Lighting 101 – Eye Strain & Light Colour

Hi folks, I’m Jon Mullen the Energy Evangelist. Did you know that you can get sick if the lighting is not right in your office or workspace? 

Well-designed lighting improves the working environment by allowing people to more easily see and avoid potential health and safety hazards and by ensuring they can carry out tasks safely and efficiently.

Poor lighting, on the other hand, can be dangerous to your business by causing Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), which may include eye strain, migraine, tiredness or poor concentration of people working in that environment. This means that your employees will not be able to work as efficiently as possible. So the cost of your workspace is being wasted.

The recommended maintained illumination levels vary for different activities. So if you want to know more have a look at the notes. Also the colour of light can help for different jobs. If you are in a workshop doing fine work you may want a bluer more clinical light then look for a kelvin rating near 6000K. If you want a warmer light look for 3000k. Natural daylight has a 5000k rating 

I’m Jon Mullen the Energy Evangelist. Come and find out how to save more energy and more cash at

The recommended maintained illuminance levels vary for different activities. They are measured in the standard unit of lux, which defines the amount of light output reaching a given surface. Ask your lighting designer if they have worked out the appropriate maintained illuminance for each use of your lighting installations.

For example:

Maintained                  Representative Activity

illuminance (lux)     (examples)

50                                     Cable tunnels, indoor storage tanks

100                                   Corridors, changing rooms

200                                   Foyers and entrances, dining rooms

300                                   Libraries, lecture theatres

500                                   Engine assembly, laboratories, small retail shops

1000                                 Electronic assembly, supermarkets

2000                                Assembly of minute mechanisms, finished fabric inspection

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