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Steelcase Sets New Standard in Lighting Performance.

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2000

"Canopy" Light is Designed to Increase Worker Effectiveness by

Illuminating Twice the Amount of Work Surface Than Rival Task Lights

Conventional Lighting Technology Has Not Kept

Pace With Current Office Trends

Two Years of Research and Development with Leading Optical

Designer Leads to a New Standard in High-Performance Task Lighting

Breakthrough Product Helps Reduce Eye Strain by

Distributing Light More Evenly and Reducing Shadows

Steelcase, the world's largest designer and manufacturer of office environments, today introduced a new breakthrough lighting product called Canopy(TM). Aimed at making knowledge workers more effective in the workplace, Canopy is the most advanced office lighting product ever brought to market by Steelcase. With its breakthrough optics design, the dimmable fluorescent Canopy light illuminates over two and a half times more work surface than rival task lights on the market. In addition, Canopy helps to reduce eye strain in the workplace by distributing light more evenly across the work area, reducing shadows and glare for the user.

Canopy lights are being introduced at a time when eye strain is the number one cause of physical stress in the workplace, according to a recent Kensington survey. In addition, according to the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, Baby Boomers are likely to need twice as much light as Generation X'ers, a critical fact considering the vast numbers of 37-54 year-olds in the workplace.

Given this data, Steelcase initiated research with Terry Lautzenheiser, Principal of DesignMax Laboratories, a leading product design firm, to develop a high performance task light to meet the visual needs of people in relation to today's changing work environment.

Based upon two years of research, the company is introducing the Canopy light on November 30.

"Canopy is the most innovative and breakthrough lighting product brought to market by Steelcase in the last 20 years," said Jim Herrmann, Steelcase General Manager, Lighting. "With computer usage increasing in the workplace and average office lighting levels decreasing, employers are facing serious challenges in providing their people with proper lighting. Canopy was essentially developed to help make people more effective at work, empowering them with a task light that provides a larger and better illuminated workspace as well as more control of their lighting."

Based on Bureau of Labor statistics and industry research, Steelcase has determined that there are more than 52 million knowledge workers currently employed in the United States, making them one of the largest single groups in the American workforce. A knowledge worker is a person whose primary function in the daily performance of his or her job is analyzing, creating, deciding, collaborating and acting on information. Thirty percent of the knowledge workers polled in a recent Steelcase Workplace Index Survey conducted by Bruskin Goldring Research, an independent research firm that focuses on the knowledge worker, claimed that they suffered headaches from poor lighting and 85% percent said better lighting could improve mood and increase energy levels.

About Canopy

The unique technology in Canopy light addresses the problem of insufficient lighting through its ability to provide the broadest possible light coverage while reducing hot spots or shadows. The Canopy light employs a proprietary optical system to deliver unprecedented brightness balance, illumination and light quality.

"Compared with competitive task lighting, the Canopy light illuminates twice the workspace thus providing more usable space and increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the worker," said Herrmann. "By doubling the amount of illuminated space, the Canopy light allows people to be less confined at their workstation and thus work more effectively. For that reason, we feel the Canopy light will set a new standard for the task lighting category."

The Canopy light has two patents pending with the U.S. Patents Office, offers multiple tool-free mounting options creating more flexibility for the facility manager and provides more usable work surface for the user. Its unique design and high performance technology are the fruitful results of more than two years and over $1 million spent on research and development and underscores Steelcase's commitment to creating innovative office products that transform the ways people work.

Visit the Steelcase Web site at and select the new "Lighting Knowledge, Products & Tools" section to view Steelcase's & Details' full line of lighting products and services. This section features an interactive "Planning & Specification Toolkit," which provides detailed product specification data, an estimating tool, downloadable photometric data and presentation-quality photographs. This exciting addition to the Web site makes lighting information available around the clock to architects, designers and sales professionals.

Steelcase Inc. is the world's preeminent designer and manufacturer of products used to create high-performance work environments. Founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1912, Steelcase Inc. helps individuals and the organizations that employ them around the world to work more effectively. The company has led the office furniture industry in sales every year since 1974. Its product portfolio includes seating, storage, furniture systems, interior architectural products, technology products and related products and services. Fiscal 1999 worldwide net sales, including unconsolidated joint ventures, were in excess of $3 billion. Steelcase Inc. ( and its subsidiaries and joint ventures have dealers in more than 680 locations, more than 50 manufacturing plants and more than 21,000 employees around the world.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 10, 2000
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