Interview with Jürgen Ludewig

 

I have been working in the field of lighting and lighting design for over 30 years, and have been particularly interested in the effect that lighting has on people. Between 2011 and 2015, I completed my Master’s degree in Visual Perception at the University of Innsbruck under the supervision of Professor Bartenbach.

 

In your opinion, how important is it to achieve the perfect lighting for an office workstation?

Oh it’s hugely important – you could write a whole book on the subject of light. But we’ll have to go into a little more detail than that. I think it’s great that light has been able to take on an entirely different role in people’s consciousness as time has gone on. We still have quite a way to go when it comes to enlightening people on the subject, but the fact that we are increasingly starting to think about the effect that light has on us is a step in the right direction. The decisions we make regarding the right light colour, the right intensity, or even the use of biodynamic light are fundamental. When you think that light has a huge impact on our ability to perform, our well-being, and our approval of spaces, the importance of selecting the right product soon becomes clear. According to the laws of visual perception, strong lighting design makes this decision significantly easier.

 

LEDs, for example, consume less energy, last longer, and are better for the environment. But what is “intelligent/ergonomic” LED lighting all about? How do we explain this concept?

LED technology has given rise to entirely new types of lighting. The vastly reduced thermal development of LEDs means designers can now incorporate new materials including some with an impressive visual impact. Today’s LEDs upwards of 50,000 operating hours and consume significantly less energy – even in comparison to fluorescent tubes. LED boards built into lights with various LED light colours recreate the natural course of daylight in terms of intensity and colour temperature with a digital control. This is a bit of a basic description of the process. In this case, we’re talking about HCL – human centric lighting. It can also be referred to as ergonomic lighting. Light that improves working performance, provides the best possible support for people, and prevents adverse health effects.

 

 

What sets a well-lit workstation apart?

Stable perception conditions. This includes a working environment that is free from visual stress. Not too much or too little light, no glare or reflective glare on screens, for example, and no flickering. The perfect harmonisation of the lighting conditions between the working environment (the specific area or item to be lit), the immediate vicinity, and the brightness of the wider surroundings. It’s really quite complex. If it’s too loud, I close the window. But when it comes to visual distractions, it’s often difficult to pinpoint these as the cause of our discomfort. We start attributing the problem to headaches, sleeping trouble, and fatigue, and often put ourselves under additional pressure because our performance at work is not at the level it should be. It’s silly, really, because it’s difficult to think of a single environment where an investment in good lighting wouldn’t pay off. I am convinced that the quality of the working environment – and this is where lighting has a crucial role to play – will be a deciding factor for people in future when choosing a job. Good lighting = good people.

 

 

So how can the Attenzia lighting series help in this regard?

We have just been talking about ergonomics. A triumph of the Attenzia series is its compatibility with the other Novus workstation components in the more space system. Now that’s ergonomics for all the senses. Their high light performance, smart design and optimal glare protection makes these lights into real winners. But for me, the most impressive features are the movable LED panels in the Attenzia Space floor lamps. These not only make it possible to create an individual balance between direct and indirect light, but also allow precise adjustments to be made to suit working areas of different sizes. One light, two workstations – no problem. Why has Novus been the first to think of this? Of course, the highlight has to be the Attenzia Space HCL. Human centric light, from 2700–6500 K. The automatic progression of the natural course of daylight is adjusted without any other external equipment, with users able to perform manual overrides at any time. When it comes to healthy lighting in the workplace, it doesn’t get better than this. In fact, the Attenzia really should be available on prescription.