If you have a home office where you regularly read, pay bills or complete other tasks, you need more than a bright desk lamp to illuminate your workspace.
Much like you employ various lighting solutions throughout your home to have optimal lighting conditions, you need to bring together different sources of light for your office. Numerous studies have shown that productivity is correlated to a workspace’s light as well as the ability to alter the brightness level. Given these considerations, it is important to ensure the conditions are tailored to common best practices, while of course adjusting for personal preference.
Here are a few tips on how you can get the best light in your office:
Let natural light in
Sunlight is good for much more than a trip to the beach and a day of tanning. Even indoors, getting some sun can be beneficial. Much of the research on lighting and productivity has focused on the role of natural light and how its presence in a workspace can make individuals more prepared for their workday. Due to hormonal changes regulated by our bodies’ circadian rhythms, which respond to changes in sunlight, it is important to ensure sunlight can get into your office. Compared to artificial light, natural light is always better because it provides full spectrum light.
This goal can be achieved by setting up shop in a room of your home with plenty of windows or skylights. Be certain, however, to position your desk or other work surface such that the sun doesn’t provide unwanted glare in regard to your eyes and electronic devices you are using.
Grab a lamp
Although the sun is great for supercharging your energy levels, it won’t always be an available source of light. In these cases, you have to turn to your home’s artificial lighting, and you need to know which type of light works best for the task at hand.
If you’re looking for a low-cost way to get more light while you read or complete paperwork, consider a desk or floor lamp. While you could pay to have pendent lighting installed above your workspace, doing so costs more than purchasing a lamp. Additionally, lamps are mobile, which is helpful if you like to rearrange furniture often or plan to move your office – whether to a new room or a new home.
Glare can also be an issue with lamps. To avoid this problem, refrain from placing lamps above your computer or laptop screens. Additionally, don’t place lamps in front of screens, as doing so can make it harder to see.
Examine your ambient lighting
General lighting does exactly what the title implies: It provides ambient light that can be used for generally any task. Usually, this type of lighting is supplied by ceiling fixtures. It may not provide a direct beam of light for reviewing the stack of bills on your desk, but it can be useful for giving your office some light when the sun goes down.
Invest in dimmable lighting
Whether you consider installing dimmer switches or purchasing lamps with changeable brightness levels, you’ll want to find ways to bring dimmable lighting to your home office. Productivity and lighting research has shown that individuals who have control over their work environment tend to be more productive.
The reason for this trend is that your tasks change. One day your desk may be a workspace for completing your tax forms, and another day could be devoted to reviewing your estate planning documents. You might even use your office for hobbies and crafts. No matter what you’re working on, you need to raise or lower the brightness in your office to fit your needs.