How important are office lighting ideas when it comes to productivity at work? According to a mounting body of research, very.
Studies show that improper lighting can impact the productivity levels of office workers. It can affect mental and physical energy, play a role in migraines, and throw out one’s circadian rhythms.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can optimize how lighting is set up in office areas. These simple improvements in office lighting can have both a positive impact on your employee’s health and can boost productivity. And healthier employees lead to fewer sick days, higher energy levels, increased positivity, and better output.
Want to know more about which office lighting ideas can help you achieve this? Stay with us as we list seven top lighting solutions which can spark heightened productivity.
1. Incorporate Natural Lighting Where Possible
One of the best ways to enhance the quality of office lighting is to incorporate as much natural light as possible.
Described as the “best medicine for the office,” natural lighting has been proven to reduce eye strain and headaches in office workers by 84%. Reductions in these issues during the workday automatically lead to increased outputs.
Research shows natural lighting doesn’t just boost productivity by decreasing eyestrain and headaches, but sitting next to a window can increase workers’ outputs by 16%.
On top of this, natural lighting is also known to increase serotonin levels and regulate melatonin release. This, in turn, helps with sleep quality, which positively impacts energy levels and alertness during the day.
What to Consider When Incorporating Natural Lighting
As you can see, incorporating natural lighting into office areas is one of the best office lighting design strategies. However, implementation is not as straightforward as you might think. Even though the best office lighting comes from the sun, direct sunlight and electronic screens are not always the best combination.
Have you ever sat in front of a computer hit directly by the sun? You probably couldn’t see a thing. This is because sunlight is stronger than the light that your computer screen emits.
The trick to working around this is to diffuse natural light in areas where it is too bright. For example, if you have large office windows that receive direct afternoon sun, install semi-translucent blinds to diffuse the light while still allowing light into the room.
Another problem for offices is lack of natural lighting, some areas just might not getanysunlight, ever.If you can, consider rearranging the layout of your office so that workers get as much light as possible. Try to use rooms that are totally cut off from natural light for functions like storage, filing, or printing.
Another area to think about is conference rooms. Many of us spend long hours in conference rooms that lack access to natural light.
By choosing rooms with large windows as conference areas, you can boost energy levels in conferences and meetings. Which can lead to better productivity and communication.
If you can, you might also be able to look into installing skylights, which are an ideal source of natural light.
2. Look Into LED Bulbs that Mimic Natural Light
While natural lighting is the best solution for boosting productivity and employee health, there are many situations where there isn’t enough of it. This is where artificial lights, used in the right way, can be helpful.
When it comes to artificial lighting, LED bulbs are considered one of the best options for enhancing productivity. One of the reasons for this is that well-designed LED office lighting can mimic natural lighting. What’s more, LED bulbs emit bright light but with reduced glare and harshness.
In contrast, fluorescent bulbs emit very bright light but are often harsh and irritating to the eyes. This can result in increased eyestrain and headaches.
As an added bonus, LED bulbs are also more environmentally friendly than other artificial light options. Not only do they use less energy, but LED bulbs also last longer than incandescent light bulbs and CFLs. Along with being more energy-efficient, LED bulbs do not contain toxic ingredients.
3. Boost Energy Levels With Light Therapy Lamps
As we’ve mentioned, it’s hard to incorporate natural lighting into all areas of an office building. Inevitably, there will be places where you need to bring in artificial sources of office lighting.
While well-designed LED bulbs can mimic daylight, you can take the daylight replication concept one step further with light therapy or Smart lighting. You should consider this option if it isn’t feasible to fit out a whole office floor with LED lights.
With Smart office lighting ideas, you don’t have to replace all of your lighting fixtures. One Smart solution is light therapy lamps. These office desk lights are portable, compact, and can be placed anywhere in the office.
Although, the best position for light therapy lamps for executives and office workers is generally on one’s desk.
As you work, the light emitted mimics natural daylight, resetting circadian rhythms, regulating hormone function, increasing energy levels, and thereby boosting productivity.
4. Incorporate Task Lighting
Task lighting, often lacking in many office environments, is particularly important for any work area.
Task lighting is any kind of lighting designed to help you with a specific task, such as reading. The most common type of task lighting is swivel lamps, used to provide focused light for specific tasks.
Task lighting has a number of advantages. First, it lights up your desk with bright, directed light when needed, and you can control it depending on your lighting needs during the day.
Additionally, task lights can easily be positioned in different places on a desk to eliminate shadows and cast light directly where you need it.
5. Allow Employees to Adjust Their Lighting Levels Individually
While we are on the topic of task and workstation lighting, it’s worth mentioning the importance of allowing employees control over their own lighting.
According to research, workers who can control light brightness at their own workstations were more engaged and more productive. As an added bonus, energy consumption also dropped, as employees made more use of natural light.
You should focus less on strong, overhead, centrally-controlled ambient lights and more on personalized desk solutions. These lighting fixtures should allow employees maximum control over their lighting conditions.
6. Use Lighting to Improve the Aesthetic of your Office Space
Another thing to think about in office design is accent lighting. Accent lighting is a key component of interior design and decor.
You could include wall-mounted sconces and LED lights to highlight artwork, use statement lights in corners to illuminate shadowed areas, and incorporate floor lamps.
Accent lighting can dramatically improve the aesthetic of a space, thereby increasing feelings of wellbeing. And it’s well known that feelings of wellbeing can trigger heightened productivity.
Accent lighting will not only make employees feel good, but it will also elevate the office space in the eyes of your clients.
7. Strike a Balance With Brightness
When considering different office lighting ideas, it’s important to consider light brightness.
Dim light levels can be a productivity killer and result in eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. However, overly bright or harsh office lighting is also not ideal in a work environment. As mentioned, direct sunlight competes with screen brightness and can cause glare and eyestrain. While harsh fluorescent bulbs can strain one’s eyes and disrupt circadian rhythms.
The happy medium for the best office lighting is generally overhead lights of medium brightness, preferably LED-based and possibly daylight mimicking.
Overhead lighting can then be supplemented with task lights, an office desk light with light therapy capabilities, and accent lighting.
Ideally, workers should have as much control over the lighting brightness in their personal work area as possible.
Implement These Office Lighting Ideas for Heightened Productivity
Light undoubtedly has an effect on physical and mental energy levels. As well as focus, sleep patterns, hormone production, mental wellbeing, and more.
If you want to increase productivity in the office, optimizing the lighting is a smart choice. One of the easiest ways to enhance office lighting is to invest in individual light therapy desk lamps. Or, if you’re ready to make a bigger investment, consider ambient LED lighting technology and take steps to bring in as much natural light as possible.
Are you looking for more solutions for optimizing your workspace and energy levels? If so, feel free to browse our shop. We stock a variety of innovative products exclusively selected for executives and entrepreneurs.
Also published on Medium.