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Let There Be Light: Interior And Exterior Lighting Design Makes The Office A Little Brighter

Serendipity Labs in Dallas

For years, the term “corporate office” conjured images of dark hallways, stuffy cubicles and few windows. People commuted to and from their jobs, but many thought little about how their environment was impacting productivity. 

Today, Americans spend more time at work than ever before. The average U.S. worker will spend more than 90,000 hours in their life working, Business Insider reports. As employees spend more of their time at the office, work and life are becoming more integrated, and companies are now designing their office spaces with employee wellness in mind. Many modern offices feature open spaces, large windows and decor that prioritize employee happiness. 

When it comes to office design and employee satisfaction, one of the most underrated building amenities is good lighting. Proper lighting systems can improve the way an office operates, from the moment employees enter the building until the time they leave for the night. 

“The modern office is becoming smarter, and property managers are constantly looking for new ways to stay ahead of the competition,” WLS business development executive Jerry Faught said. “Quality lighting, both inside the office and throughout the building’s perimeter, is an attractive asset for any office building.”

Faught works with building managers across the country to map out customized lighting solutions. He and his team provide design consulting, project management and product implementation to make offices more comfortable for tenants. 

Interstate Batteries building

Before beginning each project, the WLS team considers a variety of factors. First, they think about efficiency. Without proper technical knowledge, many property managers spend too much money on lighting products and implement them in ways that waste energy. WLS works with these buildings to determine which products work best for the space, and how property managers can use lighting to improve the tenant experience while avoiding unnecessary expenses. 

Property managers also need to consider who their tenants are, and how the building’s lighting will impact tenant satisfaction. Office spaces are occupied by many different people, each with their own lighting preferences depending on factors like work style and sensitivity to brightness. One employee in a cubicle may prefer subtle light, while a colleague a few feet away might work better with brighter lighting. 

That was the challenge that the staff and tenants at the Molina center in Long Beach, California, had to face. Their building’s existing light fixtures were outdated, and could not adapt to the needs of modern employees. Molina’s management team worked with WLS to install a new lighting system with motion control sensors, giving tenants more control over their space. By employing lights that can be controlled based on user preferences, employees were able to work on their own terms. This approach was also the more sustainable option. The new design resulted in 96% energy savings. 

It isn’t just the interior of an office building that benefits from quality lighting design. Lights and accents around the property can also be effective in enhancing the tenant experience. 

“Tenants want to feel safe, especially if they are getting to the office early or leaving late at night,” WLS CEO Dean Pritchard said. “Brightly lit parking lots can deter crime and increase the feeling of safety among tenants, and brighter retail parking lots have been proven to increase sales.”

Exterior lighting can also make a building’s signage more visible. The WLS team found this to be a useful tactic when it worked with the Interstate Batteries' Dallas office building. Located in one of the busiest areas of Dallas, the company was struggling to stand out. WLS deployed LED specialty lighting that changed color on the building’s outer layer, giving the building an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and increase brand awareness. 

As more buildings adapt to changing tenant preferences, lighting is becoming a critical part of the employee experience. These investments in the built environment are making the office a little bit brighter. 

This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and WLS Lighting. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.