Europeans call for better workplace lighting
Most Europeans are not satisfied with their workplace lighting, with suggestions for improvements including personalisation, automation and adjustability.
A pan-European survey, conducted as part of the Repro-light project by consortium members Bartenbach GmbH and Mondragon University, asked 1100 workers across Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria what changes they would like to see in their working environment’s lighting that could improve their productivity, mood and performance.
It found that 56% of end users would like better workplace lighting, particularly women and workers over 50. These figures are high considering this lighting should follow a strict lighting design code (eg, EN. 12464-1), which guarantees factors such as brightness levels.
This suggests personalised lighting is needed to satisfy all users. The survey report stated: “We hypothesize, that other factors of workplace lighting (e.g. adaptability of light levels and light colours), not integrated in current lighting standards, could be driving factors behind the wish for an improved workplace lighting.”
There was also a higher preference for improved lighting for those who worked predominantly in a fixed place, with higher visual demands and less control over the lighting. For example, 45% of those who already used electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones reported they “totally disagreed” that workplace lighting should be improved. But the report warned this does not mean electronic devices for lighting control would increase satisfaction, as it could be dependent on the age of the lighting installation.
Half of respondents, particularly workers under 30, placed emphasis on the physical luminaire aesthetics, 80% wanted lighting which automatically adapts to personal needs, 72% said their lighting should be changed with varying working activities and 79% wanted their work light to change colour when it becomes dark outside.
An overwhelming majority also believed that light influenced their mood and work performance. Over 90% believed it impacts their mood, 87% said it affects their performance and 92% said it influences their vigilance in the workplace.
The results suggest that people are demanding lighting that boosts productivity and general wellbeing in the working environments, both in industrial spaces and in offices. The survey report concluded there were 11 requirements that could be derived for personalisation, including: providing easy-to-use interfaces; ability to adapt brightness and colour; “owned” workplaces and aged eyes need personalised lighting; and integrating daylight in personalised designs.
However, the survey was only part of the first phase of the Repro-light project, and it will be moving on to investigation and design iteration to develop a ‘Luminaire of the Future’ that aims to meet users’ needs.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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