What is task lighting and why is it important?


Task lighting is when you increase illuminance to better accomplish an activity. Illuminance is not the only factor, contrast is also very important. To put it simply task lighting is when you position a light or lamp on a direct area that you are working on rather than illuminating the whole room for example. When you have good task lighting general lighting can be reduced.

There are various approaches to task lighting, they are:

– Localised average lighting: when a lamp supplies ambient and task lighting. This is often an up-lighter that is hung directly over a workplace that then has a light that shines directly down on the workplace.
– Fixed task lighting: When a light source is fixed in place, for example a downlight over a kitchen worktop or a table lamp fixed to a desk.
– Freely adjustable lights: such as swing arm, gooseneck and balanced arm lamps which can be freely moved and directed at a place of work. For example, a swing arm fixture that could be adjusted to read a book.
– Magnifying task lighting: Some lights have magnifying glasses built in, these are often used in sewing, model building and other high detail activities. This is the sort of task lighting that is used in surgery and by dentists.
– Asymmetric task lights: where the lamp is placed at the side of the work area

3 examples of task lighting in working environments are:

– Machinery workshop: where a task light is used to illuminate a worktop or work area
– Doctor/Surgeon: When you have a direct task light used to operate on a patient
– Dentist: Where a task light is used to illuminate a patients mouth

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