At the Philips Innovation Event in The Netherlands Philips and Saint-Gobain Ecophon announced the introduction in 2013 of the Soundlight Comfort Ceiling solution for offices. This innovative acoustic ceiling solution with embedded LED lighting keeps noise and lighting levels at an optimum level in open plan offices for employee comfort.
This is the second innovation from the partnership established between Philips, the global leader in lighting and Ecophon, a global supplier of acoustic systems to create healthy indoor environments. Philips and Ecophon have previously introduced the Soundlight Comfort Unit, a free-hanging acoustic ceiling panel with embedded LED lighting.
“Improving people’s lives is at the core of our mission at Philips, and research has shown that good lighting and reduced noise directly contributes to the well-being of employees.” said Menno Kleingeld, Vice President and General Manager Office Lighting EMEA. “Partnering with Ecophon allows us to pool our respective expertise in these areas resulting in impactful and meaningful innovation for offices.”
The layout and size of available office space is altering, as companies reconfigure their office spaces to reflect modern working styles, and also reduce real estate costs. The modern workforce is increasingly mobile, and companies adapt to this with flexible, open plan office configurations in smaller spaces. Offices can thus be crowded and noisy places to work. Studies show that noise disturbance from meetings and phone calls was the main environmental disturbance cited by employees that affected their concentration in the workplace.
Soundlight Comfort Ceiling creates the sound absorption needed to ensure speech clarity over short distances, whilst reducing the total distance over which sound travels. This is an important benefit, given that over 50% of office work still relates to tasks that require individual focus and concentration.
“Ecophon is constantly improving the added value of its solutions to create a sound working environment in offices that enables better communication and better concentration.’’ said Gert-Jan van Doormalen, President and General Manager Ecophon Group. “In traditional modular suspended ceiling installations, acoustics and lighting co-exist as two different systems. Acoustical performance combined with LED lighting is unique, offering new possibilities for architects and designers, but most of all it serves the needs of people who have to work in an increasingly demanding office environment.”
When turned on, Soundlight Comfort Ceiling appears as a uniformly lit surface of light, covering the entire ceiling or as islands of light, creating the image of a larger space, removing ceiling clutter and creating a tranquil atmosphere. The controllability and quality of LED lighting in the Soundlight Comfort Ceiling solution creates a comfortable visual ambiance with reduced glare, which leads to less tiredness at the end of the working day.
The state-of-the-art LED technology used in the Soundlight Comfort Ceiling solution outperforms conventional lighting, delivering superior energy savings. The solution also includes sensors and controls which are adjustable and alter the lighting levels depending on daylight and occupancy in the office. This also helps to reduce energy consumption and lower energy costs.
Effects of lighting and noise in the workplace –
- A higher average scene luminance and higher ceiling luminance trigger a higher satisfaction : Veitch JA, Newsham Gr, Mancini S, Arsenault CD (2010) Lighting and office renovation effects on employee and organizational well-being NRC report IRC –RR-306:
- Studies show that in good acoustic environments, people make more attempts at solving difficult tasks, they make more ergonomic postural changes, and increase their accuracyEvans Johnson, Cornell university, 2000, “Stress and Open-Office Noise”, Journal of Applied Psychology, 2000, Vol. 85, No. 5, 779-783
Banbury, Berry, “The disruption of office-related tasks by speech and office noise”, British journal of psychology, 1998, 89, 499-517
- The number 1 complaint from employees in open plan offices is noise disturbance from meetings and phone calls: study by the University of Luzern
Schweizerische Befragung in Büros, Hochschule Luzern – Technik & Architektur / Kompetenzzentrum Typologie & Planung in Architektur (CCTP): Sibylla Amstutz, Sandra Kündig // SECO-Arbeit und Gesundheit: Dr. Christian Monn // Bern, Horw – April 2010
- More than 50% of time spent in an office is on focus work https://www.gensler.com/uploads/documents/Focus_in_the_Workplace_10_01_2012.pdf (file is not available)