Remote Worker’s Guide to Home Office Lighting

You might be surprised at how much of an impact light can have on your mood and your productivity.

First and foremost, your lighting has to be good. Dim lighting is not only bad for your eyes it can also make you feel depressed and lower your productivity. 

Here’s how to ensure that your home office lighting is as good as it can be.

Natural light

Look at the natural light where you’ve set up your office. Even if you don’t have your own desk and chair (e.g. let’s say you’re sitting at the kitchen table) do you have good lighting there?

Sure, it may be good enough for eating but is it good enough for you to be able to see what you’re doing?

If it’s possible – and you’re working during daylight hours – sit close to an open window with the shades up and the curtains pulled back. 

Your best light for working is sunlight, so let in as much natural light as you can. In addition to natural sunlight, add artificial lights to help fill in areas that natural light doesn’t reach. 

Types of lights

There are several different types of artificial lighting such as incandescent, fluorescent, and LED. Each type can be used in any number of ways.

Use some or all of these to create the right environment for your home office to help you be creative and productive.


The lighting you currently have overhead may not be sufficient for your home office.

Consider the following lighting placement:

Indirect lighting

Diffuse the lighting you currently have with ambient light that reflects off of the walls and/or ceiling (e.g. floor lamp shining on the ceiling or a lamp on a table beside you)

The idea is to avoid creating harsh shadows or a direct glare on your work area.

Direct lighting

In addition to ambient lighting from lamps and your overhead light, an adjustable task lamp is a must for tasks that require a lot of focus. 

If you’ve got more than one space set aside for your work add task lighting that’s dedicated to each area.

Add task lights

Task lighting is important; especially if you’re working with a lot of numbers and/or text. You want a clear view of what you’re looking at so add well-placed task lights for effective lighting of your home office.

Placement tips

Light placed behind you can interfere with your ability to see your computer screen. Put task lights behind, pointed down (or directly over) your workspace.

Shadows can be created by task lights, so use overhead or ambient light to help fill in dark spaces.

Finally, let natural light do most of the “heavy lifting” and only fill in with artificial lights where needed.