With Summer comes longer days and plenty of light shining through the windows. It’s easy to take
sunlight for granted…until thunderstorms and the inevitable return of Winter bring back darker
The good news is that the right artificial lighting can help replace all the benefits of sunlight!
Good lighting is especially important in the workplace in order to promote productivity. If you work
from home, you want to make sure your home office is well-equipped with the proper illumination to
keep you awake and alert.
Here are 4 tips to help you create a well-lit home office:
1. Use both direct and indirect lighting.
Many corporate offices contain workstations that emphasize downward lighting.
Unfortunately, this lighting is not conducive to the best efficiency or productivity.
A recent study by the Light Right Consortium found that employees’ most preferred lighting
design included a mix of both direct and indirect lighting with the option to individually control
the dimming of overhead light. 1 This kind of lighting helped employees to feel more motivated
and to work more accurately.
2. If you can, sit near a window.
Most people today work indoors and thus spend most of the waking day inside. Biologically, though, we are still very sensitive to the movement of the sun. Natural light helps keep our circadian rhythms in check so that our sleeping and waking patterns keep us healthy and feeling refreshed. If you spend most of the day in a home office, try to make sure it includes a window so you are still exposed to the daylight. Ideally, the window should face north, east, or west for the best sun exposure. You may need to incorporate shading to prevent sun glare on your computer screen, but it will be worth it for your overall health and sense of well-being.
3. Pay attention to the quantity and the color temperature of the lighting.
This is a technical tip but understanding some of the science of illumination is helpful for
ensuring you get the light you need.
The quantity of illumination is measured in a unit called lux. Many offices are lit to a standard
500 lux. However, if your work involves prolonged visual tasks (as many office jobs do), the
recommended lighting is actually 2,000 – 10,000 lux. 2 Further, many employees report feeling
more energized and focused at higher quantities of illumination.
You can measure the amount of lux in your office with a lux meter app, and you may want to
experiment with the quantity to see if it makes any difference to your mood and motivation.
Additionally, the color temperature of light is also important. At noon, a blue sky is a very cool
color temperature, around 10,000 degrees Kelvin. However, by sunset it warms up to closer to
2,000 degrees Kelvin. Ideally, you will want to choose a bulb with more of a natural daylight
4. Change the lighting depending on your tasks.
If you work from home, you may find your hours don’t correspond to the traditional 9-5.
If you’re working into the night, increasing the intensity of the light and using a cool blue
temperature bulb that mimics daylight can help you remain alert. However, when it’s time to
start winding down, change the setting to a calmer, warm, low-intensity light. This will make it
easier for you to fall asleep soon afterward. Changing the lighting throughout the progression of your workday is a generally useful tip to
keep your sleep/wake cycle running smoothly.
To enhance your productivity, you want to make sure you have multiple lighting options available in your home office to meet your continually changing needs. To see the range of home office lighting we offer, go to Going Lighting.