> FOCUS LIGHTING THE FUTURE
ment. Such controls have a metering system, featuring reading
sensors for daylighting, occupancy and so forth. You can eas-
ily see if you are falling short, then fine-tune settings often
through a laptop.”
Through CIEE demo and testing, Johnson feels confident
quality office lighting can be achieved at 0.2–0.3 watts per
square foot when using the latest LED dimming fixtures, net-
worked controls for tuning, occupancy and daylighting, and
LED task lighting. Such results were achieved in a University
of California, Santa Barbara campus demo conducted under the
now former State Partnership for Energy Efficient Demonstra-
tions (SPEED) program.
“Every time we set the lighting in a demo space, we found
we could drive lighting levels lower than we thought possible
without affecting worker performance,” Johnson said. “The
real commissioning comes from workers in the space who
provide feedback. Having that network control and the ability
to reset the control is a game changer.”
IA Interior Architects revisits its clients 30 days after an
initial design installation, then again at 60 days, commissioning
as needed by factoring in employee response.
NECA/LA and IBEW 11 helped to develop the advanced
lighting controls training and certification for the California
Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program. (For more on
CALCTP, see “Narrowing the Gap,” ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR,
September 2015.) The program works to increase the use of lighting controls in commercial buildings and industrial facilities.
Johnson acknowledged networked controls can be challenging
when system components come from multiple companies—one
providing the ballasts, another the sensors, and yet another the
fixtures. One solution is integrated systems offered by a handful
of companies, but they will come at a higher price, he said.
Both Krol and Johnson are enthusiastic about LED lighting,
though Krol said that maintaining successful color rendering
still needs work. When it comes to efficiency gains, Johnson
is all in with LEDs, seeing them as the primary office space
“In California, we must meet ambitiously set energy-
reduction goals,” Johnson said. “Why swap out lighting every
couple of years with a light source that only gradually ramps up
its efficiency? Turn to one [LED] that is offering the efficiency
you’ll need tomorrow, today. It helps that LED-retrofit kits are
certainly much better now.”
“I’m in the blended lighting camp,” Krol said. “I like using
different lighting, not just one type. I want lighting that pro-
vides true, maintainable color temperature. You don’t always
get that with LED, which can go blue or pink. Sometimes the
owner will be resistant to changing out fixtures, so you have to
be creative with what you’re given to meet efficiency goals.”
Going forward, office design will be all about efficiency both
in space and lighting. Learn and practice all you can because
the EC will be front and center during this transformation.
GAVIN, LEED Green Associate, is the owner of Gavo
Communications, a sustainability-focused marketing services firm
serving the energy, construction, and landscaping industries. He can
be reached at email@example.com. P H
Workforce needs are important elements that the new office
design must consider. Lighting is just one.
“If collaboration has risen to be a stronger cultural
element, look at an office design that will support that
behavior,” said Tish Kruse, MRC, LEED AP, director of
workplace strategy, IA Interior Architects. “It’s certainly a
need with a younger workforce. Collaborative workstations,
available conference rooms, laptops replacing desktops,
increased use of tablets all foster mobility in the office.
You’ll want to get people moving around to effectively
collaborate throughout the office. Maybe cubicles are fewer
To illustrate, Kruse shared her company’s work on a
project with a 35-year-old facility in a pastoral setting.
Cubicle height and other factors obscured the view.
“We replaced cubicle walls with low workplace panels,
eliminating an obstruction to the outside view and the
people in the office,” she said. “With this simple furniture
choice, we made better use of the natural light, the view and
facilitated connections amongst employees.”
To compensate for elevated noise levels, Kruse said she
is seeing more workers using headphones in the common
office areas to isolate or concentrate. The challenge is
striking the right balance/level of background noise.
“Nonetheless, maybe you also commit to quiet zones or
a room(s) employees can use to complete a task or conduct
a private phone conversation,” she said. “Again, your design
should support the behaviors you want to instill or support.”
Mobility also promotes employee health and well-being.
“We now know that sitting for an extended time is
not good for you,” Kruse said. “We conducted a utilization
study for a client to discover how much time staff spent at
their desk. That helped inform our design. By the way, the
time people spend at their desk is trending to just 45 to 50
percent of a workday. Workers are definitely moving around
the office.” —J.G.
LED task lighting features bright light but minimal draw.