Better Work Environment with LED Lights

Updated on 05/29/19

Improvement in the work environment has been shown to be closely linked to increased productivity. Research has shown that up to 5% better workplace productivity can be obtained with better lighting, often enough to achieve capital payback in a period of less than 1 year

As per square foot employee costs are 8-15 times higher than property costs, investing in good LED lighting results in significant financial gains


Effect of Lighting on Workplace Performance

There are 3 primary goals of a workplace environment

  • To create an appropriate and safe work area
  • Provide an aesthetically appealing and glare free lighting
  • Save energy

Light is directly related to better turnaround time, reduced errors and better psychological well-being. Employees in better working conditions work faster with less errors. Although capital payback in commercial lighting is the fastest in the construction industry with one of the highest returns on investment, proper investment continues to be a challenge.

A study found that 20% of employees were dissatisfied with indoor lighting with eyestrain the leading source. IESNA recommends 300 lux (28 Fc) for offices, but it can vary depending on the work type, age of employee and light preference type


                 * Majority of workers prefer lux levels other than that set out by IESNA

As it can be seen majority of workers prefer light levels other than that set out by IESNA, although it is possible to provide for everyone’s preferences using dimmable LED lights and dynamic lighting control with scenes. Dimming offers 50-90% in energy savings when combined with LED technology

LED gains are not limited to energy efficiency, LEDs also have uniformity ratio of 2:1 compared with 3:1 of fluorescent, preferred by employees


Lighting and Management Priorities

A survey of business executives demonstrated that increasing workplace productivity is amongst the top priority of achieving forecasts, more so than company expansion as demonstrated


Lighting has a significant role to play in each priority

Major cause of workplace headache results from poor lighting

  • Increased Productivity

A study from the American Society of Interior Design found 70% of working top concern is interior lighting when reviewing the quality of workplace environment

  • Attracting/Retaining Good Workers

University study concluded good lighting improves profitability by 4-5%

  • Increasing Profitability

Cost Benefit Analysis

The effect of good workplace lighting can also be translated into real $ figures as demonstrated in a real life case study below.

Medium to large size office building

  • Building Area 10,000 (sq. feet)
  • Number of Employees 65
  • Average Occupancy (sq. feet/Person) 154

Based on a study by NEMA the following tables estimate employee and energy costs for a typical commercial facility


Research shows that effective lighting can increase productivity by as much as 3-5% and LED lighting can save an average of 25% on total power usages. Applying these figures to the human resources and energy operation costs calculated earlier we can forecast substantial savings



Although there are fair savings from reduced in energy usage of LED of $4,750, the real cost benefits come from potential gains to productivity, being in excess of $62,000! This shows that factoring in savings without productivity increases can be a gross estimation of potential gains by as much as 93% which can have important consequences for the payment period

Typically an LED project has a payback period of 2 years based on energy savings alone, but factor in productivity gains and it has payback in less than a month!


Productivity Savings
Energy Savings
Total Savings

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