Best Office Lighting Ideas & Tips

Heather Clouse
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6 Tips for Office Lighting Tips (+ Some Inspiration)

The right office lighting in the right spots is very important. Overhead artificial lighting is usually the only kind to be found in an office, and some employers provide overhead task lighting as well.

That is why it is up to you to find ways to arrange and use the lighting already in your office to suit your needs.

Tip #1: Analyze the Lights in the Office Space

I presume you have the capability to adjust the lighting in the office (if you work from home, you may not have this option). However, you can still plan out suitable lighting by analyzing existing offices in your area/office block/competitor offices and taking a picture of the light.

You can literally take pictures of authorized access areas of different businesses and gather information about the types of lights used for workspace illumination.

Tip #2: Maximize Natural Light

If you have the option to choose your office location, think about working near a window. Having a window wall, several large windows or even a room with a view are all great options. Being near a window is the best way to take advantage of natural lighting.

This is especially true if you are working in a small office.

Some examples of natural lighting include sunlight, moonlight, and even candlelight.

Tip #3: Install Adjustable LED Overhead Lighting

Why overhead lighting? Light emitted from overhead fixtures is more beneficial for you as they directly impact the level of your energy, mood, and alertness.

However, you must use proper lighting. Common office lighting is typically directed or contained by a box. This type of office lighting is not ideal.

You should have LED overhead lighting which can be adjusted in terms of angle and distance from your work. They can also be angled to different sections of your work desk.

Tip #4: Place Appropriate Task Lighting

Presenting a good image is key to impressing clients and getting new business. When showcasing products, the product quality and screen quality matter. When it comes to you, however, your appearance is also a factor. For many, that means keeping it polished.

If you’re of this mind, the last thing you want to do is walk into a boardroom-like interview with your hair not done and your fingernails looking like they somehow survived a hurricane. Not to mention, being uncomfortable and sweating.

First impressions matter. This is why you should create an office environment in which you are comfortable, can present the best version of yourself, and where you can look like yourself.

It’s office pressure, so avoid materials, such as plastic, that can make you feel sweaty. Instead, with fabric over wood or a top.

Your desk setup needs more than a quality chair and desk. A good desk light is the last line of defense between you and the frenzied preparatory frenzy, allowing you to put your best face forward for your next meeting.

Tip #5: Add Atmosphere to Group Spaces and Halls with Ambient Lighting

Rather than using task lighting to try and maximize office productivity, think about how you can incorporate ambient lighting into your color scheme to enhance the mood and productivity at the same time.

Incandescent lights on the walls allow you to dim the lights intermittently or during the daytime to create a better mood for concentration in the group work spaces. Or, use floor lamps in the hallways as ambient lighting in the evenings at home to create a homey atmosphere or a fun experience for the guests.

After-all, if they can look after your house or dog, you may want to give them the same care that you lavish on your house or pet.

Tip #6: Provide Corrective Lighting to Avoid Glare

Don’t let your blinding and annoying overhead lights discourage your comfort at work.

Mood lighting is a nice concept but not always practical. However, there is some truth to the claim that poor lighting can affect your productivity.

To avoid office light vision problems, many employers have begun to incorporate task lighting strategies into their office furnishings.

This concept employs the use of individual light fixtures to ensure that the employees who spend most of the day at the office desk will work in a more comfortable environment.

Task lighting works best when it is directed towards the work area to help illuminate smaller portions of the area. This reduces the amount of glare on the computer screen and the surrounding work area.

This lighting solution also encourages the employee to move between work areas so that discomfort can get a chance to subside.

If you work on a computer for hours on end, you will want to ensure your eyes stay healthy by reducing the level of eye strain your monitor is causing.

There are two main strategies you can employ for this. The first is to reduce the brightness of computer screens and monitor lights. This will allow you to see more clearly without the background being extra bright.

The second is employing the use of diffusers on the monitor lights. This will disperse light evenly across the screen, giving you a better and smoother view of the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much lighting is appropriate in a work place?

How bright is bright enough? Many people believe that bright lighting is best. This is wrong.

You do not want a light that makes you squint. An ideal office should be bright, but not overstimulating.

A light with a high color temperature is best. What color temperature signifies is the sunniest spot of sunlight.

A light with a lower color temperature will feel like a spotlight shining on your face.

Traditional halogen lights have a very high color temperature. LEDs have a slightly lower color temperature.

Another factor to consider is the distance the light is placed from your eyes.

Dimmer switches, for instance, lower a light into a work zone. Picking a light with a built-in dimmer switch will make it easy to adjust for ambient light conditions in the building.

How are bright lights bad?

When you are exposed to bright lights all day long you get a type of brain damage called “photoreceptor cell death.” This is a condition that eventually leads to blindness.

Unfortunately, most of us are exposed to bright light all day long from computers, phones, and other tech devices. The best long-term solution for this is either to wear full-spectrum glasses or to get outside.

What is the best lighting for an office?

There is nothing worse than bad lighting. Having a tremendous amount of brightness and not enough can both be issues, but one thing is for sure: good lighting is key for happy and productive office workers.

If it’s too dark, you won’t be able to see things on your desk and the glare from the monitor can give you a headache. If it’s too bright, you’ll feel blinded by your computer.

The optimal light level in the office is 350 lux. This means that office lights designed for 350 lux can provide a comfortable level of light where computers can be read without glare issues. It also means that you should have sufficient light to avoid eyestrain if you are focusing on a specific area.

And that’s not all. Certain colors of lights will give you a boost in mental energy levels. Cooler colors like blue are good for concentration while warmer colors like red are better for people who want to reduce stress and tiredness during work.

For your office lighting, look for a lamp with all of the above features. You may even consider getting one that you can put on an automatic timer. That way, you can dim it during non-work periods and fully turn it up when you are working.

How can I improve the lighting in my office?

Lighting is one of the core elements in any successful work environment. The standard type of light installation in your office may be excellent for meeting deadlines and doing the paper work, but not so much when it comes to your productivity.

When you’re in a room with good lighting you can really focus on what you do. With poor lighting you’ll have a hard time concentrating, you will be tired, or even have headaches. All these elements take away your focus, meaning you won’t be able to work efficiently.

Based on your needs, you could have a good mixture of desk and table lighting (or task lighting) and ambient light from the workroom.

What type of lights are used in offices?

Incandescent lights are most common those days.

However, they get very hot and are not environment-friendly.

Because of their temperature, you absolutely can’t use them close to aquariums.

So, they are not recommended lights to use inside the fish tank tank if you plan to keep fish indoors.

The best and most efficient type of lighting for fish tank tanks is fluorescent lighting.

Lighting for the fish tank should have good color rendering index (CRI) and it should be low in temperature to prevent the need for extra cooling in addition to your aquarium filter. This will simply cause more problems than solve them.

The advantages of fluorescent lights are:

  • They are less expensive than comparable incandescent lights.
  • Fluorescent lights are more energy-efficient, which saves you money on your electricity bills.
  • Fluorescent bulbs rarely break, and if they do, they don’t shatter.
  • Fluorescent lighting provides more intense lighting per watt than incandescent lights.

This translates into better light output with a compact fluorescent bulb.

If you are replacing an incandescent bulb with a fluorescent bulb, make sure that you put the fluorescent bulb close enough to the aquarium hood so that the light still penetrates the water.

What is the most appropriate lighting level in your home office?

Various aspects need to be taken into account when determining lighting level in your home office:

  • your personal preferences,
  • the activity you’re performing,
  • the time of day and season, and

The type of lighting in your workspace: natural daylight, artificial light from lamps or electronic devices.

Naturally, your preference is the driving force behind this decision. You may want a bright cozy space to keep away distractions and concentrate while others may find it more suitable to work in a dimmed environment.

You may find yourself reading or writing a lot of papers or editing photos. If you’re working more numerically from a computer, then the lighting should be more task-oriented, as you need to have a clear sight as you work.

Whatever your preference, I would advise against keeping a lamp on your desk that’s always on. It’s full of blue light instead of warm light that is necessary for the melatonin production at night.

Segmented lighting can also help improve moods and boost concentration. While it’s tempting to crank up the speakers and the lights when you’re having a fun party, loud music and bright lights maybe a bit too much when you’re trying to focus on your work.