control room furniture render drawing by Thinking Space Systems

Control Room Lighting Solutions

Thinking Space offer a full control room fit-out service and therefore understand the importance of providing effective control room lighting solutions, for control room efficiency and staff wellbeing.  As part of their free design service, Thinking Space will examine the lighting within the room and make recommendations based on guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and EN ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design of Control Centres, Part 6.

Legislative Guidance

Lighting in control rooms shouldn’t be able to create reflections or allow lighting casts from windows. There should be no perceptible flicker from strip lighting within the room. There should be provision for adjustable lighting, which can be dimmed during night-time operation.

lighting assessment

When making a lighting assessment to consider the best control room lighting solutions to adopt, follow our eight step plan to light up your control room and create a natural and efficient environment.

1. Look at the range of different visual tasks being conducted by each operator

Some will be paper-based tasks, whilst most are electronic based tasks, either close up on touch screens or monitors or at a distance, for:

  • Reading maps and charts as a wall display
  • Reading vertical and horizontal printed material
  • Viewing the video wall displaying CCTV images and information on large flat screens
  • Viewing control systems, dials, alarms, document management, diagnostics, CCTV and other inputs on multiple desk-mounted screens and desktop equipment

2. Consider the age of an operator

This should be taken into account as this will affect the operators ability to read the different materials required, so attention needs to be given to where they are positioned within the room and what they need to read with ease.

3. Provide dimmable lighting

Dimmable lighting within the main control room should be provided for every operator. This will prevent reflections and glare off screens, and must take into account the use of different light sources, both natural and artificial, within the room.

4. Consider adding or retaining windows

Whilst the lighting cast by windows can be an issue in control rooms, having windows are found to have considerable psychological value to an operator working within a control room, linking them to the external world to the promote wellbeing. North facing windows, blinds, workstation layout and the position of equipment will need to be planned to avoid the difficulties of intense natural light conflicting with self-illuminating equipment.

5. Provide LED task lighting

All operators need to be given individual LED task lighting which they can adjust accordingly, for reading self-illuminating equipment at their workstation or when undertaking close up paperwork tasks.

Thinking Space offer a range of LED task lighting options as UK distributor for Novus MoreSpace. This gives the operator complete control over the lighting levels at the workspace.

  • The Attenzia desk lamp is also a good choice for control room task lighting, with it’s sleek design. It is available as a desk clamp, column or freestanding and gives infinite dimmable features too.
  • The Attenzia Space Active HCL light is a red dot award winning mobile lamp, with two lighting modes to simulate natural light. It is the perfect choice when ceiling lighting in the room is not in the correct location for the workspace or when wanting to achieve human centric lighting giving natural daylight
  • Gooseneck lamps gives a warm glow combined with complete flexibility and are ideal for broadcast and air traffic control rooms.

6. Add ambient lighting to increase wellbeing

Studies have shown that ambient lighting within the control room has found to enhance the wellbeing of an operator.

  • Under script LED coloured lighting is a popular choice in control rooms, as it provides a level of lighting below the desk surface whilst not creating screen glare. Thinking Space offer this feature on their control room consoles, and even the option for remote controlled colour changing lighting to give the operator complete control over their surroundings. Thinking Space recommend blue; however the colour could be decided based on desk colour finishes or even corporate branding.
  • Lighting rigs fitted to the ceiling with lighting reflecting down into the control room, also offers a similar concept as a mood-enhancer without creating glare onto work surfaces or screens.

7. Maintenance lighting for your console

Thinking Space offer the option of maintenance lighting, to aid engineers when carrying out maintenance and installations within the void of the console. Maintenance lights ensure that work can carry on within the void of the desk whilst the operator is continuing their usual tasks, without the worry of additional lighting glare which may disturb the operator.

8. Lighting your equipment

Thinking Space have provided is backlit PIP panels so that Air Traffic Controllers can see where to plug in without it creating any reflections. This backlighting concept can be used for other equipment which is added to the desk surface or equipment enclosures.


This eight step process for determining your control room lighting solutions, by no means takes the place of a specialist lighting study, however it is designed to help consider the effects that lighting has on a workspace. By understanding the tasks and personnel within that workspace, lighting can help promote wellness, reduce stress, increase productivity and maximise operator alertness.

Find out more about our lighting solutions, or request a free design service.

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