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LG7 Lighting for offices (2023)
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LG7 Lighting for offices (2023)

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The office environment has changed considerably in recent years. Tablet and smartphone use continue to free people from their desks and present challenges to lighting designers. It is likely that people will spend some time in offices but that their working week may see them work from various locations, including their homes. As such, this revision of Lighting Guide 7 now includes advice on lighting for a home office.

The illumination levels recommended by this guide reflect those given in BS EN 12464-1:2021 Light and lighting — Lighting of work places, and guidance considers both the needs of individuals as well as the need to reduce energy use where reasonable. In the UK, office lighting levels should be provided at a level that is safe and comfortable, and allows an individual to carry out their tasks efficiently. The approach may differ for each project based on a number of factors. The approach is centred around providing a base level of illumination that is then increased or decreased following an assessment of individual occupants and use of a space through the application of context modifiers. This can be seen as a significant change to how lighting levels in offices are determined if considered across the whole office space, rather than as a prompt to consider individual occupants or tasks. 

1.      Introduction

2.      Approach to designing office lighting

2.1.       General

2.2.       The designer

2.3.       Importance of understanding the office use

2.4.       Context modifiers

2.5.       Scale of illuminance

2.6.       Horizontal or cylindrical illuminance?

2.7.       Flicker

2.8.       Modelling ratio

2.9.       Client/user types

2.10.   Working with known occupiers

2.11.   Speculative development

2.12.   Change of use

2.13.   Importance of identifying the correct luminaire/lamp type     

2.14.   Coordinating the lighting design         

2.15.   Portable display screens        

2.16.   Webcams and from desk video conferencing

2.17.   Shared desks and 'hot desking'            

2.18.   Re-use of equipment

2.19.   Getting the most out of daylight         

2.20.   Energy use   

2.21.   Maintenance of office space

2.22.   Illumination of walls and ceilings        

2.23.   Glare              

2.24.   Illumination for plants             

2.25.   Direct current power supplies             

2.26.   Internet of Things (IoT) and 'smart' buildings 

3.      Types of offices

3.1.       Introduction

3.2.       Self-contained office buildings            

3.3.       Mixed development

3.4.       Smaller offices           

3.5.       Shared office space  

3.6.       Areas where office work is carried out within other building types      

3.7.       Home offices

4.      Speculative development

5.      Daylighting

5.1.       Introduction

5.2.       Recommendations for daylight provision            

5.3.       Daylight autonomy   

5.4.       Climate-based daylight modelling      

5.5.       The importance of early involvement

5.6.       Controlling the effects of daylight      

5.7.       Refurbishment and conversion

6.      New-build

6.1.       Introduction

6.2.        The importance of early involvement     

6.3.       Refurbishment and conversion           

6.4.       New-build   

6.5.       Lighting styles            

6.6.       Providing services to luminaires          

6.7.       Lighting techniques 

6.8.       Designing with localized lighting         

6.9.       Designing with supplementary task lighting   

6.10.   Designing with direct lighting               

6.11.   Luminaire layout with direct lighting 

6.12.   Direct lighting and display screens     

6.13.   Designing with indirect lighting           

6.14.   Surface reflectance and decor             

6.15.   Design criteria for indirect lighting     

6.16.   Luminaire selection for indirect lighting           

6.17.   Designing with direct/indirect lighting              

6.18.   Luminaire selection for direct/indirect lighting              

6.19.   Designing with a combination of direct light and indirect light

6.20.   The effect of re-locatable walls on lighting levels         

7.      Interaction with mechanical systems

7.1.       Chilled beams             

7.2.       Integrated services  

7.3.       Air handling luminaires           

7.4.       Integrated chilled beams       

7.5.       Impact on lighting     

8.      Embodied and operational energy and carbon

8.1.       Introduction

8.2.        Embodied energy         

8.3.        Embodied carbon         

8.4.        Things to consider        

8.5.       Assessing energy use

8.6.       The energy balance: energy versus well designed lighting        

8.7.       Environmental assessment methods

8.8.       Legislative requirements       

9.      Control of lighting

9.1.       Introduction

9.2.       Control functions      

9.3.       Human interaction   

9.4.       Control for energy saving       

9.5.       Control for comfort

10.  Tablet and touchscreen displays

10.1.   Introduction

10.2.   Understanding how the office will be used    

10.3.   Personal or business use        

10.4.   Desktop touchscreens            

10.5.   Tablets and smartphones      

10.6.   Electronic paper devices        

10.7.   Fixed visual indicator displays

11.  Emergency and standby lighting

11.1.   Introduction

11.2.   Siting of essential escape lighting: initial design           

11.3.   Additional escape lighting      

11.4.   Standby lighting         

11.5.   High-risk task areas  

11.6.   Illumination of safety signs   

11.7.   Lighting levels for escape routes         

11.8.   Open spaces

12.  Detailed room design information

12.1.   Introduction

12.2.   Primary office spaces

12.3.   Secondary office spaces         

12.4.   Circulation areas

12.5.   Back-of-house areas

13.  Practical examples of design approaches      

13.1.   Example: Large open-plan office with known furniture layout

13.2.   Example: open-plan space divided into cellular offices with solid walls               

13.3.   Example: open-plan space divided into cellular offices with glazed partitions  

13.4.   Example: conversion of a domestic bedroom to a home office              

13.5.   Example: change of use from a general office to an informal breakout space  

13.6.   Example: Meeting room

Author: Simon Robinson (WSP)