How to Light the High-Tech Future Office? Good Old Fashioned Sunlight


There has been a lot said about the value of daylight in office space. But daylight is going to become even more vital in the years ahead.

Indeed, Jason Brown, a certified lighting professional at GE Lighting, told Officing Today that the office of the future must consider daylighting its primary source of illumination.

Consider this: the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the lighting authority, has stated that daylight should be the primary source of illumination for an office space.

“It’s the source we try to match as much as possible as lighting developers,” Brown says. “And staying with that, we can make the quality of light inside the building even better.”

Brown offers a scenario: Imagine if the daylight coming in is perfect. We call the sun “perfect lighting.” In other words, the perfect quality of light. It’s our reference point for how we develop artificial lighting. It’s also what we consider color rendering perfection – 100 CRI (Color Rendering Index).

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“Sunlight itself is very warm at 2,000 to 3,000 degrees Kelvin (color temperature) at sunrise, but the skylight is very blue and is often 6,000 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin. In the office of 2020, LED lighting systems with dynamic color control will be able to adjust indoor artificial lighting to match with natural light coming in from outside,” Brown says.

“In fact, matching indoor with outdoor color temperature and quality is possible today. This is happening in Europe more so than the United States, and is called ‘dynamic white.’ But these capabilities are coming, and while they may not directly save energy, they can improve the aesthetics of a space while also enhancing occupant comfort and satisfaction, which can mean better productivity.”

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