Lighting. We need it for everything we do. Whether it is natural lighting from windows or artificial light from LED lighting, everyday life would be almost impossible without it. And when it’s bad, it can affect our mood, productivity, and safety.
This article looks at what makes good lighting from two different perspectives:
1. The occupants of the building and;
2. The facilities management (FM) team
Both have differing needs, which may not always align.
Centropi provides Lighting as a Service (LaaS) and manufactures investment-grade light fittings. We are not a big brand, but our NipponLED products are investment-grade and best-in-class.
You may buy and maintain your light fittings ad hoc, that's fine. Our content aims to give you the information to make smart buying decisions.
A survey of over 7000 office workers showed that 40% struggle to work in poor lighting daily.
So one would think that it’s the occupants that wear the trousers. Their lack of productivity must affect the business so leadership would stand up and make changes.
But that is not the reality. We have a choice over the job we take, but we don’t normally get a say in the quality of the environment (office, clinic, factory etc). So when you turn up for the first day of your dream job to find no or few windows and buzzing light fittings, for the most part, we suck it up and get on with it.
Typical occupants don’t buy new light fittings, and their KPIs are not based on cost savings;purchasing therefore, it is very hard to incite change. I feel a strike coming on!
However, the targets of Facilities Management are set on cost savings and sustainability targets. For them keeping costs low is key. So they might see problems but have their hands tied by budgets to solve them. In addition, the cost of fixing the problem may go beyond just purchasing a new light fitting. In spaces with high ceilings, it may be necessary to bring in specialist equipment after hours to make the changes. All of this is not cheap.
So, no, your FM team is not the enemy; they have different KPIs than general occupants. So who wears the trousers?
Normally upper management and finance.
Good lighting is thus a balance between what the general working population needs, the targets of the Facilities management team, and finance budgets.
Normally the story goes something like this; Complaints come in from staff and the FM team is instructed to procure new lighting but with a restricted budget. They start their hunt for products.
They decide on low-grade commercial fittings as it's what meets their budget. But what are the negative effects of buying poor quality light fittings at a budget-friendly lower cost?
If we think a bit harder, we can see that savings in one area can lead to losses in other areas. For example, cheap lighting can reduce productivity.
A buzzing or flickering light is irritating at work. And the facilities management teams are no strangers to unsolvable complaints due to budget restraints.
This does not mean that either party should have to compromise. It is possible to buy high-quality light fittings backed by guarantees. One can also "rent" lightbulbs so the facilities management team can meet their targets
So whether you are an occupant, facilities manager, or upper management, the next time you see a flickering light fitting or hear a buzzing bulb, think twice about your next move.
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