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Push your chair away from your desk, step back and take a long stretch. And as you do so, you’ll find yourself being led by your body to the closest destination with natural daylight and sunshine pouring in. Be it an expansive office window, your balcony at home or the simple windowsill, lighting affects us in ways that are much too often taken for granted even as we naturally crave a healthy balance of it.

Give or take a couple of days of working in a dimly lit space, and you’ll find yourself soaking the sun in as you step out for a break. It’s simple mechanics. To stay happy, healthy and productive, we need a minimum quota of the real stuff pouring in.

As ways of working transform, there’s a common thread of wellbeing that connects every evolving trend. So it’s no surprise that lighting trends are undergoing structural tweaks as they evolve in tandem with these changing trends.

Here’s how:

  1. All shades of LED

Admitted, the MRP may read higher, but don’t be caught dead with the energy hungry CFL! It shows you don’t care for this planet. Shell out a little more upfront on LED’s whose prices have dropped dramatically over the last few years and you can make big savings even in the short run. Not only does LED lighting have a longer life, but they are also the ultimate ally for smart buildings.

Whereas design options earlier featured set patterns and aesthetics that held little correlation with the needs and wants of building occupiers, the LED revolution has facilitated direct/ indirect, layered, vertical illumination and supplemental task lighting for major spaces to your small humble reading lamp.

Not only does LED lighting solutions allow for flexibility and personalized configurations, their performance and colour quality are far superior. Allowing one to modify output and distribution, its economic, ergonomic and checks the box of being far more sustainable.

2.    Intelligent Lighting

The LED revolution has also set the stage for intelligent lighting systems. The data being captured by these systems creates value far beyond lighting itself in providing a map of how buildings are being used for owners to better optimize space.

Going forward, not opting for LEDs that can be IoT enabled would prove to be obsolete. Controls have become more integrated and approachable with dimming and colour tuning also being enabled via IoT systems, allowing for level and choice of illumination that one is exposed to, on a constant basis. Be it via smartphones or other handheld devices, these controls are entirely contactless and employ minimal cost by being wireless.

Brightening and dimming once cost a premium for fluorescent lighting. This is part and parcel of standard LEDs with most manufacturers offering such connected lighting packages. Not only does it have vast implications for saving energy and utilizing space, it also translates into improved user experience.

3. More power to the people

With design becoming people-centric, its only natural that employees are now being given direct control to choose the lighting set-ups that work for them. While lighting standards, historically, have taken into account task-specific lighting such as looking at screens, reading or communicating, it has often occurred at the expense of how it affects people with control being entirely systematized and out of the hands of employees.

So in walking the tightrope to arrive at a healthy balance, it’s important to accommodate the changing nature of work, tasks and employee needs, by letting them choose what works for them through personal configuration settings. With the environments that people choose averaging lesser lighting than existing controls and standards, it translates to higher energy savings for building owners and occupiers.

Apart from being sustainable, it also results in soaring productivity, creativity, job satisfaction and better mental health for building users.

4. Giving new meaning to daylight savings

Walking into your office on a Monday morning, the lighting sets the tone for your day. Do you put your bag down and find yourself embraced by dim surroundings? Or are you bathed in blinding white light, as it happens? Perhaps what you’re looking for, is soft daylight pouring in, accompanied by the artificial lighting needed to jumpstart your work this morning. One of the most underutilized resources, incorporating natural lighting in your office design can result in many benefits for the space as well as your wallet.

Enriching your space to become a calm and welcoming environment, it will also sit well with a generation of environment-conscious talent and clients. Not only does it boost productivity and revenue by default, it helps you hone in on that perfect balance of wellbeing, aesthetics and sustainability. So whether its windows, skylights or interspersed light, save on artificial resources by making the most of daylight!

5. Colour Tuning

While vast, expansive windows with ample sunlight streaming is something that would receive a unanimous vote if circulated as an option around the workspace, unfortunately not all buldings and workspaces naturally lend themselves to sun streaming in. But with tunable-white technology, you can almost mimic daylight along with adjusting colour, temperature and preferences to individual spatial needs.

Although nascent, this technology allows colour output to be programmed to match the colour quality of external daylight conditions. Applications of this light can also be programmed to be cooler in the morning and warmer towards the evening, to flow in tandem with circadian rhythms and promote better wellbeing, productivity and alertness throughout the day.

By simulating natural daylight especially in spaces that lack windows or open spaces, it balances and addresses the visual, emotional and biological needs of humans to positively affect human body rhythms and functions.

Lighting is the heart of the design; creating atmosphere, drama and intrigue in painting the vibe and depth of your office. So why not start on-trend with the festival of lights this year?

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