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Office design trends: lighting for sustainability and performance

If you want to keep employees engaged and get the most out of your office space, it’s important to follow current office design trends. So what does the ultimate office space look like, and how does lighting fit into the picture?

Rigid workspaces – think rows of back offices, high walls that block natural light and permanent barriers between departments – have fallen out of favor. Much of today’s workforce craves public spaces, community seating and creative design. And when it comes to lighting, rows of run-of-the-mill fluorescent fixtures just aren’t cutting it anymore. 

Instead, many designers now view lighting fixtures as a foundational element of the overall design of a space. The desire for more open floor plans has revolutionized how we think about workspaces. That, in turn, has changed how we think about lighting offices. And thanks to LEDs, lighting has become an effective creative tool in the toolbox of architects, interior designers and other design professionals. As a result, we can do more than ever to meet the modern office worker’s desires and needs.

Inspired design

LEDs inspire designers to rethink how fixtures can be integrated into a space, and in many ways, they have revolutionized the way designers approach lighting.

Because the latest LEDs are so efficient, designers can pair linear fixtures with secondary layers such as accent fixtures and decorative fixtures. LEDs also offer a better color rendering index (CRI), better glare control and generally higher performance than alternatives. For instance, lobbies with high ceilings once posed a major challenge for lighting designers. But the optics and efficiency of new LED downlights are so impressive that designers can satisfy the foot-candle requirements for spaces that have double- and even triple-height ceilings – without sacrificing beautiful, decorative lighting that makes a statement.

Flexible solutions

Newer design elements like community tables and designated lounge areas alongside individual workstations and traditional offices beg for lighting solutions that are also flexible. That’s where controls come into play. Light has a profound impact on mood and performance, and thanks to integrated lighting controls, companies can create adaptable environments that suit different types of work, individuals and times of day. For example, users now have the ability to fine-tune the lighting at their own desks, and light levels can be adjusted in favor of daylighting.

Modern controls offer another major advantage, too.

Large firms, building owners and others have a lot to love about controls integration because of the inherent energy savings. Benefits like occupancy sensing and daylighting are great for the environment, but they also save owners and tenants money, because they make building operations more efficient. What’s more, interior designers get what they want, because they don’t have to sacrifice beautiful design in the name of more efficient lighting.

The modern marriage of integrated controls and innovative fixture design allows designers to create inspired offices and other workspaces. The result is professional environments that allow companies – and their employees – to perform at their best.