Office Lighting Regulations

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations set out to explain the  minimum requirements with regards lighting around workstations.
They are:-

Any room lighting or task lighting provided shall ensure satisfactory lighting conditions and an appropriate contrast between the screen and the background environment, taking into account the type of work and the vision requirements of the operator or user.

Possible disturbing glare and reflections on the screen or other equipment shall be prevented by co-ordinating workplace and workstation layout with the positioning and technical characteristics of the artificial light sources.

When designing a lighting scheme for an office you need ensure the lighting installation conforms with LG3 and LG7 standard. This will ensure the lighting is fit for purpose. Ensure the whole room is illuminated and that there is no imbalance between dim and bright areas. Monitor filter screens should only be provided as a last resort.

Installation of category 2 light fittings will help you meet the above standard. These fittings are designed to transmit light at a certain angle to reduce glare or reflection on computer monitors. However this type of fitting should only be used as part of a lighting scheme as on their own can produce a gloomy work environment.

Natural day light should be provided as far as reasonably practical and supplement any office lighting scheme. A shortage of natural light can lead to a health condition known as as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The decorations and materials specified in the fabric of the work environment should also be considered when designing a lighting scheme as this may also contribute to the level of light and glare. 

Recommended Lux levels in a general office environment for display screen equipment work is 500 lux. Where fine detailed work is carried out (e.g. technical drawing) a higher level of 750 lux is recommended. Where a lower level of concentration is required 300 lux is an acceptable level (e.g. meeting rooms). Lux levels can be measured with a standard light meter.

Office Lighting, Office Lights