How to Choose the Right Office Lighting

2017-09-13T22:21:39+00:00September 8th, 2017|Workplace Design, Wellbeing|

Like office furniture selection and great design plans, lighting is an important component to a beautiful and functional workplace. Not only does it serve a practical purpose by illuminating work and reducing eye strain, it creates an ambiance and warmth that translates directly into wellbeing, mood and employee happiness. 

There are many creative ways to bring more light to your workplace, like installing under-cabinet lighting or adding pendant lights in the breakroom. But today we’ll focus on four key light sources and offer tips to successfully integrate them into your space. 

Natural Lighting 

Bright, happy spaces look great, feel great and give the illusion of being big. But more than that, natural light is essential to our general wellbeing. According to Psychology Today, natural light protects natural biorhythms that aid in sleep and works against depression, diabetes and obesity. Aside from these health-related benefits, office workers and facilities managers should care about natural light because it is proven to promote productivity.   

  • DO: Try to expose everyone to some level of natural light. 
  • DON’T: Reserve windows just for executives or conference rooms. Additional walls, partitions or heavy drapery prevent the sun’s rays from making their way into the center of your workspace. 
  • DO: Provide semi-opaque window coverings that filter light without totally blocking it. This is important for glare, heat control and overall comfortability. 
  • DON’T: Position coders or engineers too close to windows, as direct light on their computer screens proves more of a distraction than a help. 

Ambient Lighting

Ambient light can be thought of as a general brightness or glow in a room. Whether that comes from lamps, installed fixtures or recessed lighting, ambient lighting (as opposed to overheat fluorescent lighting) can make a big impact in your space.  

  • DO: Create a residential feel with lamps throughout your space. They add warmth and style, and can be easily updated for a new look or style.  
  • DON’T: Position lamps where cords will drape across walkways and pose a tripping hazard.  
  • DO: Bring pattern in with thoughtful lampshades. Consider dimmer switches for added atmosphere. 
  • DON’T: Confuse ambient lighting with task lighting. As we’ll see below, people still need task lighting for high-concentration focus work. 

Task Lighting

Task lighting shines targeted light on your work. This is especially important for people spending time with detailed work like soldering, content editing, or working with circuit boards and other small objects. When added to natural and ambient lighting, intentional task lighting provides extra illumination to prevent eye strain. 

  • DO: Install task lighting at each workstation.  
  • DON’T: Position lamps where cords will drape across walkways and pose a tripping hazard.  
  • DO: Choose easy-to-adjust fixtures for height and proximity. Incorporate colors and custom finishes when possible to add personality. 
  • DON’T: Skimp on quantity. Too few lights will frustrate workers and reduce productivity. 

Space-Making Lighting

Create collaboration zones within larger areas with space-defining lights like turnstone’s Big Lamp. Designed to bring down ceiling heights in open offices, Big Lamp provides soft light for users while signaling a “space within a space.” 

  • DO: Use Big Lamp for space creation. Inspired by outdoor patio umbrellas, Big Lamp creates a natural gathering place for work and social connections. 
  • DON’T: Confuse Big Lamp for task lighting. It creates a warm glow — not intense light. 
  • DO: Leverage the range of colors and fabric choices available on Big Lamp. Not only does it make it easy to brand your space, it will help your team with wayfinding. 
  • DON’T: Forget to plan for cord allowance. Big Lamp comes with a 9′ cord and a foot switch to turn it on and off.