It is often said that a big journey starts with a small step. And this is the philosophy of our lighting design team. There is more to commercial and industrial lighting design than just shining light on a work space.
Lighting design involves the balance between:
- function and aesthetics,
- creating a welcoming atmosphere for customers and a comfortable workplace for employees,
- making an initial investment in fixtures and technology while considering long-term operating costs.
Did you know that lighting is the second largest usage of electricity for commercial businesses in Canada, behind heating & cooling? The lights are usually on throughout the day, especially during the short winter days in Alberta and BC and every light bulb contributes to big energy usage.
We are not saying to turn off the lights or to convert all fixtures to energy efficient lighting. With modern office lighting controls and maturing LED bulbs, we can still have a well lit work space with a reduced impact on the environment.
Commercial and industrial lighting is different from residential lighting because it has to provide:
- Function - Consist lighting levels to provide a comfortable indoor space.
- Safety hazards need to be well lit to avoid workplace hazards (i.e. stairwells).
- Security for employees, the public and equipment.
- Marketing - Outdoor signage is needed so customers can find your storefront.
Functional Lighting - If you find your eyes are getting sore and dry, it might be from uneven lighting levels. General office lighting level should be consistent to prevent the eyes from constantly having to adjust to different brightness.
Types of Lighting - There are three types of lighting: General lighting, Accent Lighting and Task Lighting for three types of applications.
- Accent lighting highlights reception areas and wall displays. It brings sub-conscience attention to special features.
- Task lighting is localized lighting that will benefit a desk area like a parts counter or a desk.
- General lighting is for the ambient lighting in the office.
Workflow - Commercial and industrial lighting should follow the work flow of your employees and business. For instance:
- An autobody shop needs bright lights in the shop area to see knicks, dings & dents.
- A dental office needs diffused ceiling light because the patients are usually looking at the ceiling.
Aesthetics - Lighting set the mood for you, your employees and your customers. It creates an visual atmosphere and subconsciously gives people direction. Did you ever notice that the comfortable lighting has a calming effect on people? What mood would you like to create in your office?
Marketing - Front signs are important so customers can find your storefront. How do you stand out from the roadside crowd and street lights?
Cost - Lighting fixtures are a one-time cost but the real price is the operational cost that accumulates year over year. Because lighting costs are not broken out on most electrical bills, getting some insider tips from lighting experts can save $1,000's in the long run.
ICS Engineering works with architects and building owners to provide design and onsite electrical consulting services. Your lighting plan will:
- follow the flow of your business,
- set the mood for your customers and employees,
- reduce the overall energy usage.
Contact us about a customized light feasibility study for your building.