Lighting can have a significant impact on the productivity of your home office. When you work in an office with inadequate lighting, you will experience fatigue, headaches, and eyestrain.
Workspace illumination is even more important when there is little natural light. Ambient lighting in home offices often includes overhead lights and recessed lights, but this is not adequate. It is necessary to add additional lighting sources to existing ambient light in the home office if you want functional lighting.
Consider these five things when choosing your home office lighting.
1. Make use of natural light
A window, skylight, or other natural light source can provide a unique benefit; the warmth of sunlight can enhance the work environment.
However, during certain times of the day, you may need to account for direct sunlight that creates glare.
Position work surfaces and computer screens so that a natural light source is in front of or next to them to avoid glare and maximize your outside views.
Position your workstation facing north or south so that the sunlight does not cast a shadow throughout the day.
Solar shades provide light and views while softening and reducing heat during the day. Alternatively, you can try a simple blind or a standing screen, which will diffuse the sunlight.
2. Opt for blue light
If natural light is lacking, consider using blue light.
Cool, blue light is the best option for lighting your workspace for maximum productivity.
Because blue light is the type of lighting that most closely resembles natural daylight.
Since natural light exposure impacts many of our bodies’ natural processes (e.g. melatonin production), a cool blue glow can prevent your body from going into sleep mode while you’re working.
Which obviously makes it a good choice for a home office.
3. Reduce glare and shadows
You should always consider where your light source is coming from: A light source behind you as you work on your computer will almost certainly create an annoying glare.
Additionally, be wary of unintentional shadows cast by task lighting.
For example, if you’re right-handed, a task light placed on the right of your workspace may cast shadows when you’re writing.
4. Manage indirect lighting
Avoid working with overhead lights that glare directly at you. Consider how you can diffuse the ambient light instead.
For example, lampshades diffuse and soften harsh light, while an upward-shining floor lamp bounces light off walls and ceilings. Light should be dispersed throughout the space without creating excessive glare or contrast or casting shadows.
5. Add Task Lighting
Computer work, paperwork, and other focus-intensive tasks benefit from using well-defined light sources.
Desk lamps that are adjustable or articulated provide light right where you need it and can be used for a variety of tasks.
6. Include decorative office lighting
Besides diffused ambient lighting and task lighting for designated workstations, you might opt for decorative office lighting to enhance the visual character.
For example, decorative lights, such as wall sconces or accent lighting, are used to draw attention to key objects in the room.
7. Control brightness with smart lights
While you might naturally assume that the brighter the light, the better the productivity, the truth is the opposite.
Too much bright light and not only are you uncomfortable and irritable, but you’ll have headaches and eye fatigue. If the lighting is too dim, however, it might tempt you to take a midday nap.
Not a good idea for the never-ending to-do list!
It’s all about getting your lighting right.
Picking the right bulb could mean choosing one with the perfect brightness output, but then again, not every activity requires the same light levels.
For example, reading physical documents, composing a letter, or creating a spreadsheet each requires a certain level of light while doing research on the internet requires a lot less.
So the solution then, is lighting that allows you to adjust the brightness levels according to your needs – e.g. smart lighting.
You can even save the lighting settings of some smart bulbs, so you can quickly select the kind of atmosphere you want to create for a particular task.
It doesn’t get more convenient than that!
5 Things to Consider When Setting Up a Comfortable Home Office
Little Budget, Big Plans: How to Create a Home Office Without Spending a Fortune