How to Plan Suitable Office Lighting?

2023 04 06 15 40 10

Working in a comfortable office is lucky! Comfort is not just about a clean and tidy workspace, but also an important factor in office lighting. By using appropriate lighting, we can more easily concentrate, avoid eye fatigue, and efficiently complete work tasks. It is also beneficial to our physical health.

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We will share with you several aspects of office lighting solutions, including natural lighting, illumination level, glare, and more.

The Effects of Lighting on Human Eyes

1. When the Light is Too Bright

When the light is too bright, the pupil naturally shrinks, causing a decrease in the amount of light entering the eye. Long-term exposure to strong light can cause the pupil to continuously shrink, which can cause eye muscle contraction and even spasms, resulting in eye fatigue.

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Moreover, excessive brightness can stimulate the retina to produce after-images, resulting in a dazzling white light, which is also a cause of eye fatigue and myopia.

Additionally, excessive brightness can seriously damage the function of the retina, especially the macula, due to the presence of ultraviolet components in the light, leading to not only vision loss but also difficult recovery.

2. When the Light is Too Dim

When the light is too dim, the pupil dilates, allowing more light to enter the eye. To see objects clearly, it is necessary to move closer to them, which causes the ciliary muscle to contract, enhancing its focusing ability.

Over time, the ciliary muscle will become fatigued and spasm, resulting in eye fatigue symptoms such as blurred vision, eye bulging, eye pain, and headaches.

Short-term exposure to weak light does not have a significant impact on the eyes, but long-term failure to correct these symptoms will cause the diameter of the eyeball to gradually elongate, leading to true myopia.

3. Direct Glare

The light emitted by television, computer, and mobile phone screens belongs to direct glare, and the constantly changing characters on screens can stimulate the eyes and cause damage.

This can cause the eyes to be vulnerable to the destruction of free radicals in the body, gradually causing abnormal vision, dryness, itching, and pain in the eyes, as well as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal hemorrhage, and macular degeneration.

4. High Contrast Lighting

High contrast lighting can strongly stimulate the human eye’s visual nerves. Watching television, using a computer or mobile phone for more than two hours continuously can temporarily reduce visual acuity by 30%.

It is necessary to take a quiet rest after about two hours for the visual acuity to recover. In particular, watching color television will consume a large amount of visual purple in the eyes, which will eventually lead to vision deterioration.

5. Blue Light

Blue light is abundant in computer monitors, fluorescent lights, mobile phones, digital products, displays, LEDs, and other lights. The blue light in this wavelength increases the toxin level in the macular area of the eye, seriously threatening our eye health.

The harm of blue light to human eyes mainly manifests as eye pathology hazards such as myopia, cataracts, and macular degeneration and human rhythm hazards.

  • Structural Damage
    Harmful blue light has extremely high energy and can penetrate the crystalline lens directly to the retina, causing atrophy or even death of the retinal pigment epithelial cells.
    The death of photosensitive cells will lead to a decrease in visual acuity or even complete loss, and this damage is irreversible. Blue light can also cause macular degeneration.
    The crystalline lens in the human eye absorbs some blue light, gradually becoming cloudy, forming cataracts.
    Most of the blue light can penetrate the crystalline lens, especially in children, whose crystalline lens is clear and unable to effectively resist blue light, making them more susceptible to macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Visual Fatigue
    Because the wavelength of blue light is short, the focal point is not in the center of the retina, but slightly in front of it. In order to see clearly, the eyes will be in a tense state for a long time, leading to visual fatigue.
    Long-term visual fatigue can cause symptoms such as deepening myopia, diplopia, difficulty in serial reading, and difficulty in concentrating, which can affect people’s learning and work efficiency.
  • Sleep Disruption
    Blue light can suppress the secretion of melatonin, an important hormone that affects sleep, and is known to promote sleep and regulate circadian rhythms.
    This also explains why playing with mobile phones or tablets before sleep can cause poor sleep quality or difficulty falling asleep.

How to Consider Lighting in the Office?

When planning office lighting, we must pay attention to the following principles:

1、Calculate suitable illumination levels

The illumination level of office space needs to be considered so that the eyes are not damaged by excessively bright or dim lighting.

2、Avoid glare

Ensure the quality of the office lighting by considering the uniformity of illumination when planning the lighting scheme and maintaining brightness balance to avoid glare caused by lighting fixtures.

3、Balanced contrast

Balance the contrast of lighting to avoid the depletion of visual purple in the eyes, leading to decreased visual acuity.

4、Color temperature

Color temperature reflects human perception, and changes in color temperature can also affect people’s psychological feelings.

5、Lighting fixture selection

Healthy and long-lasting lighting fixtures maintain good lighting conditions in the space, and high-quality and efficient lighting fixtures can create good lighting while saving energy consumption.


The principle of lighting brightness is to ensure visual comfort and create an atmosphere. Higher illumination levels will be set in work areas to stimulate people’s alertness and activity. In rest areas, lower levels of lighting will create a more intimate atmosphere, which is conducive to rest and relaxation.

How to properly light up your office?

1、Consider natural lighting

Natural lighting is undoubtedly the healthiest form of light, as it is beneficial to our physical health and affects our circadian rhythm. We should make greater use of natural light, but at the same time, natural light can also provide more heat radiation. We need to protect the people inside the office from excessive sun radiation.

Although natural light cannot provide continuous visual comfort and lighting uniformity for the office, it is still a good choice as an additional form of lighting. Separate the environmental lighting from the work lighting.

When the natural light is good during the day, automatically reduce the brightness of the environmental lighting through sensors to ensure normal lighting while saving energy consumption.

Regarding the prevention of sun radiation, designs that face north or windows on the east side can be used. Fixed protection such as reflective glass or sunshades can also be incorporated into the facade structure, or movable protection such as blinds can be used.

Both fixed and movable protection will benefit from being related to the direction and height of the sun. Installing protection outside the glass window is preferred, as it limits the increase in temperature (greenhouse effect), which is particularly painful in small, excessively glazed spaces (the case with many modern offices).

2、Proper illumination

Different areas of office buildings have different lighting requirements due to their different functions. Here are the recommended illuminance values for each area as a reference:

  • Reception, corridor or intermittent activity: 150 Lx
  • Office work: 300 to 500 Lx
  • Conference room: 300 Lx
  • Laboratory, design office: 750 – 1400 Lx

3、Glare control

When calculating illuminance, besides considering brightness levels, the amount of light reflected from surfaces (e.g. ceiling, walls, tables) also needs to be considered. Improper reflection directions can cause glare.

Another factor that causes glare is the installation of lighting fixtures. The choice and installation location of the lighting fixtures can cause glare. Therefore, we recommend installing lampshades or rolling grids for lighting fixtures to avoid the light source being in the normal field of view.

The angle between the light source and the horizontal line of sight in the office should not be less than 30°. Lighting fixtures known as “low-luminance or very low-luminance” have the advantage of not becoming glare sources even in the field of view.

4、Balanced contrast

When we walk from one room to another, the difference in lighting levels perceived by the eyes can cause discomfort, glare, or a “tunnel” effect, which is related to the limitations of our visual adaptation ability.

In the work area, a uniform coefficient (the ratio of the minimum illuminance to the average illuminance) greater than or equal to 0.8 is recommended to make the light more uniform. One way to achieve this is to configure suitable lighting fixture spacing based on the lighting angle.

Color rendering index (CRI) refers to the ability of light to reproduce the colors of objects in space. Based on the standard of sunlight reproduction, the CRI value is between 1-100.

The larger the value, the better the color rendering ability. In office spaces, using lamps with a CRI greater than 80 can provide sufficient color rendering ability. At the same time, color rendering is also a factor in balancing space lighting contrast.

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5、Color temperature

The color temperature of the light source is usually determined by the lighting level. High-brightness light sources (greater than 500 lux) must have a “cold” color tone, while weak lighting (less than 300 lux) must have a “cold/warm” color tone. Therefore, we recommend using lamps with a color temperature between 3000 and between 4000 K are recommended for use in office areas, as they provide a good balance between warm and cool tones, and are not overly harsh on the eyes.

6、Lighting Fixture Selection

The efficiency of LED lights is no longer up for debate; it is widely acknowledged that this technology is far superior to any other lighting system, and can fully replace other types of lighting fixtures.

Compared to other types of lighting, LED lights do not cause environmental pollution, have a lifespan that is 5-10 times longer than fluorescent lights, and have higher luminous efficiency. As such, companies that switch to LED lighting systems can save energy.

7、Lighting Fixture Installation

In addition to fixture selection, proper installation is equally important. When installing lighting fixtures, glare must also be taken into consideration. Unless indirect lighting is used, fixtures should be equipped with anti-glare devices, which we will discuss in detail in another blog post.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the angle between the lighting fixture and the line of sight of the people in the space is not less than 30 degrees. If glare is a problem, one solution is to increase the use of lampshades or louvers to prevent the light source from appearing in the normal field of view.


Appropriate illumination, uniform light, good glare control, good color rendering index, and suitable color temperature are important factors in choosing lighting fixtures. By adopting an intelligent control system and correct installation of lighting fixtures, it can create a comfortable and efficient office space.

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The above are some suggestions on how to plan the office lighting scheme. We hope it is helpful to you, and we will continue to share lighting knowledge. If you have lighting needs for supermarkets, stores, offices, restaurants, etc., you can check our online store products. We will provide you with free consultation and lighting design services, as well as technical support from planning to installation and commissioning. We have a strong product supply chain, all products have passed CE, ROHS certification, complete product portfolio, 24-hour online service response, and faster delivery speed.

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