For a while now people have wanted to know more about the positive effects of LED lighting. Many studies have been conducted to find out how much LED lighting impacts the productivity and alertness of people at work and in school. Studies have even been performed on soldiers in the US Army to see how different lighting affects their productivity—soldiers show slower response times on cognitive tasks measuring spatial and verbal memory with fluorescent lighting instead of LED lighting.
In this article, we’re going to tell you all about color temperature and how it can positively affect the productivity of people while they’re at work. We’re also going to tell you what specific color temperatures are the best options for offices. Here we go!
First Things First: What’s Color Temperature?
Easily stated, color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin (K).
The color temperature describes how the light appears when the human eye looks directly at the illuminated bulb.Bulbs with color temperatures of approximately 2700K appear yellowish white. As the color temperature increases to 3000K and 3500K, the color starts to appear less yellow and whiter. Color temperatures above 5000K appear more bluish white.
Daylight Is Ideal
Here’s the thing, the best type of lighting that an office can have for optimized productivity is good old natural daylight.Unfortunately, there aren’t many offices, or any, that have constant access to natural daylight. Therefore, the next best solution is to mimic natural daylight with artificial light. The color temperature of daylight is typically between 5000K and 7000K. The daylight color temperature at noon is 5600K and sunlight color temperature varies depending on the time of day and weather conditions.
To give the perception of daylight, Superior Lighting suggests offices use light sources with color temperatures of 5000K or higher.
As you might imagine, the amount of blue light in the spectrum of light sources increases with increasing color temperature. Higher color temperatures have a greater impact on mental activity, alertness, and the central nervous system.
How LED Lighting Affects Us
Bright white light that mimics daylight can improve performance for people at work. In addition to aiding people visually and helping them complete tasks that are otherwise impossible to complete without artificial light, the brightness and wavelength of ambient light can also impact the human circadian system, biological clock, mood, and alertness.
Researchers have found that exposure to short wavelength or blue light during the day directly improves alertness and performance. Blue-enriched white light stimulates the brain,improves alertness, performance, and sleep quality. The intensity and color temperature of artificial lighting affects physiological processes in the human body, including: blood pressure, heart rate variability, and core temperature.
Is Fluorescent Lighting Bad for Office Workers?
For many years, fluorescent lighting has been the go-to solution for office spaces all across the world. Previous to that, the only option was incandescent lighting. When fluorescent lighting came along, offices where quick to adopt as it was a significantly cheaper option.
There have been many scary stories about fluorescent lighting, as when it was introduced there had been term studies about the implications. Rumors began to circulate that fluorescent lighting induced migraines, and that it caused sleep-pattern disruption. There were even rumors that it caused cancer. Let’s address these three rumors.
- Fluorescent lighting causes migraines. While it has been proven that fluorescent lighting does not cause migraines, it can make people who do suffer from migraines feel worse at times. People with migraines are very sensitive to light, and bright lights such as fluorescent lighting can turn a mild headache into a full-blown migraine.
- Fluorescent lighting causes sleep-pattern disruption. Normally, people who work in offices work during the day then leave work before evening and have some time before they go to bed. For such people, fluorescent lighting will have no effect on their sleep patterns, as the negative effect that fluorescent lighting has on the production of melatonin – which is a natural chemical we produce that helps us sleep – will have diminished by the time bed time arrives.
However, people who work in the evenings under fluorescent lights then go straight to bed may have difficulty sleeping, due to their lack of melatonin. Additionally, some studies have shown that florescent lighting can make people tired and sleepy during the day.
- Fluorescent lighting causes cancer. This rumor came about because it was found that fluorescent lights emitted radiation. Studies have shown that the amount of radiation (around the same amount as cellphones emit) given by such lights is nowhere near enough to cause cancer.
Is LED Lighting Better than Fluorescent Lighting?
LED lighting is definitely better for businesses as it is more energy-efficient, the bulbs last a great deal longer and the lights can be dimmed as required so they use much less energy. But is LED lighting better for people working in offices?
You have to remember that overhead lighting is not the only source of light that office workers are subjected to.Some offices do actually have windows, plus there are computer monitors, laptops, cellphones, televisions … office work can be a bombardment of light at times.
Anything that helps sap a person’s morale will result in them producing less-than-perfect work, and will leave them feeling tired and jaded. For the many reasons outlined above, choosing LED over fluorescent lighting will help make your office environment a more pleasing place to work.
It could be considered a no-brainer –making the switch from fluorescent to LED lighting is one of the best things you can do for your business, and one of the best things you can do for the people who work for you.
It can’t be denied that natural and artificial light affects peoples’ health. Purchase LED office lighting for your office location today. Find the perfect lighting style, wattage, and customization options you need with Superior Lighting today. Visit our website to view our entire selection of LED light fixtures. Reach out to our knowledgeable team with any questions or comments by filling out our online contact form.