Daryl Whiffen • Lighting Intelligence Sales Manager • Helvar
Most of us work indoors in an office environment. Lighting plays a vital role in how productive we can be. Inadequate lighting can result in fatigue and headaches, which can affect our performance levels. Wellbeing is one of the biggest workplace trends today and standards such as the WELL Standard look at providing the optimum levels of wellbeing in the workplace. With this in mind, lighting will inevitably change to meet the growing demands of employee wellbeing and productivity.
Lighting Control and Integration in Office Spaces
Walking into a room with the lights automatically turning on can be seen as the norm in many buildings today. Truly intelligent buildings maximise integration by connecting Building Management Systems, HVAC, Audio Visual systems, lighting controls and much more. Turning a light on is one thing, but being able to create a variety of personalised scenes, adapt colour temperature and intensity and even control the blinds at the same time is now an affordable luxury that can influence employee productivity and is a feature that is likely to become more prominent in working environments in the coming years.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence and Data in Office Lighting
Artificial Intelligence can collect and analyse data on behaviour patterns and predictions to help designers improve building environments and lighting. Utilising this data can generate significant benefits and value for occupants. It can help to create a more human-centric approach to light and the built environment. Increasing the wellbeing of occupants is the ultimate driver to use artificial intelligence to its fullest extent to tune lighting conditions.
An intelligent building collects and collates data on usage, system health and occupancy, which in turn can be used to adapt, improve and better manage spaces. Occupancy data can help to optimise energy consumption and reduce costs. For example, cleaning costs can decrease by knowing which meeting rooms are in regular use and which rooms aren’t at all.
By utilising predictive lighting, your building will always stay one step ahead. It identifies your regular patterns and routes and automatically turns on the lights as you go along. For example, if there is a meeting every Tuesday morning at 9 am, this repetitive action is something that can be planned for in advance. With predictive lighting, lights can be automated, and the HVAC can be switched on before the meeting.
Intelligent buildings remember spacial preferences, including preferred light levels and room temperatures — such as which meeting room you favour and how long you usually spend there. You can even tune the light settings on your very own desk according to your needs allowing you to manage the light settings you prefer. Data like this can result in a boost in satisfaction and productivity since we’re all happier in environments that are tuned to our own needs, especially if it happens automatically. Continually collecting data like this will create further ease of use and user experiences will flourish, providing us all with so much versatility.
So, how does your workplace weigh up in terms of today’s capabilities and do you see a place for intelligent automated offices in the future?