The lighting system of the conference room is another factor that completes any meeting or conference. To design the system, one must consider both the function and beauty that align themselves with the interior design.

Image: Lighting system for conference room

Characteristics of lighting design

Designing lighting system for a conference room requires careful consideration in both the luminous intensity that is suitable for usage and the enchanting lighting effects that create the mood inside the room. To achieve both objectives, the light needs to be tuned using these two types of light.

1. Direct Lights

It is the light that shines directly from the light source to the design target without reflecting off any object or surface. An example of this type of light is ceiling luminaries which flood the light directly to the floor.

  • The advantage of the direct light is the highly efficient brightness which is suitable for large area and helps brighten the space.
  • The downside is the positioning of the light. Any faulty positioning will result in a dark tunnel-like environment.
Image: Direct light
Image: The flaw of direct light

2 Indirect Lights

Indirect light refers to the light which illuminates from the light source, then reflects on an object or surface to the design target spot. The light reflection can be seen from the lamp installed in the fold of the ceiling or on the wall. The light diffusion will depend on the object or surface’s properties.

  • The advantage of the indirect light is the mood creation that is gentle and softened in brightness.
  • The downside is the low brightness and lesser contrast ratio. With a poor design lighting, the reflection can disturb the whole lighting mood of the room such as excessive or insufficient brightness.
Image: Characteristics of the indirect light for conference room

Both types of light are important for conference lighting design. However, ambient light and accent light should also be balanced together with other factors.

The type of lighting design

Designing lighting for the conference room does not only consider the context of its outstanding and beautiful interior design but the form and function should also be included as they impact the effectiveness of a conference. They can be listed as the two following types.

Image: The simulation of lighting design for conference room

Ambient Light

Ambient light is the key lighting in a conference room. This type of light will disperse evenly in the room. While beauty is not the main point of the ambient light, it focuses more on the functions. Generally, fluorescent lamps or chandeliers which flood the light in wide-angle over the room area is more popular for this light type.

Image: Ambient light in a conference room

Task Light

Task light is specially designed for a specific duty such as light at the attendee table which is usually designed for document reading. Recessed downlight is the most popular type for this kind of light as the beam area can be controlled with high capacity light that brings out higher visual definition. In terms of the color temperature, daylight is used more in the task light design owing to its low-temperature mood, low color distortion, and long-reading suitability without eye fatigue.

Image: Task light in conference room

Accent Light

Accent light is the light which beams to pop out or highlight a particular spot within the room. For example, painting display light and sculpture display light, both of which add the final touch to the architecture to be more attractive. Spotlight is the major light that goes well with this type, and one example is the profile spotlight.

Image: Accent Light

Decorative Light

Decorative light’s main source is a lamp or colorful bulb creating a spot of attention within the room. The design of this type of light is mainly inspired by indirect light characteristics resulting in a soften light and not harmful to human eyes. One popular usage for this light is the light in the fold or cove of the ceiling or so-called a LED wall washer.

Image: Decorative light

Points should be considered in designing light


The major causes of glare are from the brightness of an improperly installed lamp that includes the following.

1. Direct glare from the type of lamp
2. Direct glare from the reflection off a table surface.
3. Direct glare from the computer display reflection

Image: The type of glare

Lighting design for glare reduction can be done by lamp selecting and re-positioning processes. The designer should opt for the lamp that is able to adjust its light direction to reduce the direct glare or reposition the lamp with 25 degrees angle between the floor and the actual working position. Also, the lamp that can control the area of the beam should have a range of 10-30 degrees. These features will help reduce the glaring issue.

Lamp positioning

Lamp positioning in a conference room is very important. The luminance of lighting concepts and rows of light in the fold of the ceiling should be planned to integrate the architectural structure with the lighting for the lighting pattern design and purpose of use.

Image: Lamp positioning
Image: Lamp positioning

Conference light and energy saving

On top of the form and function in lighting system design, energy-saving is another factor to be considered. It can be achieved by using natural light together with lamps, which will help save the energy. The tips for this kind of design are as follows:

Image: Natural-and-lamp-mixed conference room
  • Brightness should be adjusted according to the purpose of each area. Normally, designing light for a conference room will refer to the standard brightness measurement according to the guideline of Illuminating Engineering Society e.g. CIE or IES depending on the type and function of the area. Generally, the brightness level in a conference room is approximately 500 LUX.
Image: Brightness level for each type of area
  • The luminous efficacy unit is lumen per watt (lm/w). A high luminous efficacy bulb should be high enough considering the distance and height of the light. The type of bulb is also an important element. For example, a fluorescent lamp with 45-72 lm/w luminous efficacy should not be installed higher than 3.5 M.
Image: Lamp
  • Reflectors can increase the efficiency of the lighting instruments. Generally, aluminum anodizing is often used with a reflector to control the direction of light reflection while helping to save energy.
Image: Aluminum for lighting direction control
  •  Lighting Control by adjusting to the sufficient brightness for each usage will help reduce wasted energy.
Image: Lighting Controller


Designing light for conference room should begin with studying the characteristic of light, type of light, which are serving different purposes such as task light for document reading. Moreover, the installation position and the behavior of the user should be considered as well as the efficiency of the lighting.