A recent study by Harvard Business Review found that access to natural light was one of the biggest influencers on employee performance, wellbeing and happiness. But what do you do if your office space can’t cater for this? For the majority of businesses, inserting a few more windows into the walls is simply not an option. Lighting up the room with LEDs is a viable alternative, with advantages for both the employee and employer – read on to find out why.
LED bulbs can be placed and combined in various different ways to produce desirable illumination. Their small size makes them extremely adaptable, with uses ranging from the classic desk lamp to the modern mood lighting. One of the most groundbreaking applications of LED technology is the creation of ‘virtual sky panels’, which were designed to replace traditional suspended office ceilings. The light-laced modules mimic the sky, producing a natural daylight effect and leaving employees with the sense that they can view outside.
Unlike incandescent and halogen bulbs, LEDs are capable of projecting a wide spectrum of “white light”. The soft tones of “warm white” and the powerful impact of “cool white” are the main colour temperatures available, but a variation of these shades can be achieved to cater for individual needs. LEDs also have a very high colour rendering index (CRI) rating comparing to traditional bulbs, which means they reveal the actual colour of objects nearly as well as natural light.
According to the Harvard Business Review study, one-third of employees wish they could manage their overhead and desk lighting at work. With the ability to operate at virtually any percentage of their rated power (0-100%), the brightness of LEDs can be controlled completely. Coupled with a wide range of colour choice and a vast array of applications, LEDs are the perfect solution to the problem.
LEDs use 90% less energy than traditional incandescents, making them the most energy-efficient bulb on the lighting market. As a result of consuming much less power, they have an incredibly quick payback time. The payback period for an office, newly kitted out with state-of-the-art LED lighting, will typically be around three years. Plus, with the added option to lease purchase the equipment, businesses don’t even need to front up the capital cost.
LEDs also have an ultra long life span, in some cases lasting up to 30 years depending on the type of bulb used. So, unlike daylight, they can be enjoyed 24/7 all year round.
Replacing ceiling-mounted fluorescent tubes with LED panels limit problems of dust. This is a common problem with fluorescent lights, which, due to their static electricity, both collect and spread dust around the office meaning they need to be cleaned or replaced every couple of years.
Safe and secure
An often overlooked advantage of LEDs is that they emit almost no heat, their cool-to-touch nature enabling them to be changed without the risk of burning. Equally beneficial for the environment, LED bulbs do not contain toxic chemicals (i.e. mercury), leading to a reduction in land contamination. They also cause fewer greenhouse gases than traditional lighting, as a result of consuming less energy, helping to preserve air quality standards.
LEDs in action
Putting theory into practice, Coulter Office Interiors replaced the traditional lighting at Ingredion’s offices in Manchester with LED Panels. This provided a greater spread of high quality light, leading to a significant reduction in the overall number fittings needed. As a result of the swap, Ingredion have saved approximately £2,600 per year on energy consumption, with a payback period of 33 months.
The bottom line
Innovative, efficient and safe, LEDs are the future of residential and commercial lighting. Whether you’re struggling with a lack of natural daylight or you’re simply looking for an alternative to traditional office lighting, LEDs are the perfect solution for you.
If you would like a free LED assessment, contact us today on 01772 702555.