How to Light

How to Light: Corporate reception area

As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”, so the entrance to your building needs to be right.

The main consideration is to think about the whole area and how it will be seen when someone first enters. If not, you land up by simply lighting a desk in front of a plain wall.

Good vertical illumination is essential. You need to make the space look bright, airy and welcoming. There will probably be a name plate or sign on the wall or front desk so this, too, needs to draw your attention. If there is a full time receptionist, there needs to be enough light for them to be able to do their work. EN 12464 recommends 300 lux, although it is most probably better to design to a higher level locally so that people’s attention is attracted to this area.

Visitors often have to wait in reception areas and most have easy chairs and low tables. You need enough light here for visitors to read your company literature or have informal meetings.

Reception areas vary enormously in terms of size and shape. This Design Clinic area is about 8m wide and 12m from back to front. The lower ceiling is about 3m and to the top of the atrium is 8m.

Perfectly Pendant

Perfectly Pendant

Apart from the reception desk, the attraction of this scheme is the brightly lit, recessed planter area. This is illuminated using the newly launched C95 wall light. Due to its edge lit technology, it has a very slim (30mm, 1.25”) profile and produces a uniform appearance across all of the opal diffuser.

We have mounted the C95 on a polished chrome surround which mirrors the green space and reflects the foliage.   

The other main lighting in this space is the suspended A90-P highbay. This is a large family of “designer” highbays which are ideally suited to the retail or hospitality sector. The one used here emits 4,000 lm but there are versions that emit 20,000 lm. It can also be fitted with an opal diffuser to achieve both up and down light.

We have also mounted some medium size EAS pendants over the reception desk.

Tech spec A
  • LuminairesA90-P highbay and C95-W square wall light
  • Optical controlReflectors and diffusers
  • ArrangementA90 suspended in a 3 x 3 matrix
  • Average illuminance  370 lux in the main area
  • Pros The C95 draws attention to the green space

Clearly Transparent

Clearly Transparent

This uses one of my favourite Glamox luminaires, the direct/indirect C75. Unlike most luminaires, this is solid in the centre.  The body is surrounded by patterned glass which directs the light up and down from the centrally mounted vertical LEDs.

We have drawn attention to the reception desk by using the A60. This is a stylish pendant luminaire which has a rounded, triangular or square form. It is often described as pebble shaped. There is a central brightly coloured section and light is emitted from around the sides. It is available in a variety of different colours and wattages.

We have also used the IP rated O69 downlight above the planting area. This dimmable downlight can emit as much as 2,000 lumens so your plants won’t suffer from lack of light indoors.

There is a common theme in style which links the two main luminaire types.

Tech spec B
  • LuminairesC75-P direct/indirect and A60 over desk
  • Optical controlLight guides in C75
  • Arrangement3 x 3
  • Average illuminance 260 lux in the main area
  • ProsThe central luminaires are almost invisible

Making Waves

Making Waves

This is maybe my favourite design and uses the smaller, 7W, EAS pendant to produce a Mexican wave across the whole of the central area. This is a stylish way to “lower” a high ceiling. The EAS is available in a range of colours to suit the interior design.

The wave effect is surprisingly easy to achieve and simply mounts the rows at three different heights. Having the last luminaire of the row close to the wall produces a scallop of light which emphasises the shape of the wave.

Elsewhere, the lighting of the reception has been simplified and uses recessed downlights.

Tech spec C
  • LuminairesEAS 7W
  • Optical controlWhite painted reflector
  • Arrangement7 rows of 8 at three different heights
  • Average illuminance  340 lux in the main area
  • Pros The wave grabs your attention