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The Essential Role of Lighting in Business

Aigerim Berzinya
Aigerim Berzinya

What are the best conditions for employees' productivity? Proper lighting at your office can prevent headaches, eyestrain and help employees effectively concentrate.

Certain notable factors, which most people do not take notice of, make the workplace highly productive. Some of these factors include comfortable seats, water, an employee lounge, and a cafeteria. Others include proper lighting systems.

Having these amenities ensures the comfort of staff during working hours. Most of these amenities are highly underrated and are not considered significant factors that contribute to high-end productivity.

An example of such underrated factors, which has been of significant benefits to businesses, and employers worldwide, is lighting. Having electrical lighting in your business affects it positively in innumerable ways.

Of course, every business (and employer) are aware of the importance of lighting in a working area. The only problem is that most people are not mindful of the importance of proper lighting in their workplace. Not only does lighting help in productivity, but it also helps people feel comfortable while working.

Employers these days complain of inefficient lighting in work areas. Further, people, given the task of installing lighting tend to buy cheaper light bulbs. Others tend to place the light bulbs in a disadvantageous manner, which results in reduced effectiveness.

With that, let's look at the different effects and disadvantages of having improper lighting in the workplace.

Problems associated with having improper lighting in the workplace

Poor lighting refers not only to the quality of light but also the placement of lighting objects in workstations. Having poor lighting in your workstation prevents you from having a clear view of the task at hand. For workers, poor lighting leads to eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, an increased risk of accidents. Having too much illumination, on the other hand, could lead to safety problems, headaches and fatigue.

Inadequate lighting of a workplace could be due to the poor quality of the lighting material or improper placement. Most times, low-quality light bulbs are used in lighting by contractors to cut costs; other times, the lamp's quality has been compromised.

On the other hand, extreme lighting is caused by the intensity of the light. Most electric bulbs in the workplace need to have moderate output capacities. Your office or business unit's lighting should not exceed 200 lux, with a minimum illuminance of 100 lux.

When lighting is poor, it is hard to make suitable judgments regarding the placement of materials, footing and timing during movement. Some of the problems, along with their causes associated with poor lighting include:

  • Headache and eyestrains: The popular cause of headaches and eyestrain, in general, is poor lighting. When the lighting is too low, the eyes become strained. By straining your sense organs, and your eyes especially, you end up tensing your nerves, causing strain on your eyes, which causes your head to ache.

  • Body strain: Due to poor lighting, people may have to crane their neck or back to get a clear view of their task. As a result, the shoulders, neck and back can become strained.

  • Falling, tripping, etc.: Due to the improper distribution or placement of lights, workers will find it hard to find specific objects where they were placed. Inadequate or insufficient lighting could cause tripping or falling, which might cause significant bodily harm to an individual.

Disadvantages of poor or extreme lighting in working areas

Lighting affects business in several ways. To help you understand the need for proper lighting, here are some disadvantages related to poor lighting:

  • Low productivity: Bad lighting not only has high-end adverse effects on employees but on your business. Improper or inadequate lighting causes your workers to feel sluggish or fatigued, causing productivity and other problems in your work environment. 

  • Bad posture: Once your workers (or you) have acclimated to poor lighting, their body positions will adjust to it. Poor lighting thereby causes you and your employees to have bad posture. Bad posture can lead to back pain, neck pain or other ailments.

  • Accidents might occur frequently: Poor or extreme lighting causes strain to the eyes and body. Also, it distorts one's perception of the closeness, shape, depth, speed, and proximity of objects and equipment in your vicinity extremely hard to calculate.

Being a manager or founder of a business, it is your principal responsibility to make sure your employees and yourself are safe, making proper lighting necessary.

There you have it, the problems and disadvantages of having poor lighting in your business location. These accidents are not just caused by improper lighting but can also be caused by extreme light in your business vicinity.

Natural or proper lighting

Depending on the location and the business at hand, natural lighting is excellent. Natural lighting, like the name implies, involves using the sun.

Here are some benefits of having quality and adequately placed lighting in your workplace:

  • It makes you and workers more productive.
  • Good lighting sets the mood of your workers positively.
  • Proper lighting of the workplace makes the area look and feel larger.
  • It helps employees and visitors in avoiding accidents causing hazards.

Advantages of natural and artificial lighting

For businesses, lighting is essential. It makes it easier and more comfortable for workers to perform their tasks. Here are some of the advantages of natural and proper lighting over poor lighting:

  • Better performance and productivity: Having proper lighting, such as LED lighting, does not cause eyestrain, which can translate to better performance and productivity.

  • Reduced risk of eyestrain: Natural lighting, appropriately directed, also helps employees perform better. There is a lower incidence of headaches caused by improper lighting.

  • It helps in identifying hazards: Having proper lighting in your work area helps identify workplace hazards. And a well-lit warehouse or office space reduces accident-causing hazards.

There you have it, the advantages of having proper lighting over poor lighting in your work area. Most importantly, proper lighting tends to impress your clients and customers, making them willing to trust you and your business.

Factors to consider when choosing suitable lighting for your business

Here are some factors to consider when lighting your business.

Type of business

As stated earlier, the type of lighting used in businesses depends on the type of business you run and the products involved. For furniture, natural lighting, LED lighting, rather than argon lighting, is advised.

When you speak of grocery or utility stores, natural light is good but depends on the product's location and other factors. Sunlight, for instance, can cause significant discoloration to some products, especially those with polyvinyl packaging.

On the other hand, for botanical plants, LED, argon, or halogen lighting has no effect on them. The only fact noted is the excess heat caused by halogen lamps.

Office demographics

Office demographics refer to the physical properties your office possesses. Research has shown that young staff (between the ages of 21 to 36) have a higher chance of working comfortably in work areas with less lighting. Such a situation is due to their better eyesight, an advantage of their youth.

Older staff between the ages of 40 and 60, on the other hand, require better lighting to ensure their enhanced productivity. So, before you install light fixtures, consider your staff first.

Type of lighting to be installed

Choosing LED lighting over other forms of lighting is an essential means of increasing productivity. It helps businesses in saving money due to their long lifespan and also requires less maintenance.

For better performance and accommodation, LED lighting is suitable for businesses. It is environmentally friendly compared to ILB, halogen and CFL lighting. Using the appropriate LED lighting quality will stop flickering, glare, and reduce the number of dark corners in the working area. Also, LED lights bring out the color of materials and have no adverse effects on users.

Proper placing of lighting fixtures

The placement of lighting fixtures in a workstation is essential. Sometimes, improper installation could result in the distraction, strain, and temporal depression of employees, which leads to low productivity. For convenience, and to improve productivity, fixtures should be adequately covered. When using natural light, workers should avoid polished surfaces, which can be a significant source of reflected glare, causing discomfort and fatigue.

Lighting standards in the workplace

These are different lighting intensities, which have been used for the standards required for various workplaces.

  • Lorry parks, corridors and circular routes should be 20 lux; the minimum is 5 lux.
  • Construction site clearance, excavation, soil work as well as loading bays, bottling, and canning plants should be 50 lux      
  • Kitchens, factories assembling significant components, potteries should be 100 lux; the minimum is 50 lux.
  • Offices, sheet metal work, and bookbinding should be 200 lux; the minimum is 100 lux.
  • Drawing shops, factories, assembling electronic components should be 500 lux; the minimum is 200.                   

There you have it. The importance of lighting in the business world! Having proper lighting in your business will boost productivity and ensure that your customers are comfortable and even feel accommodated whenever they visit your business location.

Parting advice

Lighting is essential in business. Improper lighting affects workers' productivity, which affects them and you and your potential customers. On the other hand, proper lighting is of great benefit to employers, especially when LED lighting is introduced. In summary, to light your workplace, you have to ensure you have natural lighting e.g., the sun, entering the work area while choosing the appropriate paintings for walls, and position for lighting sources, for better avoidance of glare.

When selecting lighting, using the most appropriate devices will ensure maximum productivity. Also, ensure that your fixtures are regularly and properly cleaned to ensure their long life.

Image Credit: sl-f / Getty Images
Aigerim Berzinya
Aigerim Berzinya Member
Aigerim Berzinya is the Marketing Director at Turtler GPS Ltd. and as the company's globetrotting backpacker uses the app and SHELL device while hiking abroad or in the mountains to stay connected and safe. She has a Master`s Degree in Social Sciences. Aigerim worked for QSI International School for 4 years as an Assistant to Director and a Preschool Manager for a year.