How Does Energy Efficient Lighting Affect Employees?
Energy Efficient Lighting Leads to Better Light Quality
A by product of improving the energy efficient lighting is the quality of light in a facility. Newer technologies and efficiencies have led in the direction of a "whiter" light. This whiter light is a function of the kelvin temperature and the color rendering index. Both of these factors lead to a sense of brighter light.
Brighter light can have a positive impact on employees in many different types of working environments. Often we have presented the benefits of increased productivity but left it as an unknown and more of a possible outcome.
Whenever we improve the lighting in a facility, our main goal is to reduce costs related to energy. We always get positive comments, but the comments are centered on the improvement of working conditions by the employees working in the environments.
We decided to do some research to find out if there are any studies out there that support the notion that improved lighting quality can not only reduce energy costs, but also increase productivity. Here is what we found:
Shining The Light On Lighting Research In The American Workplace
Research studies indicate the effects of lighting on the circadian rhythm—the human system of the internal time clock. Several reports in the U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reveal the benefits and harmfulness of lighting in the American commercial, retail and industrial workplace.
The data from these studies provide support for the positive effects of light and its influence on human vitality, energy, mood, alertness and psychomotor vigilance as well as task performance. This information has caught the attention of business owners in addressing employee health and productivity through lighting.
Many businesses are now reaping the rewards by installing energy efficient lighting in their commercial properties.
Studies Reveal Employee Effects
The Kensington Technology Group’s research reports eyestrain as the leading cause for stress in the workplace.
The results from a study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) found 68 percent of office workers were concerned about the effects of the lighting on their physical health.
A study done by Cornel University found 24 percent of office workers claimed poor lighting as a factoring cause for loss of work due to eyestrain and discomfort. The study reveled a 2 percent loss of productivity per year for each individual surveyed. In terms of measuring this outcome, it was equivalent to one week’s paid vacation for each employee.
Perhaps one of the most significant studies would be the one conducted at the Reno Post Office. In order to save on energy costs, the post office set out to install indirect lighting to replace their direct lighting system.
Within one year of installing the new lights, they discovered that not only did the new system save on the electric bill but there was also a 6 percent increase in worker productivity; this up-tick paid for the new lights within 12 months.
Measure Your Light
How do you know if you have the right light for your facility?
The best way to analyze the light quality is by using a light meter to get a reading on the foot candle values of your facillity. That data can then be compared to industry standards for the environment your employees are working in.
Hovey Electric has the tools and expertise to help you measure the light quality levels in your facility.
Actually, measuring the light is a standard part of our Energy Needs and Safety Analysis that we perform for companies. Click the button below to schedule a time. Let's see if we can create a brighter, more productive environment for your employees.