be set to emit changing colour temperatures at different times of day. By imitating natural lighting patterns, employees can benefit from feeling more focussed and energised, resulting in happier, healthier staff with improved productivity.

“Crucially, what smart lighting delivers is an alternative to the ‘one size fits all’ glaring strip lighting often associated with British workplaces.”

Smart lighting also makes it easier to change the desired ambience in the workplace. Whilst most commonly the preference will be for a cooler lighting temperature to help employees feel alert, productive and focussed, there will be occasions when warmer lighting is required during the day as it can help promote creativity. This may be during project meetings or client pitches and during times of problem solving as people think through complex challenges.

lighting can also be of benefit where the requirement is for lights to be responsive and simply either on or off.

Cost and energy savings aside, when used properly, another major benefit of smart lighting is the huge positive impact it can have on the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace.

Light is one of the biggest influences on circadian rhythm – the natural 24-hour cycle of sleep, wake, hunger, alertness, hormone release and body temperature – experienced by humans. In nature, daylight changes from a warm colour in the morning, to blue during the day and then back to a warmer hue in the evening which prompts the body into knowing when it should feel awake and energised or more relaxed and ready to sleep. Exposure to the wrong lights at the wrong time of day can play havoc with this natural rhythm. For example, too much blue light in the evening can result in poor sleep, which in turn can cause low and irritable mood, whilst exposure to too much warm light during the day can leave staff feeling lethargic, unproductive and tired.

Traditionally, lighting systems have been limited to perform at one level but thanks to the development of smart lighting and LED technology, it is now possible to mimic the pattern of natural lighting inside, enhancing health and wellbeing.

RGB and tunable white LED lights offer millions of different colour settings and used in conjunction with smart lighting systems such as OCTO, luminaires can

Crucially, what smart lighting delivers is an alternative to the ‘one size fits all’ glaring strip lighting often associated with British workplaces. Daylight harvesting systems can allow buildings to maximise the availability of natural lighting, thereby reducing the need for electric lighting during periods of high-level daylight and ensuring adequate and uniform illuminance across the space. For example, in a space with significant levels of natural daylight, the need for electric lighting will be less, compared to areas deeper into the space where the natural lighting is either reduced or non-existent. Careful consideration of this ever-changing scenario as the natural component of the combined lighting increases and reduces can also maximise the energy-saving benefits of the artificial lighting installation.

It would be realistic to assume that to implement such a revolutionary lighting system, expensive upgrades or building work would be required, but one of the most impressive things about smart lighting solutions, is that the system is very easy to install and commission retrospectively. Many smart lighting systems are controlled and hosted on the cloud, so there is no hub or wiring to install, and many of the units are simply installed like a normal light bulb or switch – making it very easy to retrofit into existing buildings.

So, for the employer looking to create a positive transition from home working back to the commercial office space, smart lighting presents an affordable and easy tactical solution which can have a real impact on the mood, productivity and wellbeing of its workforce. TOMORROW’S FM | 43

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