Working at your desk or studio heavily relies on the quality of lighting you have as this has a direct link to your productivity. Having the right office lighting ideas helps in keeping your eyes safe, preventing headaches and generally making you more productive.
The best office lighting ideas include avoiding direct light, using task lights, choosing the right location, utilizing natural light, using diffused lighting, and choosing the right brightness and temperature for your lights. These aspects hold true whether you’re in a commercial building, home office, an office without windows, or other work setup.
Poor lighting has the effects of dampening morale, straining the eyes, messing with your sleep, reducing productivity, reducing your energy and giving you headaches among others. Depending on the size of your office, it’s location within the building and the type of lighting available, you should tweak the lighting conditions until they’re just right for you.
Best Office Lighting Ideas and Tips
The best tips for your office lighting include the following:
1. Use Indirect Lighting
Indirect or diffused lighting helps reduce glare on your workstation as it bounces light around to soften it for your eyes. Intense and directly overhead lights are the worst for a desk or other workstation as they bounce light off the objects on your desk making it harsh to the eyes.
The solution to this is using lampshades, indirect light and diffused lights as they wash the workspace in light rather than having spots with lights at varying intensities. For the best experience, recessed lights from the ceiling and floor should be used as they produce diffused light which is better for your vision. This is one of the best ideas for office with now windows since you may not have the luxury of natural light.
2. Choose the Right Location
Choosing the right location for your desk and source of light helps in avoiding glare and reducing eyestrain. If you work on papers with tasks such as writing and reading, avoid having strong lights from above. The same goes for working on a computer with the aim being avoiding light from behind directly to the monitor.
In using lampshades, position them such that they don’t cast shadows on your desk. If you write with the right hand, let the lamp be preferably on the left side of the desk and vice versa. If you’re sitting at a window, you’ll have less glare with the window in front or on the sides than at the back.
3. Add Decorative and Accent Lighting
One of the best office lighting ideas for small offices and large ones alike is to have decorative and accent lights drawing attention to other objects in the room. Unless it’s a lab where all areas need to be washed in pure white light, decorative lights should be used to bring out the best in pictures, artwork and other parts of the office.
Lights and decorations such as wall scones, mantel and picture lights not only help your eyes break the monotony of the desk to earn a break, they also improve the looks of your office making it a place you love to go to.
4. Use Natural Light
Natural light makes the office natural to the eyes with some of the benefits being boosting your morale and reducing eyestrain. You can allow in light from the window, door or skylight to brighten up the indoors for your work. If possible, you can set up your temporary office on the patio as it’s one of the best home office lighting ideas.
When setting up your office to make the most of natural light, have the sun or the source of natural light in front of you or on either side to avoid glare. Also, keep the office area away from direct sunlight as it’ll cause glare and even damage equipment. Setting up the office in the north or south direction (rather than east/west) helps avoid direct sunlight on your workstation.
If you’re exposed to direct sunlight at your workstation, you can use blinds, solar shades, roman shades, adjustable louvers, or a standing screen as they help diffuse the light leaving your workstation in warm natural light that isn’t too much.
For gadget screens, having an automatic screen brightness adjustment helps avoid eyestrain as they mimic natural light. Most modern laptops, tablets and phones come with blue light filters, auto-brightness and TrueTone capabilities to make the screen more conducive to the eyes.
5. Use Dedicated Lights
Task lights are dedicated lights for focus-intensive tasks such as reading and writing, filing and art artwork. They’re built to be adjustable in height and angles so that you have the best light to the task you wish to focus on. Desk lamps, pendant lights, track lighting and under-cabinet lighting fit perfectly in this category. Ideally, get task lights whose intensity you can vary to get the right working conditions.
Task lights are among the best lamps to use to save energy since you can turn them off without affecting the lighting of the rest of the room. Other energy-saving tips with office lights include the use of motion-sensing lights, lights with timers, and dimming lights in specific areas.
6. Choose the Right Type and Intensity of Lights
You should aim for balance with the same color temperature indoors to avoid distracting spots in the office. If you’re wondering what lights are used in offices, halogen, LED, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and incandescent lights are the best.
LED lights are a bit costlier than fluorescent lights but they’re better for long hours at the office. They’re more energy-efficient, have a longer lifespan and don’t emit heat which can make the workstation uncomfortable.
How bright should my office lights be? For computer work, the lights should be between 2700k-3500k. This Kelvin temperature is just right to avoid eyestrain and helps you work for long periods of time. In terms of color, white and blue lights are great for working while warmer orange and yellow lights are best suited to relaxing. You can thus have bright white lights in the morning to keep you alert and warmer colors to wind down the day.
Office lighting is a subjective aspect as a lot of aspects work for specific people. What one may consider as too bright might be too dull for the other. In the end, it’s upon you to try out the lighting ideas above to determine what works best for your productivity.