Top three commercial lighting design trends in 2017

LED, smart, and natural lighting all play a role in the 21st century office.

By RTM Engineering Consultants June 29, 2017

With the constant advancement of technology, owners continue to see innovative lighting options flood the market. Lighting plays a huge role as commercial building owners work towards continuously improving safety for tenants, aesthetics, and function to ensure occupant comfort, while also benefiting from cost savings.

Here are a few trends that will continue to gain traction in commercial lighting design in 2017:

LED retrofitting

Benefits of making the switch to LED include enhanced lighting quality, improved energy efficiency, smart lighting capabilities, and lower maintenance costs. Retrofitting LED lighting networks in commercial buildings adds flexibility and means companies can adjust light color and brightness to levels that mimic natural light and promote productivity and health; this is known as daylighting. A growing number of businesses are completing LED retrofit overhauls as the technology continues to advance, encompassing a wide range of capabilities.

Use of natural light

Many studies have proven the benefits of exposure to natural light for employees, including improved performance, better sleep, higher employee satisfaction, and even increased sales. More natural light seeping into an office can significantly lessen a building’s energy load, which is great for an owner’s and tenant’s bottom lines. Today’s smart LED lighting systems monitor levels of natural light and adjust their output to optimal levels. This trend will continue to gain traction in the years to come.

Smart lighting

Smart lighting technology advances year after year, gaining popularity because of its many benefits. Controls embedded into each fixture deliver impressive results, including dramatic savings on energy costs. A Business Insider report highlighted how a packaging company slashed energy cost by 75% and improved worked productivity by 20% at one of its plants by installing smart LED lights.

Some commercial building owners have leveraged smart lighting control systems to meet energy efficiency codes, like that of ASHRAE, by programming the system to meet specific parameters. By measuring temperatures, room occupancy, and energy loads, the smart systems adjust by harvesting daylight or turning off in empty rooms to keep the building’s energy use within set parameters.

Many smart lighting systems are programmed to give administrators wireless control via a mobile phone or tablet from anywhere in the world, allowing for convenient and effective access.

This article originally appeared on RTM’s website. RTM engineering is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Hannah Cox, content specialist, CFE Media,

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Author Bio: RTM Engineering Consultants are a MEP and Civil engineering firm.