Every organization has a place (or often several) where they hold meetings and other important gatherings. But what many organizations don’t realize is how important the design of this space is to the work that gets done. In particular, the lighting of the room can either facilitate productivity or hinder it. How do you gauge the optimal lighting for your purposes?
Here are 6 important considerations for lighting design in meeting spaces.
Room Size. How many people does the meeting space accommodate? Is it a small conference room or a large lecture hall? The size of the room is one of the most important considerations for lighting design in meeting spaces.
Energy Conservation. The more bulbs you have in the space, the more energy you’ll use. Think about ways to light the room without wasting so much energy. Large windows can help, but sunlight also fluctuates throughout the day, giving you less control over the light levels in the space. Consider using LED bulbs or other energy-saving lighting methods.
Use of Technology. Will you be using a projection screen in this room? Will people be using their laptops, tablets, or other devices? It’s important that the lighting in the space not reflect off of devices or overwhelm the projection screen, making the content difficult to see. Test your light levels based on what you plan on using the room for and the technology it will need to accommodate.
Proper Brightness. If light levels are too low, it can make people drowsy during the meeting. On the other hand, if the lights are too bright, it’s distracting, making people restless. Also consider proper light levels for taking notes and reading handouts or other materials, and the fact that people whose eyes aren’t as good may require slightly more light for those purposes. Do some testing of your light levels to make sure you have the ideal brightness for the room.
Lighting Control. There are all different ways of controlling a room’s lighting levels. You can have a series of switches, each controlling a small section of lights, allowing you to turn on just enough to get the level you need. You can have a dimmer switch that lets you adjust the levels of all the lights at once. For a large enough space, you can even have a lighting board that adjusts different sections individually to give you the perfect level for your purposes.
Safety. How dark does the space get without light? How easy is it to find the lighting controls in the dark? Going through the space in the dark can lead to accidents and subsequent lawsuits. Many organizations arrange it so no one can enter an entirely dark room. They’ll have motion sensors that turn on the lights just before someone enters, or pilot lights that are always on, providing just enough light to navigate and find the switch. Alternately, you could simply put one of the light switches outside the door, so people can turn it on manually as they go in.
There are a number of other important considerations for lighting design in meeting spaces. The right lighting design can increase a room’s productivity and versatility. Think about what you need to do in the space, and research different lighting types that will accommodate those needs.