Futureproofing the Workplace p3.1

Ergonomic, Economic and Environmental (EEE) Benefits of Dual Source Lighting

A.K.A Task/Ambient lighting introduces the idea of reducing the overhead lighting quotient within an internal space and supplementing it with energy efficient task lighting to every knowledge workers desk – when and where they need it most.

The control and flexibility provided to the individuals using adjustable, dimmable task lights has Ergonomic benefits as tabled in a laboratory study at Renssalear Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center – users,

  1. felt more comfortable in the room
  2. rated their tasks as being less difficult and..
  3. rated the lighting quality higher than than subjects who did not have similar control
  4. The same study showed that subjects consumed 35% to 42% less energy from lighting requirements

The Economic benefits stem from reducing the volume of procured overhead lighting. This saving can then be redirected to using the latest technology LED Task lighting that includes occupancy sensors – in combination with now reduced ambient lighting the economic benefits and return on investment are are substantial. LED’s last significantly longer, require very little maintenance/replacement over their projected 30 year life-span and ultimately represent significant bottom line savings. With an energy pricing crisis looming in SA it makes the below study that much more eye opening.

The Environmental benefits become self explanatory. Task lights (particularly LED based versions) have the potential to reduce energy consumption within the workplace by significant margins. As an example, the platinum LEED accredited head quarters of Vertical Screens has reported a 65% energy savings compared to a building built to standard code. (click image to download Vertical screens case study).

The environmental benefits are also measurable within the LEED environmental assessment model. Incorporating task lights in an office can help projects achieve LEED credits in the following areas:

  1. Energy Optimisation.
  2. Materials and Resources
  3. Indoor Environmental Quality, User Controllability

Take some time to do a small exercise. Multiply your annual energy bill by 30 years (the life expectancy of a quality LED task light) – take 65% off that figure – then remind yourself that Eskom is planning on applying for 20% annual tariff increases…..does the investment in LED Task lighting seem that expensive now?


  1. Computers have changed everything about office design
  2. Yet, we’re still lighting offices at pre-computer levels
  3. A dual source lighting scheme:

—> Ensures the right amount of light in the right place (documents)

—> Minimizes extraneous light where it isn’t needed (monitors)

—> Gives people of different ages lighting flexibility to accommodate their personal requirement

The result – significant ergonomic, economic and environmental benefits that we simply cannot ignore?

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