The Role of Decorative Commercial Lighting in Modern Interiors

commercial lighting London


When designing a modern commercial space, architects should create interiors with experiences in mind. Although most commercial environments have different layouts and identities, there are some core design principles that can be applied across the board to create more productive and aesthetic environments. 


Lighting has a significant impact on all aspects of your interior design. Understanding the role of commercial decorative lighting in the modern workplace can help make projects easier to manage while reducing completion times and resulting in more meaningful experiences for the end-users. 


What Is Decorative Commercial Lighting? 


Commercial lighting refers to lighting that’s used in any kind of commercial space – e.g., offices, retail units, universities, and government buildings. Its main function is to create a safe and productive environment for the people that work there. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be aesthetic, too. 


The way people think about the workplace is changing, and we can see that reflected in current commercial interior design trends. Physical office spaces are evolving to keep up with new business demands, employee expectations, and technological advances that are meant to make our jobs easier and more enjoyable. 


Whether you need to light an entire floor, or you’re focusing on smaller breakout areas, the lamps and fixtures you choose will help you create the right atmosphere. Decorative commercial lighting combines form and function to inspire creativity and encourage productivity. 


commercial lighting uk

Analytics Company, City of London


Balancing Form And Function In Commercial Spaces 

To understand the role that decorative commercial lighting plays in creating a dynamic workspace, you first have to look at the delicate balance between form and function. 


Good form in interior design refers to the shape of a fixture/fitting and its position within a space. In terms of lighting, the form of a decorative light is what gives it an impact. Length, height, and shape are all elements of form, and each one is an important consideration when you’re designing decorative lighting for commercial use. 


Different forms will have contrasting effects on your space. For example, a room with high ceilings might benefit from suspended architectural pendants as they can help draw the levels of a room together. But in a room with low ceilings, low-hanging lights will only make the room look smaller. Surface-mounted lights are much more economical in terms of space, but they can still reach all corners by casting a wide circle of diffused light. Choose complementary elements to create a sense of flow between separate office areas. Layered lengths of linear lighting can add energy to a space while also offering great task lighting options. 


Function, on the other hand, is all about how the lighting works. Depending on your business sector, and the size and layout of your building, you’ll have a lot of different options. The most successful commercial interior designs combine form with functionality to create a space that fulfils industry needs but looks good at the same time. 


commercial lighting uk

Green Park, London


Lighting Workspaces To Improve Wellbeing 

By law, all workplaces in the UK must have ‘suitable and sufficient lighting’ to protect the physical health and safety of their staff. But did you know that lighting can also significantly affect our mental health and well-being? 


As well as causing eyestrain and headaches, poor lighting can disrupt our body clock, leading to stress, depression and weight gain, and increase our feelings of frustration at work. Good office lighting, however, has been proven to improve mood, boost creativity, and increase employee productivity.


Here are four ways you can use lighting to improve well-being in your office space: 


  • Differentiate between ‘zones’ in an open plan office using different types of lighting.
  • Use warm lighting to create a relaxing atmosphere in social areas; layer it up using pendant lights, wall lights, and floor lamps. 
  • Make the most of the natural sunlight your building gets. Incorporate that into your design to improve employee well-being and productivity.  
  • In enclosed spaces, the amount of light you get will vary throughout the day. Adjustable lighting and scene setting using Casambi wireless controls helps keep things consistent throughout the building. 


commercial decorative lighting

Sanderson Head Office, Bristol 


What Do You Need To Know About Office Lighting Regulations? 

It’s your client’s responsibility to make sure they are fully compliant with UK employment law, which includes clauses about suitable and sufficient lighting as part of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). But when you’re designing or installing any kind of commercial lighting, there are some general health and safety regulations you need to be aware of, too: 


  • The light should be suitable for the kind of work being undertaken and all tasks should be sufficiently lit 
  • No light should pose a health and safety risk
  • Hazards should be easy to spot so they can be assessed 
  • Fixtures should be easily accessible so maintenance can be carried out 
  • Adjacent areas should not have substantially different levels of lighting 
  • Different colours should be distinguishable for safety reasons 
  • The lighting should not cause stroboscopic effects, flickers, or glares




Decorative Commercial Lighting Applications 

  • Reception. Your reception area can be anything you want it to be, but remember, it has to set the right tone for all employees and visitors as they enter the building. So, it’s important to find the perfect balance between form and function here to make good first impressions long-lasting. Backlights behind the front desk will draw attention and create a natural gravitation point for visitors, and the use of focal light fittings can add warmth to an otherwise neutral space.
  • Open plan office. Encourage collaboration, creativity, and productivity by giving employees different spaces to meet up and work. Design the lighting carefully to create the right atmosphere in each area. Changes in warmth, intensity, and colour, can all affect the mood. If you want to get people working together, neutral, intense lighting in some spaces is an effective way of encouraging convergence. 
  • Meeting rooms. Meeting rooms are multipurpose spaces, so every aspect of their design needs to be as flexible as possible. Lots of space, moveable furniture, connectivity points – and adjustable/intelligent lighting. Adjustable fixtures allow you to change the lighting according to each specific aesthetic and functional need. Play with the lighting intensity and colour to create the perfect conference room for any agenda. 


commercial decorative lighting

Sailpoint Technologies, London

Need More Inspiration? 

Get in touch with the friendly team at Mount Lighting on 01582 369 005 or at [email protected]. We’re not just an average lighting manufacturer! Our creative designers and technical engineers work side-by-side to design and supply decorative commercial lighting solutions. Find the right balance between form and function and see the difference it makes to employee wellbeing and production.  Alternatively, you can book a visit to one of our commercial lighting design showrooms.  

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