Human Centric Office Lighting | Blog
The Workspace Consultants

Human Centric Office Lighting

I write this at midday on a slightly overcast Wednesday in May, through the windows to my left and right I can see large skies and fields, I watch the seasons change and witness the progression of the day.  I am more fortunate than many office workers, whose desks are lit by artificial lights, on all day, every day, with no differentiation in light level or hue. Their body clock struggles to be kept in check.

How human centric lighting was realised

The concept of human centric lighting came about with the discovery, in the early part of this century, of a photoreceptor in our eyes that uses the colour and light levels detected by the rods and cones, to directly affect our circadian rhythm (our body clock).  The light that is emitted in blue wavelengths suppresses the release of melatonin – one of the hormones responsible for making us feel tired.  By providing white light with a blue component (mirroring bright sun light) we therefore increase alertness and attention.  Conversely, by reducing blue light on our mobile phones in the evenings, then surrounding ourselves by the dim warm glow of a bedside lamp, we have less difficulty transitioning into sleep – giving our bodies ample time to regenerate and rest.

Bringing human centric lighting into the workplace

There has been much research done recently on increasing productivity in the workplace, in fact I would say that ‘productivity’ is the current buzz word in our industry; it is the main objective of our clients for their new office interiors.  By replicating natural daylight in the workplace, we can achieve proven results in productivity.

Such is the success of LED lighting, that it is now being installed ubiquitously in workspaces.  It is possible to provide a variety in intensity and colour spectrum to emulate the path of sunlight through the day, therefore providing the light signals that set our body clocks, even when indoors for almost all our day.

Innogy installed programmed LED lighting to support the circadian rhythm of their staff:

Innogy installed programmed LED lighting to support the circadian rhythm of their staff

"At the beginning of the day the office lights mimic natural daylight, providing a useful energy boost," said Tomáš Michna, senior manager for facilities and services at Innogy.

"The light levels decrease until after lunch when we give another boost to help staff over the post-lunch energy dip.  Workers can override the light settings depending on their needs, and the system can also be set to perform a specific task by using wall-mounted touchpad controls. These can also be used to raise or lower the window blinds.”

Read more about how LED light are designed to support workers' circadian rhythms here

CBRE boosted productivity by 18% when they introduced human centric lighting into their offices:

CBRE boosted productivity by 18% when they introduced human centric lighting into their offices

“The time-controlled lighting system features a ‘circadian-friendly’ lighting sequence, which varies the colour temperature and intensity during the course of the day. Employees are stimulated during the morning and early afternoon with high illuminance levels and cool indirect white light. At midday and late afternoon, the light levels fall and become warmer.”


I discovered Flex by Luctra at Clerkenwell Design Week 2017; a mobile floor standing desk light that is fully portable and can be programmed to fulfil the circadian rhythm requirements of individuals. Visit the Luctra website here

Mobile floor standing desk light


Workplace Strategy

The information gathering process required to develop a robust brief should involve a series of surveys to map current and expected business requirements, if implemented they will ensure project success.

Learn more >

Office Design

The design and usability of a workspace affects staff productivity, morale and retention. It also influences internal and external perceptions of your organisation and can therefore affect growth and profitability.

Learn more >

Project Management

A strong project management team can control the budget and the schedule, as well as the quality of the finish. Our experienced project managers are trained to pre-empt and remove risks from your project.

Learn more >


Furniture selection is an integral part of the design process and often plays a vital role in productivity. That's why we're now offering office furniture in Cambridge, Manchester and London...

Learn more >

Download Our Brochure

Get a better perspective of everything we have to offer by downloading our corporate brochure and letting us know how we can help evolve your office environment.

View Brochure


  • Unit 1, Avenue Business Park
    Brockley Road
    Cambridge, CB23 4EY
  • Telephone 01223 656111



  • 1 Giltspur Street
    London, EC1A 9DD