We were contacted through and environmental consultant we work with to look into the existing LED lighting in the offices.Since the installation of the LED panels (by a contractor) in the offices staff had been complaining about headaches and a couple of them had been absent from work due to migraine headaches.
We found the installation to be a typical ‘contractor’ type installation where by an assumption was made to replace a standard conventional 4 x 18W fluorescent recessed modular fitting with a 35W LED panel. No consideration was given to the increased brightness or the glare rating of the fittings, indeed there was no reference to the glare rating (UGR Unified glare rating) of the panel in any of the literature we could find.As we work directly with our manufacturers, we were able to call the global operations director to find more out about the panel. In no time at all we knew where the panel was made, who had imported it and what the specifications of the panel were. CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) recommend the UGR rating of 19 for offices. The existing LED panels were found to be 28 UGR. This was the main cause for the staff headaches.
We redesigned the lighting to a comfortable level within CIBSE recommendations and replaced the existing 35W panels with 22W UGR19 panels. We also altered the lighting PIR detectors to better represent the areas they control.
A nice comfortable lighting level within CIBSE recommendations, no more staff headaches and, as a bonus, an extra energy and carbon savings of over 31% on the lighting.
When considering upgrading lighting to LED it is essential to do the drill into the product and design details to see if they are fit for purpose, efficient and will last the test of time. Not to do so could prove to be very expensive in terms of productivity via staff absence, health and safety claims and, of course, the replacement costs associated with correcting the installation.