1STOP Lighting Guide

Lighting by Room: Office Lighting

A well designed space typically involves several elements: illuminating the vertical surfaces and architectural features, establishing a readily understood hierarchy of luminous elements, and clarifying the viewing and circulation patterns. All contribute to a visually comfortable and satisfying work environment, especially where human interaction is most common and critical.

Ambiance is influenced by all of the design elements of the lighting system. This includes the type of luminaries (direct or indirect, ordinary or special, etc.), the color of the light, how effectively the lighting system integrates with the architecture, and how much accent and supplemental illumination is used. And, of course, the result depends on how well the lighting is designed into the space.

Energy is the most important life cycle cost; energy-saving technologies generally pay for themselves within a very short period of time. Using electronic ballasts, compact PL sources in place of incandescent, optically efficient fixtures, and well designed controls all contribute to an economical lighting system. And, while any one technology may add only a small increment to performance, the combination often results in the use of fewer lamps or luminaries overall, which significantly reduces costs.


Pendant Fluorescent Luminaries

Task Lights/Table Lamps

Wall Washers

Accent Lights

Wall Sconces

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Methods: Direct/Indirect Lighting

Direct/Indirect lighting combines both downward and upward light distribution. As with indirect lighting, the lighted ceiling brightens the space. The direct down-ward light punches up the work plane and creates visual interest. Studies have shown that people prefer this combination - with its brightness, comfort, and some highlights - to either purely direct or indirect lighting. Fixture and installation costs are similar to those of totally indirect systems. Varying the proportions of direct and indirect light changes the effect. An 80/20 distribution feels like direct lighting with a gently brightened ceiling; a 20/80 distribution (properly called indirect/direct) feels like indirect lighting with some highlights.

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Methods: Task and Ambient Lighting

A good office lighting design includes task, ambient, and accent lighting. Task lighting refers to light aimed at a specific task, which may come from furniture-or ceiling-mounted luminaries. Ambient lighting refers to light that fills a space generally (and is often called general lighting). Accent lighting highlights graphics, artwork, or architectural features. A task/ambient system is one that includes separate luminaries for the task and ambient effects.

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Lamps: Linear Fluorescent Lamps

Linear fluorescent lamps are the primary light sources for office lighting. They feature high luminous efficacy, long life, good and consistent color, diffused luminous distribution, and low unit cost (for lamp, ballast, and fixture). Linear fluorescent lamps find frequent application in recessed luminaries, pendants, furniture-mounted task lights, and wall washers. Linear fluorescent lamps fall into three families, according to the lamp diameter: T5,T8, and T12 (the diameter is expressed in 1/8's of an inch; a T8 is one inch in diameter). T8 fluorescent lamps are the most commonly specified lamp for today's office applications.

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Lamps: Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Compact fluorescent lamps bring the energy efficiency and long life of fluorescent technology to smaller fixtures.

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Lamps: Halogen Lamps

Halogen lamps provide a whiter light, higher efficacy, and longer life than other incandescent lamps. Halogen becomes an effective choice in special areas, such as executive offices, conference rooms, and reception areas, when fluorescent lamps cannot offer the controlled beam, dimmability, or small size desired.

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Quick Links

Click here for more information about office lighting from our source, www.Lighting.com.

New Building Energy Simulation Program

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