Whether you work in a large shared office or a home office, the quality and style of lighting that you use in your workspace can have a significant impact. It may affect your productivity levels. Here, we explore how to light your office effectively.
Poor lighting in offices has been shown to increase the frequency of headaches and eyestrain, dampen morale and impair employees’ ability to work well. As such, it’s worth investing some time and money in how you illuminate your office.
Indirect is Best
Working beneath the direct glare of an overhead light is to be avoided; this is too harsh and will not only strain your eyes, but will also give the room a rather stark, cold appearance. Instead, try to look for ways to diffuse ambient light so that it illuminates your workspace efficiently. Lampshades are useful for scattering and softening the harsh light from a bare bulb, whilst a floor lamp shining upwards will help to bounce light off the ceilings and walls, helping to illuminate the entire space. The goal should be to add office lighting that does not create unnecessary amounts of contrast and glare and avoiding casting too many shadows.
Task Lighting is a Must
For focus intensive tasks such as filing and computer work, office lighting, which is dedicated to the task at hand, is essential. An articulated or adjustable desk lamp is perfect for this, as it allows you to direct the light to the area in which you are working. If your office has several different work stations, say a table for the review of document layouts and photographs, a filing area and a desk used for phone and computer work, it’s best to get a dedicated task light for every station.
Location, Location, Location
It’s crucial to take the position of your lighting sources into account. A lamp set up behind you as you type on your computer will inevitably create an irritating glare on the monitor. Similarly, watch out for casting shadows from your task lighting. For example, if you are right-handed and you place the task lighting on your right side, you may find that your arm and hand end up casting shadows on your paperwork.
Don’t underestimates how effective the natural light from the windows or skylight in the office can be for lighting up the space. Sunlight can add a lovely warm light to the room, which makes the entire office brighter and more cheerful. However, there is such a thing as too much natural light; if you find that the direct sunlight coming in through the window at certain times of the day is creating an overwhelming glare, consider adding a standing screen or a simple blind to diffuse the light.
Accent and Decorative Lighting
In addition to the ambient and task lighting, which serve a functional rather than an aesthetic purpose, you may want to consider adding some accent and decorating lighting, to add some character to the space. Pretty table lamps and wall scones can make a dull and unattractive office far more visually pleasing and are very affordable.
Davina Steward writes regularly for a wide variety of decor websites, print publications and blogs, focusing primarily on commercial interior decorating for large corporations. She explores everything from office lighting to office appropriate artwork and furniture.