How a Well-Lit Workplace Improves Morale and Performance

When business decisions are made regarding commercial lighting upgrades and daylighting installations, financial considerations generally come first.
After that, positive environmental impact is embraced as a nice fringe benefit and public relations bonus.

But often lost in the decision-making process is the positive effect quality lighting  especially with a daylighting component  has on the human beings who fill a workplace.

Lighting has a huge physiological effect on all living things, said Orion Energy Systems founder and CEO Neal Verfuerth, whose company sells high-performance energy management solutions. One of Orion’s signature products is the Apollo Solar Light Pipe, an industry-leading daylighting device.

Though the positive impact of quality lighting in general (and daylighting specifically) is difficult to measure, research backs up Verfuerth’s words.

Light is critical to human functioning in that it allows us to see things and perform activities, wrote Dr. Anjali Joseph, director of research for the The Center of Health Design in a 2006 paper. But it is also important because it affects human beings psychologically and physiologically. Several studies have documented the importance of light in reducing depression, decreasing fatigue (and) improving alertness

In another project, co-founded by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2003, authors Peter Boyce, Claudia Hunter and Owen Howlett wrote: There can be little doubt that lighting, both electric lighting and daylighting, has a role to play in people’s satisfaction with the environment at work and that satisfaction with the environment is linked to job satisfaction.

In addition to increased worker production in factories and distribution centers, modern lighting upgrades, especially those with a daylighting component have also been documented to improve shopping at stores.

Daylighting of a conventionally windowless retail space can have a positive effect on sales, concluded Boyce, Hunter and Howlett in their paper.