UGR19 stands for Unified Glare Rating of 19 or less, which is a parameter of how bright a luminaire is in a sample room layout, and is particularly important in office spaces where workers have to spend many hours a day using display terminals for a large proportion of that time. The higher the UGR number the higher the glare from the luminaire and the increased discomfort for office workers. The glare can cause health and safety issues and welfare problems such as headaches, migraines and eyesight issues. The light fitting alone cannot be UGR19 compliant as it is not a characteristic of a luminaire but is a measure of how it performs in a physical space.

UGR19 lighting is a headache then?

Well no, UGR19 isn’t a headache but the guidelines and the working out and the procurement of it is. The UGR glare index runs from 13 to 28, luminaires with a UGR of 19 or less is the guideline for office spaces set down by the Society of Light and Lighting’s code LG07/15 Lighting Guide 07: Offices – LG7. Which in turn meets The European Standard, EN 12464-1 Light and lighting – Lighting of workplaces – Part 1: Indoor workplaces.

Specifiers are increasingly looking to meet their compliance challenges by specifying UGR19-compliant fittings with contractors. This leads to the increasingly common question “Is that fitting URG compliant?” strictly speaking the answer is No, manufacturers can only supply low glare fittings that support the UGR19 guideline as the calculation must take into account the physical occupancy of the space that is lit.

So UGR19 is not a property of the luminaire?

That’s right it is not, So what do you do? The standard measure for a UGR<19 fitting is what the luminaire would have in a room with the dimensions of 4H/8H and degrees of reflectance of 20% for the floor, 50% for the walls and 70% for the ceiling. Most office spaces are generally not the size of a shipping container, (Unless it is an edgy office in Shoreditch and workers really are sitting in shipping containers). In real-world situations, the UGR value could be lower or even higher. Proper compliance only comes when measured within the space the UGR19 luminaire is to be fitted.

UGR19 Calculation

is the background luminance (cd/m²);
L is the luminance of the luminous parts of each luminaire in the direction of the observer’s eye (cd/m²);
ω is the solid angle of the luminous parts of each luminaire at the observer’s eye (steradian);
p is the Guth position index for each individual luminaire which relates to its displacement from the line of sight.

Don’t worry all hope is not lost with UGR19

There is a table to help. The above calculation is used to work out what the Unified Glare Rating is in rooms of different sizes, walls, ceilings and work surface reflectances. Interdistance spacing of the luminaire is centred in a grid which shows there are many different UGR ratings in different rooms.

Challenges of UGR<19 luminaires

If a luminaire is symmetrical in both directions the UGR does not change much however it is viewed. The big challenge comes when trying to source a low glare UGR<19 compliant asymmetrical luminaires as the glare rating changes depending on whether it is viewed endwise or crosswise. There is a multitude of low glare compliant symmetrical luminaires such as low glare LED panels available on the market today, however, there are only a small handful of UGR<19 linear luminaires available at present that provide the continuous “stripe of light” visual effect desired and are reasonably priced. Many of them have a low lumen output and provide poor uniformity which means more luminaires are needed to light the space and cost are driven up.

Louvres are back…

…and no one is pleased to see them. Like the Cat 2 fluorescent panels of the past some companies have brought this solution back to try and fix the problem.

Ugly spots of light

Regularly UGR19 Linear LED luminaires produce a great UGR<19 value but unfortunately not a consistent strip of light. Bright spots of light are visible through the diffuser that spoil architects carefully considered plans.

The 70s kitchen light effect

The use of two prismatic diffusers to reduce the UGR means the clean and uniform opal glow of traditional LED linear luminaires is lost, replaced instead by an irregular effect not dissimilar to the fluorescent kitchen lighting that was so ubiquitous thorough the 1970s, 80s.

Synergy takes great pride in listening to and supporting Contractors, Architects, Interior Designers and Lighting Engineers to meet your compliance challenges. Synergy’s clients have been asking about UGR<19 compliant LED linear luminaires and we have listened. Yes, it took us time to get it right and after 9 months of research and development, we have an exciting UGR<19 linear LED range of low glare fitting which supports LG7-compliant lighting schemes.

Polaris 1 UGR19 LED Linear

Polaris 3 UGR19 LED Linear Recessed

Polaris 3T Linear UGR19 Recessed Trimless

Polaris 52 LED Linear Direct Indirect Low Glare

Polaris 55 Low Glare Recessed LED Linear

Polaris 55T Recessed Trimless Low Glare

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