5 Ways to Improve the Lighting in Your Home Office
Having adequate lighting in a workspace increases comfort and productivity. Use these tips to improve lighting and make your home office an inspiring place to work.
Upgrading the quality of lighting in your home office can potentially boost productivity. Drab, dull lighting leads to reduced energy levels, poor mood, headaches and eyestrain, as well as an overall impairment of your work capabilities.
If your office space lacks natural light, it’s that much more important to have abundant artificial lighting. While typical home offices are equipped with ambient light, such as recessed or overhead lights, it’s foolish to think that this type of lighting alone can handle the job. It’s absolutely necessary to supplement with additional lighting sources.
When trying to put together an effective lighting plan for your home workspace, here are five things to think about.
1. Keep Lighting Indirect
Overhead lights often produce direct glare that can hamper working conditions. As an alternative, try to find ways of diffusing the ambient light, such as employing a floor lamp that directs light upward so that it reflects off of walls and ceilings, or using lampshades to ease and disperse harsh light. Your goal should be to light up the whole room without causing needless contrast and glare or creating extreme shadows.
2. Incorporate Task Lighting
For work tasks that require focus, like paperwork or computer work, seek out a dedicated light source well-defined for that job. Desk lamps that are adjustable or segmented not only work well for a range of office chores, but also have the ability to place light right where it’s needed. In home offices with more than one workstation, install task lighting for each area.
3. Reduce Harsh Shadows & Glare
Take notice of where your light originates from. Is it behind you? If so, you can pretty much count on your computer monitor having an irritating glare. Similarly, be on the lookout for unintentional shadows from lamps being used for task lights. For instance, if you’re right-handed and your task light is positioned on the right, then an annoying shadow may be created by your arm and hand when you write. Another important variable to consider when laying out your workspace is where your windows are located.
4. Maximize Natural Light
Does your home office feature windows or a skylight? Don’t disregard their unique ability to supply natural illumination. The warmth and radiance that sunlight provides can really give your work environment a boost. At the same time, be aware that direct sunlight at certain times of the day can overwhelm the space with harsh shadows and glare.
Natural light typically works best when it’s positioned in front of or beside computer screens and work surfaces. This will not only eliminate glare, but also optimizes any outside views. Another option is to face your workstation north or south to avoid shadows throughout the day. Using solar shades on windows will help manage the day’s changing brightness levels, as well as minimize any heat without undermining the light and scenery. Other options include a basic blind or even a freestanding screen, which is effective at diffusing sunlight pouring in through a window.
5. Play With Decorative Lighting
As previously stated, the majority of home offices will possess a combination of ambient lighting that distributes light across the entire room and focused task lighting for any individual workstations. If you are interested in taking things further, consider accent and decorative lighting to enhance the visual aesthetics of the space. Accent lighting includes things like picture or mantel lights, which highlight elements or objects in the room. Decorative lights (think sconces) provide straightforward visual interest.