Every company watches the bottom line, so it’s no surprise our blogs often focus on financial benefits of bringing new technologies into your business. But what about benefits that don’t directly show up on the balance sheet? New lighting technologies can help your workforce feel better and be more productive. Let’s review three of these benefits:
Reduced Eye Strain and Related Problems
Sorry to talk dollars again, but the lower energy cost of LED’s means you can produce far more light in a space for a given cost. And while incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with a high color rendering index (CRI) are often quite expensive, high CRI LED’s are not.
What does this mean for your workers?
- Eye strain is greatly reduced, meaning greater comfort for workers and fewer mistakes.
- Employees will experience fewer problems that follow from eye strain. According to a study by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), 30% of employees report headaches related to eye strain.
- For tasks requiring color matching/differentiation, high CRI light reduces eye strain even further.
Increased Productivity & Alertness
Studies consistently show a strong relationship between bright light and increased productivity. The right lighting also employees’ emotional states.
One factor of major importance is the presence of natural light, or artificial lighting that includes the blue tones of natural sunlight. Somewhere between 5 and 10% of the population suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), becoming depressed during winter months and long stretches of inclement weather. But as little as 15 minutes of natural light exposure leads to the release of endorphins, countering the effects of dim winter light.
A study by the University of Surrey found that workers on a “blue enriched” floor of an office building had significantly higher alertness levels later in the day than those on a control floor where there had been no lighting changes. Workers also reported improved sleep. The research team concluded that more “natural” light was suppressing the early release of sleep hormones and was helping their bodies operate more closely to a natural circadian rhythm.
When the ASID created a lighting system in their headquarters to address circadian rhythm, 25% of employees reported getting better sleep.
Advanced Lighting Controls Allow Adjustment
Speaking of natural light, today’s advanced lighting controls make it possible for your space to adapt to the outdoor environment. Sensors can increase the artificial lighting when conditions outside are dim, and decrease it when the sun is bright. This lowers costs on bright days, but more importantly, it increases the feeling of exposure to natural light, and thereby increases employee productivity and morale.