Lighting for Productivity: Four Ways to Get Smart in Office Lighting

Believe it or not, lighting not only provides illumination but also enhances productivity. In a typical office space, the quality and character of illumination affect employees’ overall performance. Have you ever noticed when a dimmed room makes you feel sleepy and less energetic? That’s because poor lighting can dampen mood, reduce energy, and produce headaches and eyestrain, which ultimately affect your ability to work effectively.

This explains why many companies today invest in quality commercial lighting for their offices or business establishments. They see to it that employees receive the right amount of lighting to do their work while also taking care of their well-being. After all, poor lighting affects eye health, concentration, mental health (e.g., depression), and the risks of workplace accidents.

Given the importance of proper lighting in the workplace, it’s important to be aware of your choice of lighting and how it affects the productivity of your workers. With that in mind, here are ways to provide better office lighting for your employees.

Utilize natural lighting

No lighting technology will ever trump the benefits of natural lighting. Don’t ignore the unique benefits of natural light coming from the windows, skylight, or other portals. It is the best and healthiest alternative to dim, harsh lighting systems.

Studies show that the number of windows in a building determines the occupants’ level of satisfaction. This has something to do with the ability of natural light to affect our bodies, behavior, hormonal balance, and overall mood. Experts also found natural lighting leads to less absenteeism, better memory, fewer sick leaves, happier workers, high satisfaction rates, and increased productivity.

Sunlight produces a warm glow that enhances the office environment. But you also need to consider the amount of direct sunlight since too much glare can affect employees’ concentration.

Generally, it’s better to allow natural light in front or beside computer screens or work surfaces to lessen glare and maximize outside views. Another way is to position workstations facing the north or south to prevent shadows at any time of the day. You can adjust the brightness level by using solar shades to reduce and soften the heat without sacrificing the view and illumination. There are also blinds and standing screens, which are great in diffusing sunlight from the window.

Lessen shadows and glare

When placing a light fixture, always account for the position of the light. Placing the light source behind you causes an overwhelming glare on the monitor. You should also be conscious of shadows coming from lamps used for task lighting. This means you have to consider whether your employees are right- or left-handed. If they are right-handed, their hands or arms may cast shadows if the task light is on the right side.

If you’re renovating or building the office from the ground up, consider the window placements as you set up the workspace. Placing windows in the wrong location causes more annoying glares and shadows.

Avoid dim and harsh lighting

There are plenty of reasons why dim lights are detrimental to productivity. First, dim lighting causes headaches and eye strain because inadequate lighting forces the eye to work harder to see clearly. It also results in poor concentration, drowsiness, and low motivation.

Another common culprit is harsh lighting, specifically fluorescent lighting. Although it provides maximum illumination, workers are more likely to suffer from eyestrain and migraine headaches. For focus-intensive tasks, paperwork, or computer work, use a well-defined light source designed for specific tasks.

An articulated or adjustable desk lamp allows you to adjust the direction of light and supports a range of tasks. This works for offices with multiple workstations, and the main light source cannot reach the farthest workspaces.

Get smart with light fixture

Traditional lamps emit indirect lighting and reduce glare, while lights with dimmer switches provide more control in wide-open rooms. If the office has no access to natural lighting, consider installing daylight bulbs since they do a great job of mimicking natural light.

If you’re combining both artificial and natural light, make sure to position lights parallel to the workspace and windows to achieve balance and avoid glare and shadows.

Another tip is to place task lights closer to workspaces instead of relying solely on overhead lighting. This way, you’re reducing the energy consumption of the office by over 67%.

Lighting is beneficial to productivity. Providing the proper lighting for the workplace has a significant impact on office workers’ concentration, performance, and well-being. If you want your employees to perform well and experience greater comfort in the office, it’s about time to invest in quality office lighting.

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