Lighting Tips for your Home Office
The ways in which businesses operate are changing, with more and more people working from home. While this is often a practical solution for both employers and staff, it can sometimes be difficult for work-at-homers to separate their work and home environments. Though many people have a spare room for a home office, those who don’t or want to make their workspace feel more “business-like” may appreciate some tips to emphasize the barrier between the two domains. Fun fact: changing your lighting can be key to making your home office feel a little less like “home.”
So what should a home office feel like, and why should it be different from the rest of your home? More likely than not, you want your home office to be a space where you can be focused and productive, in contrast to the majority of your home, where you’ll want to feel more relaxed. This is why one of the first (and simpler) steps to creating an ideal environment for your work space is changing the color temperature of your lights.
Many studies have shown that lights in higher color temperatures (above 3500K) directly impact our learning and productivity, making us better able to take in information and concentrate on tasks. The higher the color temperature, the higher the level of focus you are able to achieve. For this reason, we recommend purchasing lights in 5000K or above for your home office. Whether it is an incandescent, CFL, or LED light is inconsequential to color temperature. However, LED lights are a tech-savvy and energy-efficient option, while it should be noted that CFL lights sometimes cause headaches. Midday sunlight also produces light over 5000K, and not to mention, natural light is good for your health and improving your mood. If possible, position your desk near a window to take advantage of as much natural light as possible.
You’ll also want to use certain types of light fixtures in your home office; specifically, ones that emphasize lighting for functionality and practical purposes. While you always want to incorporate the three layers of lighting design (ambient, task, and accent lighting), task lighting is particularly important in a home office, with swivel-head desk lamps being ideal for concentrating light onto reading and workspaces. Creative accent lighting can also be helpful for transforming your home office into a sleek and professional environment. Consider using LED tape light to backlight your computer screen, or track and down lights to display artwork. Keep in mind that while you always want to install fixtures that go with the flow of your home, try to avoid ones that could be distracting (such as color-changing lights) or that may be too large and take up too much of your usable workspace.
The correct placement of a task light is crucial for minimizing glare and the shadows that cause eye strain. Light that is too bright and direct is what creates the monitor glare that tires our eyes. For instance, situating an overhead spotlight behind you can result in a large amount of annoying glare on your computer screen. To avoid shadows or glare created by desk lamps, place your lamp on the side opposite from the hand you use to write. If it's on the same side, your hand and arm will cast shadows. Moreover, having your lights on dimmers and taking advantage of your window blinds will allow you to modulate light levels throughout the day to suit the time and task at hand.
- Position your desk by a window, if possible
- Use artificial lights in a high color temperature (5000K+)
- Take advantage of task lighting, especially desk lamps
- Don’t use light fixtures that can be distracting
- Place your fixtures where they won’t result in harmful glare and eye strain
So that’s all from us! Do you have any questions or other suggestions for ways to light up a home office? Drop us a line below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram!