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Commercial lighting, from production halls to offices, plays a central role in improving employee’s wellbeing and productivity. The requirements are regulated by the European DIN EN 12464-1 standard, based on factors like the function of the workplace, safety and the type and duration of the activity that will be carried out.
The criteria set out for good lighting includes a pleasant lighting environment, enough illuminance depending on the visual tasks or area of activity, light distribution and uniform illumination, minimum direct and reflected glare or haze reflections, and no flickering or stroboscopic effects.
The following variables are particularly relevant:
Limit values for the assessment of glare: UGRL
Uniform light distribution: UO
Colour rendering index: Ra
These standards and guidelines ensure the safety of employees, products and machinery.
Bright and uniform light in production facilities
Lighting in production line areas must provide optimum conditions for visual tasks in a safe environment. Uniform illumination helps to prevent accidents as it makes it easier for the human eye to tell whether a fast-moving machine is in operation or not.
Again, the EU regulation specifies lighting requirements for different work areas. For example, illuminance in storage rooms should be at least 100 lx, while rough work requires 200 – 300 lx, average requirements are a minimum of 500 lx and very fine work needs a minimum of 1,000 lx.
The right office lighting for efficient work
In the office, shadow-free illumination (UGR value) and fatigue-free light (colour temperature) are important.
Ideally, daylight should enter from the side and be directed to the ceiling and upper half of the room. This allows even distribution throughout the room and simulates outdoor lighting conditions. If artificial light is used, it should have a cool white tone to signal to the body that it is daytime which promotes performance and concentration.
It is well known that good lighting is essential to contributing to a safe and ergonomic working environment. By adapting the facilities and office lighting to suit the needs of the employees, the result can be a happier and more productive workforce.