Lighting at the Workplace

Any activity we do is going to need good lighting. In lighting it is important to know the quantitative aspect (the amount of light needed to perform the job) and the qualitative one. In these aspects the light must have diffuse and direct radiation components whose result produces soft shadows that allow us to perceive […]

Any activity we do is going to need good lighting. In lighting it is important to know the quantitative aspect (the amount of light needed to perform the job) and the qualitative one. In these aspects the light must have diffuse and direct radiation components whose result produces soft shadows that allow us to perceive the shape and position of the objects.

Avoid annoying reflections, which hinder the perception of details, and also avoid glare and excessive shadows, which are avoided only by placing the luminaire lamps or screens that hide the direct vision of the light so that they hide the direct vision of the focus of light and reflect a certain amount of light on the ceiling and top of the walls, which should be light colors to better diffuse the light.

You also have to perform a maintenance of the installation. If maintenance is not convenient, the aging of the lamp and the accumulation of dust on the luminaire screens can cause a loss of part of the lighting. Therefore, luminaires must be cleaned often with sufficient frequency to avoid the 20-30% decrease in lighting. The replacement of the lamps must also be done systematically, without waiting for them to melt. Incandescent lamps maintain their light efficiency until the moment before they are melted, but the same does not happen with fluorescent lamps, since these can continue to illuminate long after their efficiency has dropped significantly. Generally, after 1000 hours of use the efficiency of a fluorescent lamp may be below 75%.

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Lighting systems

There is interest in natural light, since it turns out to be more beneficial because it is of higher quality and well-being. Therefore, there is a current tendency to build premises so that natural light is obtained through large windows, roof skylights, etc. But, since natural light varies with the weather, time of day, season of the year, and other situations, it is important to have a surface light situation.

Generally, the most used lighting situation is artificial, since more uniform lighting occurs, usually with a natural lighting support.

They are distinguished:

  1. Uniform general lighting.

The luminaires (ceiling lamps: incandescent and fluorescent lamps) are distributed regularly throughout the premises, without taking into account the locations of the work stations.

The average lighting level should be equal to that required by the visual task to be performed. This type of lighting is used in places where work sites are not fixed, such as the assembly room.

This type of lighting must meet two fundamental requirements:

  • It must be provided with a protective device or structure to prevent glare.
  • You must distribute a fraction of the light you emit to the ceiling and to an upper part of the walls.
  • As for the height of the installation, the luminaires should be placed as high as possible to reduce the risk of glare and improve the distribution of light in the room.
  1. General lighting with localised support.

It is achieved by placing light bulbs near the work plane, which reinforces the general lighting. This type of lighting is recommended in different circumstances:

  • In works that require very critical visual requirements and, therefore, lighting levels equal to or greater than 1000 lux.
  • When the light needs to come in a certain direction.
  • When general lighting does not reach certain areas because there are intervening obstacles.
  • When more lighting level is needed for the benefit of older workers or people with vision problems.
  1. General lighting located in certain areas of the ceiling.

Distribute light regularly as general uniform lighting. The main difference is that the luminaires must be very well studied during the project because you have to know where to place them to get adequate lighting.

It is indicated for workplaces where posts or machines that require a high level of lighting are arranged at irregular intervals.

It is also recommended for offices (not on the work table, but close). The lighting of the tables must be lateral and not frontal, so we must ensure that the workstations are located between the rows of the luminaires instead of placing them under them.

Lighting conditions in jobs with data display screens

Lately, more and more PVDs are used, mainly in offices, which has caused health problems to appear. The most important alteration is visual fatigue, which gives symptoms such as tired eyesight, hypersensitivity to light, eye discomfort, conjunctive irritation, itching, tears, etc.

Therefore, it is necessary to control these screens with special attention to the lighting conditions at work. The problems are due to the fact that the data visualisation screens have been installed in the same scenario where traditional office tasks are carried out, without considering whether it is the right place or other lighting conditions are required.

Working with a PVD involves 3 types of visual tasks:

  1. Reading the text on the screen.
  2. Recognition of letters and symbols on the keyboard.
  3. Reading documents near the screen.


The readability of a text on the screen depends on different parameters, such as the dimensions and colors of the characters. But one of the most important parameters is the contrast between the characters and the background of the screen. This contrast is diminished when the lighting level of the workplace is high and the screen appears as covered by a veil. This phenomenon is called “veil luminance.”

Apart from the lighting conditions, another important aspect to comment on is the radiation emitted by a computer screen. In studies carried out in Sweden it has been proven that the radiations emitted by the computer screen are of little penetration power so that the radiations emitted do not exceed the maximum values ​​set by the regulations and are not considered harmful to health.


As for the keyboard, the light bulbs that are placed on the computer terminal can be reflected by the keys, since these are usually concave and the material is usually bright.

Accommodation of the eyes of the operator

When the document is in the horizontal plane, unlike that of the screen that is vertical, a continuous work of accommodation of the eye is required, so it is recommended to use a music stand that places the document vertically and also that document It must be at the height of the monitor, in order to be seen without sudden movements of the neck or eyes.

Here at Select Lighting we take pride in providing you with premium lighting solutions that are not only very functional but also visually appealing. Our products along with these habits can save you a lot of money while providing your house or business with extra decorative value.