In an effort to retrofit its facilities, a bank requested a study to determine how effectively an acoustical coating could increase ambient light in an office. The research’s purpose was to determine how to maximize energy savings with a lighting retrofit while minimizing negative impact on the work environment.
A 37-m2 (400-sf) conference room at the bank’s office building was selected as the pilot for the study; this room was without windows, and contained glacier-style ceiling tile. New light fixtures were installed before any work was done on the ceiling. Then, light metre readings were taken at the room’s centre and corners before the acoustical coating was applied. The light metre readings were taken again in the same locations following application and the results were compared.
The overall results confirmed the acoustical coating increases the ambient room light. Light metre readings in the centre of the room above the table were 40 footcandles before coating the glacier tile ceiling. They were more than 80 footcandles after the application.
Light metre in the rooms’ corners were 29 footcandles prior to coating and above 80 after.
It should be noted the footcandle increase reflected in this study is unique to the particular room, given initial condition/type of the ceiling, lack of outside lighting, and wall/floor colouring are all factors. Other facilities might have various results. Generally, however, it can be assumed there will be an improvement in foot-candle intensity in most applications.
A similar before/after test was done in a pharmaceutical store space. These facilities had outside light and greater amounts of coloured surfaces reflecting off the ceiling. The results are shown below.
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