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  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product CodeLG07/15
  • Number of pages113
  • Publication DateOct 2015
  • ISBN9781906846589

LG7: Offices (2015)


PDF Format







PDF Format






LG7: Offices (2015)

The office environment has changed considerably since the previous version of this lighting guide, LG7 Office lighting, was published in 2005. While the fixed desk remains a central part of office life, tablet and touchscreen computers are now commonplace and allow those occupying office space to move around, effectively carrying their workspace to wherever they need to be or feel comfortable working.

The need to accommodate this flexibility has brought significant challenges to lighting designers used to dealing with fixed scenarios. This guide now considers how to light office space for flexible use where tablets, smartphones and touchscreen computers are being used.

Energy reduction in the built environment is a continuing challenge and the lighting within offices is a major contributor to the energy demands of a building. Careful selection of luminaires and light sources along with appropriate controls can reduce energy demand. However, designers and installers can make a significant impact by talking to the people who will use the office at a very early stage of the design. By understanding their needs and work profiles, a more tailored approach can be considered which delivers the lighting they need using the minimum energy.

Speculative office lighting, and to a degree lighting for any large office, is still thought of as needing to be uniform across the office space. The notion of a working plane has been removed from this guide, with emphasis placed instead on the task area. 

Access to daylight in offices is known to be beneficial to the health and wellbeing of occupants. Where daylight can be used to provide illumination of an office space, designers should see to make the most of this valuable lighting source. In order to do this, designers will need to engage with building owners and developers at the earliest stages of a project. Regardless of the size and location of the office in question, lighting designers should seek to give the occupants an appropriately well-lit space in which to work.

This new edition of LG7 has kept the design flexibility of the old one, but has built on it to emphasise the need to minimise energy use while maintaining a good visual environment for occupants. It keeps a balanced approach to design options, covering, where ceiling heights allow, direct/indirect lighting or pure uplighting and, for spaces with lower ceilings, recessed downlighting. It has also maintained the extensive coverage of task lighting and daylighting techniques.


1 Introduction

2 Approach to designing office lighting

2.1 Introduction
2.2 The designer
2.3 Importance of understanding the office use
2.4 Scale of illuminance
2.5 Horizontal or cylindrical illuminance?
2.6 Modelling ratio
2.7 Client/user types
2.8 Working with known occupiers
2.9 Speculative development
2.10 Change of use
2.11 Importance of identifying the correct luminaire/lamp type
2.12 Coordinating the lighting design
2.13 Portable display screens
2.14 Web cams and desktop video conferencing
2.15 Hot desking
2.16 Reuse of equipment
2.17 Getting the most out of daylight
2.18 Energy use
2.19 Maintenance of office space
2.20 Illumination of walls and ceilings
2.21 Glare
2.22 Direct current power supplies

3 Office types
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

4 Speculative development

5 Daylighting

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Daylight factor
5.3 Uniformity of daylight
5.4 Daylight autonomy
5.5 The importance of early involvement
5.6 Controlling the effects of daylight
5.7 Refurbishment and conversion
5.8 New build

6 Electric lighting
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 localised 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 relocatable walls on lighting levels

7 Interaction with mechanical systems
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Cooling methods
7.3 Centralised cooling systems
7.4 Fan coil units
7.5 The natural cycle
7.6 Chilled beams
7.7 Integrated services
7.8 Air-handling luminaires
7.9 Integrated chilled beams
7.10 Impact on lighting

8 Energy use
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Things to consider
8.3 Assessing energy use (LENI, etc.)
8.4 The energy balance (energy vs well-designed lighting)
8.5 Environmental assessment methods
8.6 Legislative requirements

9 Control of lighting
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Control functions
9.3 Human interaction
9.4 Control for energy
9.5 Control for comfort

10 Tablets 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 High-risk task areas
11.5 Illumination of safety signs
11.6 Lighting levels for escape routes
11.7 Open spaces

12 Detailed room design information
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Primary office spaces
12.3 Open-plan offices
12.4 Deep-plan areas
12.5 Cellular offices
12.6 Graphics workstations
12.7 Dealing rooms
12.8 Executive offices
12.9 Secondary office spaces
12.10 Meeting rooms
12.11 Training rooms
12.12 Conference rooms
12.13 Board rooms
12.14 Reprographics rooms
12.15 Library/information centres
12.16 Archives/document stores
12.17 Kitchens/rest rooms
12.18 Sick bays/medical rooms
12.19 Canteens/restaurants
12.20 Circulation areas
12.21 Entrance hall/reception
12.22 Atria
12.23 Stairs/escalators
12.24 Lift lobbies
12.25 Corridors
12.26 Back-of-house areas
12.27 Security/building control rooms
12.28 Cleaners’ cupboards
12.29 Plant rooms
12.30 Modelling workshops
12.31 Lift motor rooms
12.32 Storerooms
12.33 Standby generator/UPS rooms

13 Practical examples of design approach
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Example 1 – large open-plan office with known furniture layout
13.3 Example 2 – open-plan space split into cellular offices with solid walls
13.4 Example 3 – open-plan space split into cellular offices with glazed partitions
13.5 Example 4 – conversion of a factory storeroom to an office
13.6 Example 5 – change of use from general office to informal breakout space
13.7 Example 6 – meeting rooms



British Standards
CIBSE/SLL publications
Other publications


Author: Simon Robinson (WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff)