Strategic lighting design can support an organization’s brand identity, improve employee energy levels and promote collaboration. And when an interior architect is involved in selecting a company’s new space, there is a unique opportunity to consider the overall lighting design from square one.

Techniques for maximizing natural light can range from: blending indoor and outdoor space by allowing easy access to outdoor amenities, exploiting high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows that immerse a space in daylight, and setting one’s sights on a high rise for a space with natural light that is accompanied by sweeping views.

Designers can utilize these techniques and integrate them into plans that leverage new technology in daylighting systems with the latest in L.E.D. light fixtures. Recent advances have made lighting design more sustainable and affordable, and while L.E.D. technology has been around since before the 1920s, the need for increased energy efficiency has driven down L.E.D. fixture costs and encouraged manufacturers to produce a wider selection of L.E.D. choices. These new fixtures are not only functional, but can also be used as design elements and focal points within a space. The integration of daylighting systems also offer businesses the opportunity to supplement the benefits of natural light by automatically controlling the artificial lighting as the amount of natural light fluctuates throughout the time of day and year.

One must also consider how lighting within a particular space will affect space planning, panel heights and even the colors of the surface materials. All of these aspects play into delivering the best lighting solution for a specific space and having a hand in the selection process can provide a significant head start.

To source the benefits of natural light and improving technology, Telogis, a software company, which generated 704 percent growth over the last four years, chose a new building that opened up to a spectacular outdoor patio. Collaborative spaces were placed along the well-lit periphery of the ground floor, allowing Telogis’ employees to enjoy an energy boost from the natural light. Many of them noted that they feel more alert when working in natural lighting and that they also appreciate the value of their lowered use of electricity.

Idea Hall, a full-service public relations and marketing agency chose a ground floor location, but their reasons were identical. Idea Hall needed a space that would foster information sharing and enhance the overall spirit of creativity. By employing open, transparent work stations and pulling some of the offices away from the sixteen-foot high window line, Idea Hall was able to benefit from increased collaboration and the energizing effects of ample natural lighting. From the suspended retro light bulbs in Idea Hall’s kitchen, which complement the agency’s playful internal branding, to the stylish hanging lights in the conference room, and the practical overhead lights of the individual workstations, the lighting design helped to create different environments for different tasks throughout the office

When Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate, merged with 360 Commercial Partners they set out in search of an office that would unite the groups. Lighting played a major role in the firm’s selection of a higher floor in the same building, where more natural light, strategic space planning and sliding glass doors encourage transparency and allow sunlight to filter through the space.

For companies like Telogis, Idea Hall and Jones Lang LaSalle, partnering with a design and architecture expert who could align workspace design decisions with their brand, culture, and vision was essential to creating a successful space. Lighting decisions, specifically, can significantly contribute to the energy of a workspace, and the sooner a tenant begins incorporating the many facets of lighting design into their planning, the better a designer can deliver the most productive space for their team.