Opening your blinds, installing a skylight and switching off the lights are great ways to conserve energy during the day. However, for many businesses that remain open late, they aren’t effective ways to reduce energy consumption all the time.
The way you light your workplace has a huge impact on your electricity bills, your workplace’s comfort and, in many cases, even your productivity. The more natural sunlight you use to light your office, the more comfortable and productive it will be.
Since the sun isn’t always up and the environment outside your workplace may not always be brightly lit, it’s necessary to make some compromises when lighting your workplace if you stay open late into the night.
In this blog post, we share five simple but effective eco-friendly lighting tips that you can use to reduce your energy consumption and make your workplace a much more comfortable place to work, even when there’s no natural light available.
While old-fashioned incandescent bulbs might emit warm, comfortable light, they use far more electricity than other lighting options. On average, a fluorescent bulb uses about a quarter as much energy as an old-fashioned incandescent bulb does.
Despite their greater energy efficiency, fluorescent bulbs are far from perfect. Not only do they still use more electricity than other lighting options, but they can also create a somewhat artificial atmosphere that many people find uncomfortable.
A better artificial lighting option is to install LEDs – light emitting diodes – as your primary source of lighting. LEDs are highly efficient and use just 10% of the energy required to power a standard incandescent light bulb.
Do you work late at night? Instead of lighting your workspace as it if was the middle of the day, use time-appropriate lighting that only emits enough light for you to get your work done easily.
There’s no need to light your office excessively, as exposing yourself to very bright artificial light late at night can have negative effects for your circadian rhythm and make falling asleep more difficult than it should be.
Is every square inch of your workspace lit during the evening and night? When the sun goes down and the light levels in your workplace start to dim, it’s tempting to switch on every available light to compensate for the reduced brightness.
Instead of lighting every part of your building, only light the areas you need to work or walk in. Lighting in closets, break rooms and other rarely-used spaces should be linked to a motion sensor that switches it off when the room is no longer in use.
The more open your workspace is, the less light it will need. Open plan offices with large areas for working in tend to require fewer bulbs to remain fully lit than older workplaces with individual offices and cubicles.
Fewer barriers means fewer lights, and fewer lights means a significant reduction in your energy consumption. Switching to an open plan office also improves the effects of daylighting, since natural light travels more easily in open, unrestricted spaces.
Does your workplace feel too dark after hours? Use the old interior decorator’s trick and install a large mirror to reflect light from a ceiling light fixture or lamp into your office or retail environment.
Mirrors have a huge positive impact on both artificial and natural lighting. During the day, a strategically positioned mirror can reflect natural light from windows or skylights to make your office feel more spacious and comfortable.