If I told you that you could improve productivity, reduce injuries and minimize fatigue in the workplace would you be interested? If I told you that the person who could do this is probably not someone you would think of in this way, would you be surprised?
This is someone that most employers never think of as a consultant but it could pay great dividends to reassess that presuppositions. I’m talking about a lighting specialist.
While most of us have heard of SAD (seasonal Affective Disorder) and pay a fair amount of time making sure that our home are properly lit, we often fail to transfer that knowledge to the workplace.
Whether we are talking about office workers sitting at a computer or workers out on the assembly line, making sure that the lighting is right can make a huge difference.
- One of the main complaints from employees working in front of a computer all day is that they get headaches and/or eyestrain by the end of the day.
- Proper lighting on the factory floor can help workers avoid accidents when the hazards, trips and falls become easier to see.
- Numerous studies have proven that the type of lighting can have a measurable effect on the mood and the amount of fatigue that workers experience.
- Lighting that has the full spectrum of color (lighting that most closely reflects outdoor lighting) has been shown to make a difference in the way that workers feel by the end of the day.
It obviously goes way beyond the scope of this post to try to solve all the lighting issues that need to be addressed in the workplace. Employers will, however, find that hiring a professional lighting consultant is an investment that is well worth it.
Especially if you haven’t addressed the issue of lighting in the past 3-5 years or so, you will probably find an additional benefit in the cost savings. Lighting options have changed dramatically in the past few years with lighting that is not only better and closer to full spectrum lighting but also incredibly cost effective to use, often costing only pennies a day. Because most of the new advances in lighting do not burn hot, the bulbs will outlast traditional bulbs by as much as 100 to 1 so that the replacement cost of bulbs along with the reduced energy consumption means that the consultation cost is very quickly offset by the savings involved.
I am not a lighting specialist but I do have a cousin who is (see http://www.illumlightingdesign.com/ ). I worked with him for a day last summer retrofitting a medical office in Southern California. At the end of the day, having installed several different options and demos for the employer to look at and evaluate, I came away amazed at the difference that good lighting can make. Looking at the numbers, in terms of cost savings involved, I was further impressed.
Do yourself a favor and find a local lighting consultant; you’ll be glad you did.