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Lighting

Considering that we spend one third of our lifetime at work, there are a lot of workspace-related components that are vital for our health and comfort. Lighting being one of them. Proper lighting in a room significantly improves well-being of employees, and directly affects their capacity for work. Improper or insufficient indoor lighting can cause depression, headaches, and even vision disorders. In turn, workplaces with proper light are more conducive to higher spirits and productivity. Undoubtedly, light is the natural biological clock for the human body. Day, night, sunrise or sunset – these periods are like landmarks for distributing vital energy. Lighting is the luminous flux incident on a surface measured in lux (symbol: lx). Three types of lighting are distinguished: natural, artificial, and mixed lighting. Providing natural light (daylight) in a workplace significantly improves human well-being and enhances task performance. According to location, lighting is divided into general (or indoor lighting) and local lighting (or lighting of a workplace).
 
Every workplace needs a certain lighting that depends on:
 
  • a task performed (the size, shape, and colour of visible objects, precision of the task performed, colour of the operating surface, brightness, contrast between visible items and the background, etc.);
  • the distance between the doer’s eyes and a visible object;
  • personal characteristics of a task performer (for example, age, sharpness of vision, eye adaptive capacity, etc.).
Requirements for indoor lighting are regulated by the Cabinet Regulation No. 125 „Requirements for Labour Protection in Workplaces” (adopted 19 March 2002, effective 27 March 2002). The Regulation stipulates that:
  • workplaces shall be provided with natural lighting and equipped with artificial lighting in such a way that the total lighting is sufficient for the safety and health of employees;
  • lighting devices in work rooms and passages shall be located so as to protect employees from risk of accidents and occupational diseases that are related to insufficient lighting;
  • workplaces where harm to the safety and health of the employees may arise as a result of sudden switching off of light, shall be provided with sufficient emergency lighting.
In terms of sufficient lighting, it is defined that the total lighting must be sufficient for the safety and health of employees. The current regulatory enactments do not define precise levels of lighting for different workplaces; however, employers may optionally apply the standard LVS EN 12464-1:2003 „Light and lighting – Lighting of work places – Part 1: Indoor work places” (this is not a mandatory standard in Latvia). The standard is based on the latest scientific and technical achievements.

The general conditions of lighting are also regulated by the Cabinet Regulation No. 411 „Regulation Regarding the Latvian Construction Standard LBN 208-00 „Public Buildings and Structures”” (adopted 28 November 2000, effective 1 January 2001).

„ECOFINN” provides rapid testing of lighting in a specific workplace or thorough examination of microclimate across the premises, and offers recommendation as to the best possible solutions for improving the quality of lighting (filters, locations, layout, etc.).