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Lighting Talks

The changing face of LED technology in the workplace

LED lighting is increasingly customisable and people-oriented, offering new technologies and high efficiency systems. Article by Giacomo Rossi and Giulia Gobino – LDT Lighting Design Team

Most of our day is spent in the workplace, by which we mean spaces where we carry out our work, such as offices, schools, factories, etc..

For this very reason, enormous progress has been made over the past couple of years in the design of these spaces, focusing on creating environments which promote personal wellbeing. Lighting plays a key role in this evolutionary process, as it is a powerful design tool which, when properly thought out and implemented, is able to provide both psychological and physiological comfort and wellbeing.

This evolution prompted the need to redefine the criteria for lighting design, whose job it is to interpret these new needs, and it therefore became necessary, more so than in the past, to critically examine lighting engineering parameters, taking into consideration the real needs of users and the design of the space.

Creating a lighting project for a working environment is possibly one of our greatest challenges, because while the workplace is designed to maintain production capacity, it also has the fundamental role of safeguarding the psychophysical conditions if all those who work there, making it a more comfortable place to work in.

Up to a couple of years ago, the approach adopted in lighting projects in places of work focused purely on objectively applying a standard (UNI10380 which later became UNI EN 12464-1), concentrating purely on lighting parameters which satisfied general needs, without actually considering the specific needs of each user within their working environment.

Times have changed: although the standard is still a valid benchmark, generally speaking there is a strong move within the lighting designer community to raise awareness of a more complex, people-oriented approach to lighting design.

This method focuses renewed attention on lighting solutions that do not create any kind of discomfort, such as glare, non-uniform distribution of luminance or reflections caused by video terminals.

Another important feature of the method is the possibility of planning the right light at the right momentAll this is possible thanks to pre-programmed adjustable lighting systems, or systems which can be controlled directly by the user, allowing greater flexibility when creating lighting projects which can be personalised and designed to meet the particular needs of the moment.

LED technology, and the great opportunities it offers, plays a pivotal role in this new design approach, as not only does it allow designers to come up with increasingly high efficiency systems but, more importantly, it offers greater flexibility in the management of lighting projects, miniaturization of lights and enhanced integration with the architecture.

One good example of innovation and LED technology is the OptiLight system which consists of an amazingly transparent polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) panel which distributes the light from a LED perimeter source in a perfectly homogeneous way, thanks to its special laser-engraved pattern. The light is soft and glare-free, providing total visual comfort.

The Optilight system allows designers to create LED lighting for flexible office applications and with its stylish slender shape (due to the materials used), it blends in perfectly wherever it is installed.

Today LED technology and continuous research have reached new heights and offer a host of high-performing solutions for critical environments like work spaces. If these solutions are applied as part of a complete project, they can really make a difference and stand out from traditional solutions.

www.lightingdesignteam.com

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