New technologies and increasing environmental awareness contribute to exciting advances in workspace lighting.
From a technical and design standpoint, the widespread introduction of LEDs into office settings provides long-awaited alternatives to standard fluorescent and incandescent lights.
Additionally, tightened budgets and rising energy costs motivate employers to embrace energy efficient lighting methods.
Here are some lighting trends to look for in 2012.
Informed Decision-Making– ¨
With so many lighting options on the market today, professionals have become aware of choice. That means examining requirements to find the perfect lighting technology is easier than ever.
In short, gone are the days of “one- size-fits-all” approaches to lighting. Instead, look for companies to embrace individuality. Each workspace is different, and companies are increasingly looking at a variety of lighting choices to cost-effectively illuminate their workspaces.
Advanced Lighting Technology
Lighting is changing rapidly, and new government regulations are forcing companies to rethink how they illuminate their workspaces.
For example, although fluorescent lights are often used in offices, the rapid increase in both the quality and cost-effectiveness of LEDs has led to increased adoption rates. In 2012, look for even more LED options with improved quality thanks to advances in technology and new policies that push for energy efficiency and natural light.
As energy-inefficient incandescent lights are being phased out in 2012, CFLs and new LED bulbs will be prevalent.
Lots of Task Lighting– ¨
Overhead lighting can be grossly inefficient. Instead of lighting specific areas, overhead lighting is often wasted on illuminating areas that do not need to be lit, or only need dim lighting.
Task lighting eliminates this inefficiency by providing targeted light exactly where needed by employees. Furthermore, task lighting gives individual employees more control over their workspace illumination, which increases job satisfaction and productivity.
Task lighting comes in several options, including under-shelf lighting often found incorporated into modular office units. In 2012, expect offices to utilize more task lighting while eliminating ambient lighting.
An added bonus of task lighting: energy-efficient models are the norm. Under-shelf task lighting typically utilizes fluorescent bulbs or LEDs.
Bold Color to Brighten the Office
In an office world of grays, whites, and browns, employers are looking to add color highlights to office spaces.
Often a vibrant, free-standing task light adds a punch of color to an otherwise mundane office environment. As task lights are a low-cost and low-commitment way to change a workspace’s decor, they are perfect candidates for color.
Colors not only add contrast but can promote a positive, productive atmosphere in the workplace. Since free-standing task lights are also available in a variety of designs, they can instantly change the aesthetic of a workplace. Companies may also choose to showcase a characteristic color or design.
Natural Lighting– ¨
Finally, one of the best ways to illuminate a workplace is through natural light. Companies are increasingly choosing the sunlight in new and innovative ways.
Architects of new office spaces are incorporating skylights and windows in a variety of shapes. Look for open atria and floor-to-ceiling windows. Of course, as natural light comes at no cost, it’s an obvious choice for companies looking to limit their lighting costs. Additionally, contrary to harsh fluorescent lighting, natural light can help employees feel calmer and more at-home.
There’s one common denominator in workplace lighting trends: efficiency. Whether employers embrace artsy, unique illumination or standard, understated lighting they will be looking for the most cost- effective, energy efficient model to brighten workplaces.
Regardless of each workspace’s lighting requirements, 2012’s lighting technology will exceed expectations.