Lighting Design Term Paper

Pages: 13 (3838 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Energy

Lighting Design: Examination of Full-Spectrum Lighting Benefits

Studies exist which show that lighting in the office and workspace greatly affects workers whether in a positive or negative manner. This work examines the utility of a design of full spectrum lighting in the office and workspace and one that would includes a customized manual setting allowing users to choose the intensity of light at any time. Recessed lighting which is primarily found in the office environment tend to create a glare when the individual's eyes are focused on the computer monitor causing the eye to become overworked with sensations of burning and fatigue. It is extremely difficult for the eye to focus on a bright monitor and adjust to low intensity wall colors and recessed ceiling lights. It is a generally held misconception that the addition of wall lights for illumination of an office space are sufficient however, research does nor support this. This work examines full spectrum lighting in order to understand the benefits of this type of lighting system and specifically in office cubicles that have handheld remote control capabilities. Finally, this work will examine the impact that full-spectrum lighting has on the individual medically, psychologically, and in terms of employee productivity and effectiveness. In addition, by using full spectrum lighting, which produces a constant flow of power distribution as opposed to the regular neon lights that produce spikes and irregular power distribution of energy, the lighting system within the cubicle will be able to mimic natural sunlight very closely.


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The importance of this study is that this problem is often overlooked and because most of corporate America spends a large portion of their days in front of computer monitor, it is important that this problem be examined and solutions sought in avoiding problems that arise from poor lighting in the office and workspace.


Poor lighting in the office or workspace has been overlooked for too long. The installation and implementation of a light systems that has a full spectrum of light capacity for the individual office cubicle will eliminate health problems for workers in both the long and short-term.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Lighting Design Assignment


Traditionally the light source, reflector and ballast were that which comprised fluorescent luminaries. The most control generally offered to the user was perhaps a three-switch lamp setting allowing for three different levels of light but having only low, medium and high lighting options with nothing in the ranges in between the three. Contemporary lights is comprised of "new occupancy sensors, photocells, and infrared/RF controls are now being mounted in fluorescent fixture housings to allow 'fine tuning' of the lighting in an office space. With motion detectors and daylight sensors that are either remote-mounted or integrated into a luminaire housing, lights will dim and/or switch off when not needed. Depending on the technology selected, sensors may be programmed using an IR remote controller or administration software." (Knisley, 2005)


The work entitled: "Improve Employee Productivity with Custom Office Lighting" relates that federal and state energy legislation has made "energy-efficient lighting...[a] major component ion the effort to reduce the load and increase building energy savings. Since lighting accounts for more than 30% of electric energy use in offices, lighting control systems should be flexible enough provide the proper illumination for different tasks and respond to changing conditions within the space." (Knisley, 2005) the nature of today's workplace is described as one that is "exceedingly dynamic, with employees shifting among a variety of tasks during a typical day." (Knisley, 2005) Documents often contain very small print and even engineering drawings and other types of schematics and require high levels of lighting while meetings require medium levels of lighting with even a lower level needed for tasks at the computer. Individual requirements of light are different depending on the age of an individual, the vision of an individual, and individual preferences. Knisley relates that "quality light - illumination that can be described as comfortable in all office facilities - is important because it brings tangible returns. And that may include giving the light users more control." (2005) Knisley reports that new studies show that when individual workstation control is offered to employees specifically in terms of the level of light and thermal comfort that employees are more productive and more satisfied and that in fact employees are easier attracted and retained and have more financial success. It is important as noted by Knisley that any investment made in lighting has a solid ROI, or return-on-investment or in other words that the lighting system that will be invested in will have benefits enough to rise above the expenditure for purchasing and maintaining the system and in terms of more productive and happier employees. Knisley relates that comfortable and quality office lighting "can have a measurable effect on your bottom line." (2005) Harris Rothenberg LLC is a New York City-based performance-consulting firm, which replaces employee costs at a rate of: "...1.2 to 2 times their annual salary due to organization inefficiency while the position if vacant and the processing costs related to the new hire. The same research indicated that a new employee reaches maximum efficiency and performance after 13.5 months of employment." (Knisley, 2005) Knisley reports that in studies conducted in the office setting over a period of several years recently demonstrated that benefits of "having personal controls at the workstation.." (2005) a study published by the Light Right Consortium in 2003 states that both satisfaction and performance of workers is linked to individual workstation control. In the study reported by Knisley nine individuals who were "office workers in Albany, New York were subjected" to various lighting settings and then surveyed. Evaluation of the questionnaires showed "availability of lighting control in the workplace directly affected the workers' motivation on the job." (Knisley, 2005) This makes some corporations and organizations greatly desire to "pay premium for a personal lighting control" which enables employees to "tune the lighting according to changing tasks, their mood and the amount of daylight available. For these reasons, tailored lighting has the capacity to provide a significant return on investment." (Knisley, 2005) Contemporary light is comprised of "workspace-specific direct/indirect lighting provides both task and ambient lighting. The following is a depiction of workspace-specific direct/indirect lighting provides both task and ambient lighting.

Workspace-specific direct/indirect lighting provides both task and ambient lighting

Knisley (2005)

Currently there are two manufacturers of "...suspended linear florescent luminaire and a three-lamp direct/indirect luminaries is used to integrate occupancy sensing, daylight sensing and personal dimming which can be accessed remotely using a network communications system." The system is inclusive of "two four foot lamps and a program-start dimming electronic ballast (64 watts active power) providing the direct/task lighting."(Richman, 2008; paraphrased) Additionally an electronic ballast single T* lamp with 31 watts of active power comprises the component for indirect lighting. These types of lighting devices are referred to as a "workplace-specific luminaire, since a single unit can be installed over an employee's cubicle or private-office desk." (Knisley, 2005) This type of fixture is more costly than the standard T9 fluorescent luminaire and is one in which the designer is enabled to "achieve task-appropriate illumination with reduced energy use." (Knisley, 2005) Stated as typical for a 10 to 12-foot office is illumination is the following, which includes: "...a pair of two-lamp or three-lamp florescent troffers Assuming the use of T8 lamps and electronic ballasts, the power density will be about 1W to 1.5W per square foot. However, you'd only need to specify one three-lamp direct/indirect workspace-specific luminaire to achieve up to a 50% reduction in power density." (Richman, 2005) the report states that in the office area that is an open space that workplace-specific lighting has the capacity to bring about a reduction in the number of fixtures necessary as compared to spacing the fixtures in a uniform manner. Further, these type of lighting systems enable the building manager or engineer in tailoring specific patterns of sensor response. The example stated of this system is as follows: "Consider, for example, a typical situation during the work day: if the integral occupancy sensor of the workspace-specific luminaire doesn't detect movement at the cubicle desk directly below, the downlighting will automatically dim to off. Only the uplighting component of the luminaire remains on. Outside of the regular office hours, an occupancy sensor in the luminaire (or elsewhere in the open office) can be set to control both the uplighting and downlighting component of the suspended luminaire. The higher initial cost of a workspace-specific controllable luminaire is an important factor in a new or retrofit project. However, due to ease of installation and a reduction in the number of fixtures required, the luminaire can be price-competitive with a parabolic troffer system on an installed-cost basis and provide enhanced quality of illumination and appreciable energy savings over the system's life." (Knisley, 2005) Next examined are some of the individual control lighting system components that are separate lighting systems from the workspace-specific luminaire. One… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Lighting Design" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Lighting Design.  (2008, March 14).  Retrieved October 24, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Lighting Design."  14 March 2008.  Web.  24 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Lighting Design."  March 14, 2008.  Accessed October 24, 2021.