Did you know LED lighting has been shown to increase alertness, thought processing and overall productivity in the workplace?
If you’re a business owner, manager or supervisor, quality and productivity are high up there on your priority list.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways LED office lights can improve your productivity.
1. Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythms are our bodies’ natural cycle of energy flowing through us at any given time. These rhythms aid us in being able to be alert during the day, have a slight slump midday for a siesta, and sleep restfully at night.
Circadian rhythms are naturally balanced by our exposure to sunlight during the day. Sunshine tells our bodies to shut off the production of melatonin needed for sleep and increase the production of dopamine and serotonin.
But with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting that city dwellers spend more than 90% of their lives inside, the sun can’t perform this same task as well as it did decades ago.
This is where using LED office lights can really help you out. Because outdoor lighting is so similar to blue-based LED lights, studies have shown that LEDs can be a viable substitute for natural light.
Participants exposed to 5 hours of blue-based backlit LED lights from their computer screens in the evening:
- Produced less melatonin, the brain chemical that induces sleep
- Reported feeling less tired and more alert
- Performed better on exercises involving attention
These test subjects significantly outperformed those exposed to comparable florescent lit computer screens.
Just as LED lights have been shown to improve learning in classrooms, it appears the same principle applies to LED office lights and increased productivity in the workplace.
2. Effects on Mood/Reduction in Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
Moods are affected by light exposure due to the light’s effect on the chemicals in the brain, namely dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. LED office lights can offer a reliable substitute for the natural outdoor lighting indoors to regulate these hormones and balance out moods.
A 2013 study observed the effects of 6 energy-efficient LED lighting components:
- Vertically integrated LED light fixtures
- Occupancy sensors
- Task lights
- Daylight Harvesting Lights
- High-performance lights with automation systems
The study’s findings were:
- 8.3% improvement in office productivity
- A reported 33% enhancement in mood states with LED
- This improvement in mood converts to a nearly 6% increase in workplace efficiency
- 289% total Return on Investment (ROI)
The conclusion from this study is that LED usage brings triple bottom down savings for the company.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Because many of us spend so much of our time indoors, a relatively new diagnosis has sprung into existence: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.
SAD occurs when a person’s Circadian rhythms are out-of-whack due to many factors. But the one we’ll focus on here is indoor lighting.
There are specially designed SAD lamps to alleviate symptoms and balance out a person’s mood. And many of these lamps use LED power.
How many of us have known the “cranky person” of the workplace? This person just never seems to be happy or content with anything. Having mood swings at the drop of a hat.
While there are many factors that contribute to this person’s state, LED office lights can help improve mood fluctuations like these. They do this through their effects on hormone levels in the brain.
3. Perception and Cognition
In a study on how lights affect our productivity, researchers compared fluorescent lights with 3 types of LED lighting.
The primary findings from this study showed that LED lights enhanced wakeful states, increased positive moods and accelerated performance. The data are as follows for those exposed to LEDs:
- A little over 8% improvement in the completion of tests of cognition and visual acuity
- Enhanced alertness and presence
- Decreased reports of depressive symptoms
- Decreased exhaustion or fatigue
- Quicker reaction speeds
The conclusion was that perception, cognition and alertness are positively affected by exposure to LED office lights.
4. Preserving Healthy Sleep Patterns
Commercial LED lighting has so many advantages as outlined above. It’s also important to use LED office lights responsibly.
A restful sleep is crucial for the health, strength and productivity of your employees. They need to be able to wind down and drift off to sleep when they return home.
This should be on your radar as a business owner because well-rested employees are more alert and safer.
Because blue-based LED lighting stimulates attention and wakefulness and reduces melatonin production, you’ll want to be able to adjust the lights during the last few hours of the workday.
Allowing for less blue light towards the end of the workday allows the body to shift into a more natural state of being. And this promotes healthy sleep patterns.
5. Myths on LED Lights
There are some myths on LED lighting you should know about. It’s important to keep these separate from legitimate studies.
Myth 1: LED Lights Don’t Conserve Energy
The truth is, LED lights use less than 50% of the energy used by fluorescent bulbs and about a ninth of the energy of an incandescent light.
Myth 2: It’s Only a Lightbulb
LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, actually use computer technology and are programmable to reduce costs and impact on the environment.
This provides you with many more options than the average light bulb.
Myth 3: LEDs Aren’t Worth the Extra Expense
This all depends on whether you’re a short-term or long-term thinker. While LEDs may be more costly at the outset, they average a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
This equals an estimated lifespan:
- 50 times that of an average incandescent light
- About 25 times the life cycle of a halogen bulb
- Approximately 10 times longer than a compact fluorescent light
This is even without considering all of the added benefits to cognition, alertness and productivity we’ve outlined for you in this article.
Improving Productivity with LED Office Lights
From balancing out mood levels to improving cognition and perception, LED office lights offer much support on their contribution to productivity in the workplace.
If you’re in the market for LED lighting and want more tips on how you can use it to light up your productivity, check us out at Birddog Distributing.