting Design Must Have More Goals Than Just Energy Efficiency
Less is more: That’s a good way to describe the guiding philosophy for office design over the past decade. Companies have trimmed the individual space allotted to employees, whittled away at the physical barriers between office workers, and reduced the overall environmental footprint of the space. “Less” has often been the guiding principle in planning for lighting systems as well. Trimming lighting energy use has been both more important and less difficult thanks to advances in technology, coupled with new codes and standards.
Part 2: Solve Lighting Quality Problems by Letting Space Guide Technology
One reason lighting quality problems arise is that technology sometimes drives lighting design, rather than the needs of the space guiding technology selection. Office spaces should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, says Emad Hasan, project manager for The Lighting Practice. For example, there’s a push in the industry to use LEDs, says Hasan, but another type of light might be a better choice in some instances. A lighting designer can help facility or project managers sort through various products and help them meet the requirements for light distribution, color, and glare avoidance.
Part 3: Brightness and Variety are Challenges to Office Lighting Quality
Getting a space to seem bright is essential to good lighting design. Because of new regulations, the amount of energy consumed by the lighting system has to be reduced. New technology helps get more brightness out of less energy, but it’s also important to pay attention to the rest of the space. In a holistic, coordinated design, light reflectance values of the walls, ceiling, furniture, partitions, and floor become part of the visual package for illumination, says [Stefan] Graf. Open spaces require light colored walls and partitions, because dark surfaces absorb light.
“The interplay between the lighting system and colors has a huge impact on the general feel and design of a space,” says [Lee] Brandt. “Light finishes feel brighter than dark finishes, and we prefer the lighter palette. Dark accents are okay, but if you have dark furniture, you should have light walls.”
Part 4: Avoiding Problems with Office Lighting Design
One tool that can help facility managers prevent lighting quality problems is a mockup. Mockups can be done when converting an existing lighting system or creating a new one. In a new environment, says [Emad] Hasan, a mockup may be done of a full office or a section of an office, and will include the ceiling system, partitions, and workstations. It is also possible to mock up a private office or one corner of an open office. Mockups add cost and time to construction, but they are preceded by a lot of design work, so changes in a mockup design are usually minimal.
“Facility managers want to see easy maintenance and a decrease in energy use,” Hasan says. “They may want to see how to re-lamp a fixture.” It is fairly common for project or facility managers to look at samples that will be used on a regular basis. “They may look at 4-foot samples of linear fluorescents, direct or indirect pendants, or recessed, 2-by-2, 1-by-2, or 2-by-4 fixtures,” Hasan notes. “These are bread-and-butter fixtures that a manufacture is happy to provide to the design team.”
Read the full article: Lighting: Getting Office Lighting Right