Well-designed office lighting is something that can dramatically increase the wellbeing and productivity of employees, but most offices overlook the importance of it. What sort of issues does poor lighting cause in the office? More importantly, what benefits do you get from improving office lighting? Find out the answers to these questions and helpful tips to improve your office lighting.
Issues of Poor Office Lighting
An office with poor lighting is truly a dismal place; it is full of waste, discomfort, and inefficiency. If you’re not quite sure if your office is having issues of poor lighting then consider some of these signs and symptoms:
- Eyestrain, which is manifest through non-specific symptoms like fatigue, pain around the eyes, headaches, blurred vision, or double vision
- Difficulty seeing computer screens because of glare or too much light
- Difficulty seeing printed documents because of shadows or too little light
- Majority of employees consistently have a hard time staying alert throughout the day
- Excessive costs to use and maintain office lighting
- Morale seems to suffer in poorly lit areas when compared to well-lighted office spaces
- Stiff necks and shoulder aches as employees adopt awkward postures in order see what they are reading and writing in poor light
This bulleted list isn’t all inclusive and you may notice only one or several symptoms of poor office lighting, but regardless, it affects your office negatively in several ways. Poor lighting can increase the cost to light your office, decrease the well-being of your employees, and reduce their productivity.
Benefits of Well-Designed Office Lighting
On the flipside, if you have an office space with well-designed lighting, you save money in lighting costs and have happier, more productive employees. Lighting is one of the biggest energy costs to running an office. When lighting design is considered, wasted energy from lighting is reduced through the use of daylighting, lighting controls, and energy efficient lights. Studies in (human-centric) lighting have also shown that quality lit spaces improve the moods of those who dwell in them. Productivity is also heavily linked to the type of light placed in a workspace. We are more responsive to bluer hues of white light and the use of it in workspaces increases alertness and productivity.
Tips to Improve Your Office Lighting
If your office space is suffering from poor lighting, don’t fret! It doesn’t take much to make small improvements towards better designed office lighting. Here are three tips to improve your office lighting today.
1) Start controlling the use of your light
As you think more about controlling the light in your office space, the more useful and less hindering it becomes. Controlling office light can be as simple as properly using blinds and shades to effectively let in natural light or as complex as installing a smart lighting system. One simple, but effective way to control your office lighting can be adding motion sensors to your conference room and/or office restrooms. This will reduce wasted energy and begin to save the office money. Another simple and effective way to control light is to add dimmers to your office ambient light. This will allow you to control the intensity of the general lighting in the office. Dim it down when outside light is brightest and brighten it when there is little to no light outside. Dimmers also help to reduce computer glare and eyestrain from reading in low light. A more complex way to control your office lighting would be install a smart lighting system that would combine all your lighting controls into one integrated system (take a look at this previous blog post on smart lighting to learn more).
2) Choose the right type of lights
If you want to start bringing in the type of light that improves moods, increases productivity, and saves money, start making the switch to solid-state lighting. LED lights have the greatest ability to be controlled, are the most energy efficient, and come in the widest range of intensity and color options. It’s not enough to replace all your lights with LEDs. You want to make sure you have the right intensity, color temperature, and the amount of light in the space you are lighting. For example, if you want to light up an office space that is used primarily for desk work you’d probably want to use LED lights that have cooler (bluer) color temperature. The cooler color temp will promote a more alert state in desk space. You will also want LED lights that produce a significant amount of lumens (brightness) for the tasks that are complete at the desk. For more information on choosing the right type of light for your situation, check out a previous blog post on lighting design tips.
3) Have a space to rest the eyes
Staring at a computer and reading small print all day can definitely result in severe eyestrain no matter how great the space’s lighting is. Give your eyes and your colleague’s eyes a place to rest with a space lit with soothing and calming lighting. Warmer color temperatures and dimmer lights promote relaxation and are easier on your eyes. If you don’t want to run the risk of burning employees out, create a space that allows them to step away from their desk rest their eyes and distress. There are several ways to do this, but lighting in this space is key. Keep the lights dim, use warmer color temperatures, and maybe even add a LED color-changing vase light (set to fade) for some effect ;). Office lighting is more than an afterthought. There are serious health and financial issues if your office is poorly lit, but great benefits well-designed lighting. Use these three simple office lighting tips and you’ll move your office closer to increased savings, productivity, and well-being.
Let Us Help You with Your Office Lighting and More
Birddog Lighting wants to help introduce better lighting into your office, home, and life. Let us help by providing you the right information, getting you the lighting products you need at the prices you want, or sparking cool new lighting project ideas. Follow us on Twitter, sign up for our newsletter, or give us a call and tells us about your lighting project. We are here to help you Unleash the Beauty of Lighting.