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New build office lighting

Lighting Guide, LG7 provides lighting designers with relevant information on how to set up the most appropriate lighting schemes for newly constructed spaces. If a space is undergoing a major refurbishment, this will have been used to determine the most appropriate lighting scheme for the type of activities being carried out in the space, as defined by the Department space users. Where only small sections of a larger office is being refurbished, reference to the Office Refurbishment Lighting Guidance provides information on the things that need to be considered when looking at changes to office layout, removal or addition of partition walls, removal or addition of office furniture, etc. Areas being considered for hot-desking, or for large use of tablet/touchscreen use are considered further on this page.

For larger schemes, the Lighting Guide outlines how direct luminaires can be arranged in a uniform grid to give a consistent level of illumination across a space or can be arranged in coordination with desk locations to give a localised boost to the lighting level on the desks with lower levels of lighting in between. Such a uniform system allows desks to be placed in almost any position and still receive the designed maintained illuminance which is generally 300-500 lux as given in Lighting Guidance for Offices.

Where there are changing work teams where spaces remain out of use for some time (which would include areas set aside for hot-desking where staff do not have a permanent desk but claim a desk only when in the office) it is permitted for a reduced background lighting scheme to be installed. To raise the lighting levels in these areas whilst staff are working at these desks, provision of relocatable task lighting may prove effective.

Where there is a mix of touchscreen desktop computers and tablets as well as conventional computer use it is difficult to provide a lighting design which will reduce reflections and glare to all users. Under these circumstances, defined areas would be more appropriate for tablet/touchscreen use, where the use of up-lighting may be the most appropriate option as a lighting scheme, whilst other areas remain lit by overhead lighting for conventional computer use. It is worth however noting that whilst such a non-uniform layout of luminaires can provide more visual interest in the space and concentrate lighting just where it is most needed, the space will warrant a fairly fixed layouts of desks and limit the flexibility of use. Such a non-uniform layout must be carefully considered at the design stage and those managing the office made aware of the limitations that this may have on its future use, or what additional lighting considerations may need to be implemented later.

See also guidance on Task (desk) Lighting or Office Refurbishment Lighting Guidance