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COWI takes the lead with dynamic lighting in own domicile

​COWI has set a new standard for office lighting by introducing dynamic lighting in COWI's newly renovated office premises in Lyngby, Denmark. COWI's lighting designers are now ready to apply the successful experience to new projects.

​COWI employees in Lyngby have recently moved into their newly furnished office space. One of the distinctive approaches to the large-scale renovation project is the thorough use of dynamic lighting.

Prior to the renovation, COWI's open-plan offices were characterized by poor lighting, especially in the centre of the rooms.

After the renovation, COWI's employees can enjoy an exciting lighting environment where intensity and colour temperatures are regulated using a simple control system. The system can be operated locally in each open-plan office room, or centrally from the operation manager's PC via cloud technology.

"Dynamic lighting is still new and virtually untested. But we have now gained experience from the project in our own house – as users as well as advisors," says Jørgen Kjer, COWI's lighting designer, who has completed the lighting project together with I- NO, Installatøren and Grue + Hornstrup.

"The project has given us knowledge and experience that is invaluable in relation to advising clients and convincing building owners about the benefits of dynamic lighting. As we see it, dynamic lighting can be implemented with great advantage in the new super hospitals that are on the way in Denmark, as well as in office buildings, institutions etc. in any country."

A boost to dynamic lighting

When the renovation project started, there were no control components or fixtures that supported the latest international standard for dynamic lighting, DALI Color, EN-62386-209.

COWI therefore worked along with the suppliers to ensure the rollout of the DALI Color standard, developing the round fixtures that follow daylight changes and interact with the operating system.

"Because of the size of the project that counts hundreds of fixtures, we have been able to boost the development of the technology. In this way, we have helped to eradicate the worst growing pains in the area, and it will be a lot easier to implement dynamic lighting the next time," says Kjer and continues:

"Another step in the right direction is that fixtures that can handle the large shifts in kelvin degrees that characterize dynamic lighting are becoming more affordable. A development that makes dynamic lighting an attractive and realistic solution for future clients."

At the forefront of lighting for indoor workplaces

In addition to the round LED fixtures that provide dynamic light, COWI has chosen to apply vertical light in the new premises. That is, the light sources are used on the walls instead of on the floor, which is how it is typically done.

By lighting directly on the walls, you do not need as much light to get the same lighting effect. 50 lux on the walls gives the same lighting effect as 100-150 lux on the floor. Light on the vertical surfaces creates a nicer light and gives a better spatial experience, while saving energy.

With the implementation of vertical light, COWI is at the forefront of the new standard for indoor workplace lighting, EN 12464-1, which imposes stricter requirements on indoor workplace lighting. The new standard takes effect in Europe in 2015.

By  Helen Marie Bennett hmbe@cowi.dk
Published 01.12.2014

Dynamic lighting

​Lighting affects the indoor environment in a workplace and has a major impact on employee well-being. A good lighting environment exploits the spatial dimensions, incorporates interaction between artificial and natural light, adapts to different tasks and adjust to individual needs.

Dynamic lighting is an advanced solution that brings the dynamics of daylight indoors. It creates a stimulating, natural light that enhances the well-being of those who use the indoor space.

A dynamic lighting solution can control the amount of light (lux) and colour temperature (kelvin degree). Dynamic light is typically in the range of 2700-6500 degrees kelvin. Standard office lighting is located at around 3000-4000 degrees kelvin. It is only in recent years that 4000 degrees kelvin has been used, but to achieve true dynamic lighting, you need a smart control system that takes into account the time of day as well as the light and colour temperature.

LAST UPDATED: 03.11.2017