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How to Transform Your Employee Experience with WELL Light Concept?

Light, a fundamental driver of both visual and circadian systems, holds the power to shape our health and well-being. While the choice of lighting plays a pivotal role in shaping the office environment, poorly designed lighting can significantly impact the well-being and performance of your employees.

The adverse outcomes of inadequate and inappropriate lighting at workplaces thus include:

  • Headaches induced by eye strain.
    • Discomfort characterized by burning sensations.
      • Reduced productivity due to drowsiness and lack of focus.
        • Impaired sleep patterns impacting overall health.
          • Increased fatigue at work.

            As diurnal beings, humans are naturally attuned to wakefulness during the day and restfulness at night. The WELL Light concept, therefore, recognizes this intrinsic connection between light exposure, circadian rhythms, and overall physiological health.

            Hence, let us first understand the WELL Light Concept as per the WELL Building Standards prescribed by IWBI.

            WELL Light ConceptImage Credit: Multinational Fashion Brand, Zyeta

            Understanding the WELL Light Concept

            The WELL Light concept, as outlined by IWBI, aims to create lighting environments that promote visual, mental, and biological health. It acknowledges that all light, not just sunlight, influences circadian rhythms, making proper illumination crucial for our well-being. Recognizing the health risks associated with circadian rhythm disruption, the WELL Light concept endeavors to address these concerns through thoughtful and strategic lighting approaches.

            The Nine Features of the WELL Light Concept

            1. Light Exposure
            2. Visual Lighting Design
            3. Circadian Lighting Design
            4. Electric Light Glare Control
            5. Daylight Design Strategies
            6. Daylight Simulation
            7. Visual Balance
            8. Electric Light Quality
            9. Occupant Lighting Control

            Each of these features represents a crucial aspect that contributes to the creation of an optimized, well-lit, and high-performance workplace.

            Now, how can organizations incorporate these principles into their workplace to foster a healthier, more productive, and energized work environment for their employees?

            Let’s delve deeper to understand these features of WELL Light Concept and unlock actionable insights to implement these in your workplace.

            Well Light ConceptImage Credit: Vanderlande, Zyeta

            Implementing the WELL Light Features

            Light Exposure

            Actionable Insight: Craft a dynamic lighting ecosystem that mirrors the natural circadian rhythm. Employ automated systems that adjust intensity and color temperature throughout the day.

            Example: Install tunable LED fixtures, seamlessly transitioning from warm hues in the morning to cooler tones during the day, promoting alertness and a smooth transition into the evening.
          • Visual Lighting Design

            Actionable Insight: Prioritize illuminance and uniformity to meet visual needs. Employ layered lighting, integrating ambient, task, and accent lighting to enhance visual comfort and minimize eye strain. For task surfaces i.e. workstations, ensure a Minimum Illuminance Threshold of 320 lux is maintained.

            Example: Illuminate workspaces with adjustable desk lamps, allowing individuals to tailor lighting for specific tasks without compromising the overall visual harmony.

            Circadian Lighting Design

            Actionable Insight: Embed circadian-friendly lighting by adjusting color temperatures throughout the day. Synchronize lighting with natural daylight patterns to support overall circadian health.

            Example: Incorporate tunable LED fixtures that adapt to varying color temperatures, fostering a work environment that aligns with the body’s natural rhythms.

            Electric Light Glare Control

            Actionable Insight: Strategically position fixtures to minimize glare. Opt for glare-free luminaires and matte finishes to reduce reflections on screens and surfaces.

            Example: Enhance workstation comfort by installing anti-glare shields on overhead lighting, preventing direct glare on screens and fostering a visually soothing workspace.

            Biophilia designImage Credit: WSP, Zyeta

            Daylight Design Strategies

            Actionable Insight: Leverage daylight analysis during the design phase to meticulously plan and zone spaces, taking into account areas with optimal natural light exposure.

            Example: Following a comprehensive daylight analysis, workstations requiring focused tasks can be strategically placed near the glazing. As a basic thumb rule, around 70% of all workstations must be placed within 7.5 m of envelope glazing. Additionally, collaborative zones and communal areas can be situated closer to sources of natural light, creating vibrant and inviting spaces. Moreover, to enhance this intelligent approach, daylight sensors are integrated into the lighting system. These sensors continuously assess the available natural light and adjust artificial lighting accordingly.

            Daylight Simulation

            Actionable Insight: Embrace the trend of flexible partitions with fenestrations or perforations to maintain visual connectivity while allowing natural light to permeate different sections of the workplace. Ensure that at least 50% of the regularly used spaces receive a target illuminance of 300 lux for 50% of the daylight hours in a year.

            Example: Integrate movable partitions with fenestrations in collaborative zones and meeting areas, ensuring the flow of natural light across various workspaces. This aligns with current workplace design trends, promoting openness, transparency, and the seamless integration of natural light into the office environment.

            Visual Balance

            Actionable Insight: Achieve visual balance by distributing lighting evenly. Integrate ambient, task, and accent lighting to eliminate shadows and provide consistent illumination.

            Example: Harmonize ambient and task lighting in collaboration areas using pendant lights, creating visually balanced environments conducive to team discussions.

            Electric Light Quality

            Actionable Insight: Invest in high-quality LED fixtures with superior color rendering. Opt for fixtures with adjustable intensity to cater to diverse tasks and individual preferences.

            Example: Illuminate workspaces with LED luminaires featuring a high Color Rendering Index (CRI), ensuring accurate color representation, and creating visually vibrant surroundings.

            Occupant Lighting Control

            Actionable Insight: Empower occupants with personalized lighting control. Integrate user-friendly interfaces or mobile apps for individual customization.

            Example: Provide desk-level lighting controls, allowing employees to adjust brightness and color temperature, fostering a sense of control over their work environment.

            In Conclusion

            In essence, light serves as a powerful force shaping our well-being, and its role in the workplace environment is pivotal. Poorly designed lighting can significantly impact employees’ health and performance, leading to issues such as eye strain, discomfort, reduced productivity, impaired sleep, and increased fatigue. Recognizing the inherent connection between light exposure, circadian rhythms, and physiological health, the WELL Light concept emerges as a transformative guide. Outlined by IWBI, it aims to create lighting environments that enhance visual, mental, and biological health.

            Connect with our team of WELL Accredited Professionals to make your workplaces WELL compliant. Illuminate your path to workplace excellence, where light becomes a catalyst for health, productivity, and innovation.

            Similar Reads:

            How To Achieve Employee Well-being with Spectacular Indoor Air Quality?

            How to Engage Your Employees by Improving the Workplace Thermal Comfort?

            As both an Architect and Architectural Journalist, he thrives on building unique content, with words and thoughts--as his brick and mortar. A natural-born explorer, he puts no limits on things he's passionate about diving into, be it cuisines, cultures or books. An avid fiction reader and a chronic over-thinker, he still finds enough time to be happy-go-lucky and easy to approach.

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