February 15, 2024

Comparing Occupant Light Exposure in Factory and Office Spaces


There is an increasing desire to provide healthy workplace environments that better serve people while minimizing the impact on the planet. Building recommendations help designers to incorporate the latest research and best practices, but translating research studies conducted in different settings to broader recommendations is challenging. This is particularly true for lighting, with researchers continuing to learn more about circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral responses to light. The recommendations are regularly adjusting to incorporate the latest research as well as feedback from practitioners implementing these recommendations. There remains a need to better document the actual light exposure that people experience over the course of a day and across seasons, so that researchers can better understand the influence of light on people and recommendations can be refined. Thankfully, advances in sensor technology are making this more possible than ever. PNNL collaborated with ETC Inc. to understand actual occupant light exposure in factory and office spaces at ETC’s Headquarters in Middleton, WI. The primary building at ETC headquarters opened in 2004 and houses approximately 800 employees that contribute to central business functions, customer support, research and development, as well as the company’s primary 60,000 ft2 manufacturing facility. Vertical light exposure measurements including electric light and daylight were recorded in factory, research and development, and office work areas at occupant eye height. This document will focus on lighting measurements collected in six factory and office locations across work location, season, and time of day. Ultimately, detailed lighting measurements can be coupled with employee surveys to support development of satisfactory work environments.

Published: February 15, 2024


Kelly J.M., and A. Wilkerson. 2023. Comparing Occupant Light Exposure in Factory and Office Spaces Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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