Retail / Office & Commercial

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Efficient lighting for trade, office and industry

The lighting of the personal workplace plays a central role in the ability to concentrate and the well-being of employees - but above all it contributes to a safe and ergonomic working environment.

This is why expert knowledge is needed when planning the lighting of workshops, production halls, salesrooms and offices. After all, luminaires and lamps for commercial use are subject to clear specifications that hardly play any role in the private sector.

The European DIN EN 12464-1 standard regulates lighting in commercial premises - from production halls to offices and salesrooms. The specifications are based on a number of different factors such as the function of the workplace, safety-related aspects and the type and duration of the activity. According to DIN EN 12464-1, criteria for good lighting include aspects such as a pleasant lighting environment, adequate illuminance depending on visual task or area of activity, harmonious light distribution and uniform illumination, as little direct and reflected glare or veiling reflections as possible and the avoidance of flickering or stroboscopic effects.

In addition, attention must be paid to the quality of daylight as well as to suitable light colour and colour rendering. Ideally, the light can be dynamically adjusted to changing conditions.

The following variables are particularly relevant here:

  • illuminance: lux (lx)
  • Limit values for assessing glare: UGRL
  • Uniform light distribution: UO
  • Colour rendering index: Ra

These standards in the form of norms and guidelines ensure the safety of employees, products and machines.

DIN EN 12464-1 does not specify fixed solutions, because lighting can always vary depending on the location and the influence of daylight. It specifies the requirements in terms of quantity and quality of lighting for indoor workplaces and associated areas. It also makes recommendations for the implementation of good lighting. These provide guidance for planners and at the same time give them the freedom to try out new technologies and seek new solutions.

Bright and uniform light in production facilities

Lighting in industrial areas such as production lines in halls must provide optimum conditions for visual tasks and at the same time fulfil safety-related tasks. Uniform and good illumination helps to prevent accidents. For example, with insufficient illumination it is difficult for the human eye to recognise whether a fast-moving machine is in operation or not.

In addition, the right lighting ensures efficient and concentrated work. DIN EN 12464-1, for example, stipulates different lighting requirements for different work areas. In warehouses, for example, illuminance needs to be at least 100 lx, whereas rough work requires 200 - 300 lx. Medium requirements are a minimum of 500 lx and very fine work at least 1,000 lx.

In industry and the trades, interior lighting is often exposed to severe conditions such as dust, heat or moisture. Despite these adverse conditions, the fault-free functioning of each individual luminaire is essential. That is why attention should be paid to a suitable IP protection class when making a purchase.

The right office lighting for efficient working

In the office, shadow-free illumination (UGR value) and fatigue-free light (colour temperature) are important. For this reason, lighting design in the office should be based primarily on the amount of daylight available, because this has been shown to have a concentration- and health-promoting effect on people. Ideally, daylight should enter from the side and be directed to the ceiling and the upper half of the room. In this way, the light is better distributed in the room and simulates the lighting conditions outdoors. If artificial light needs to be added, it should be a cool shade of white. This signals to the body that it is daytime, thus promoting employee performance and concentration. Care must also be taken to avoid glare and annoying reflections on screens. Highly glare-reduced lamps or a lighting arrangement that places direct and reflected glare to the side of the employee are helpful in this respect.

Products presented in the right light - lighting in salesrooms

Salesrooms and shops often require sophisticated lighting design. Customers should feel comfortable and be inspired by an exciting presentation. Therefore, more dramatic lighting scenes and accents may be used here. At the same time, the focus is on true-to-life colour rendering (CRI = colour rendering index, measured in Ra) so that goods are presented appropriately. Particularly with clothing, for example in changing rooms, true-to-life rendering is a decisive purchasing factor.