Many people move through a building’s public areas: entranceways, lobbies, hallways and stairways. First impressions of office buildings are often made in the entrance lobby. The lighting in public areas needs to complement the architecture, provide a sense of safety and should be balanced as compared with lighting in adjacent areas.
Lighting in entrance lobbies should provide a safe outdoor-to-indoor transition, i.e. the ability of one’s eyes to adapt from outdoor to indoor lighting conditions.
Highly reflective lobby walls can be wall washed with light to provide illumination for the lobby and occupants.
For glass enclosed lobbies, the interior walls need to be at higher luminance in the day (to be seen from outside) and lower at night. Consider controlled dimming systems.
Public areas often stay lit for extended periods of time or round-the-clock. Consider the most energy efficient light sources.
Many of the internal public areas receive little or no natural daylight. Indirect light, reflected off of walls and ceilings will provide these areas with sufficient general illuminations and provide safe and easy passage for employees and visitors.
Secondary or fire egress stairwells get very little traffic on a daily basis and are good candidates for energy control systems that lower light levels when vacant.
Hallway illuminance should be about one fifth of that in adjacent areas.
Higher illuminance is recommended in elevator lobbies, especially over the elevator threshold.
Driven by changing trends in employee communication and networking, today’s open office environments need to be flexible, dynamic and ergo-centric. Traditionally, open offices were illuminated by a single lighting system. To meet the demands of the today’s open office plans and reduce energy consumption, lighting must be provided where and when it is needed, at levels suitable to the tasks being performed. The use of advanced interactive and automated lighting control and daylight harvesting systems add up to even greater energy savings.
Plan for a combination of ambient and task lighting.
Ambient lighting provides lower level illuminance for casual viewing, traffic circulation, and a comfortable, glare-free balance with the task lighting.Task lighting provides higher illuminance needed at specific task locations.
The lighting plan needs to be flexible. Consider the “transient” nature of work station locations. The planned layout for the tenant may change as they expand or reconfigure or when a new tenant moves into the space.
Consider a three-level lighting plan that combines:
Level One lower illuminance over circulation areas and corridors between work station clusters
Level Two intermediate ambient illuminance over work station locations
Level Three high levels of illumination at the work surface level for tasks
Most private offices are relatively small, have floor to ceiling partition and have a single occupant. Internal offices lack the presence of natural daylight and the visual comfort and stimulus it brings. The right kind of lighting goes a long way towards providing the positive effects of daylight and maintaining a high level of productivity and wellbeing.
Control of overhead brightness and glare may be less a concern than in open office areas unless the office walls are very reflective or there are windows at the top of the partition walls allowing light to spill into adjacent areas
Wall wash or cove light luminaires can use a wall’s reflectance as part of the general lighting plan, and create a feeling of brightness and openness.
When using direct lighting, consider desk location for proper task illumination.
Avoid using HID lamps in down lights for task illumination due to harsh shadows
Like the entrance lobby, this “gateway” area is another place where visitors form their perceptions about your company. The atmosphere should be welcoming and should reflect your company’s philosophy and the way you do business. Lighting sets the mood, from fun and forward thinking, to corporate and established. It also helps welcome staffers who pass through on their way to their workspaces.
Reception areas are primarily occupied by visitors. Lighting should be restful while providing sufficient illuminance levels for scanning magazines, taking notes, using laptops and conversing.
To provide restful illumination and eliminate glare on laptop screens, light one or more walls or the ceiling and part of the walls.
Accent lighting on wall graphics, corporate logo, pictures, statues, planters, attracts attention and makes the setting more invigorating and interesting.
If there is a reception desk and attendant, light that person’s face from luminaires on the ceiling in a manner that is flattering and eliminates harsh shadows from down lights directly above the desk.
Provide adequate task lighting for the receptionist.