Your home office is your sanctuary for productivity. It’s the room where you spend upwards of eight hours per day, so it has to be a place where you feel comfortable enough to work. With the right kind of lighting, you can feel empowered to complete your to-do list and make sure all your necessary tasks get done.
If you have a home office already, or you’re setting one up, here are some tips to keep in mind for the best lighting possible.
Make Sure There’s Plenty of Natural Light
According to a study from Northwestern University, office workers who had more exposure to natural light reaped numerous benefits. These included more physical activity, longer sleeping hours and overall improved sleep habits as well as the quality of life.
Natural light keeps you alert and puts you in a positive mood. When you sleep better, you’re more likely to be productive. Plus, if the natural sunlight is warming up your office, you’ll get more done. According to a study from Cornell, workers make more mistakes when office temperatures are below 68 degrees versus offices that are 77 degrees.
When putting your office together, your desk should be about 20 to 25 feet from a window. If you’re having trouble seeing your computer screen either in your bright room or outside, simply purchase a shade for it.
Mimic Daylight with the Right Bulbs
The type of bulb you use can affect your mood and output. This is especially true if you’re working either before sunrise or past sunset.
It’s been found that 5500 Kelvin, the color temperature of daylight at noon, is the optimal temperature for offices as well. Look for a bulb that’s the same.
You’ll also want to purchase LED lights, because they last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, meaning they’re more economical. A halogen bulb lasts an average of 2,000 hours, while LED lights can go for 50,000 hours. Two additional benefits are that they’re environmentally friendly and cool to the touch. They won’t add any unnecessary heat to your office or have much of an effect on your electric bill.
Buy a Desk Lamp
You need a few different sources of direct and indirect light in your office. Direct light, such as a desk lamp, can shine right on your computer, papers, and books. Use a bulb that isn’t too bright, and turn on direct lighting for up-close tasks to avoid straining your eyes.
Ideally, the light from the desk lamp should be out of your eyes and above your head, shining down on your work. That means that the desk lamp doesn’t literally have to sit on your desk. You could buy an adjustable standing light that you keep next to your work area instead.
Get Rid of Any Fluorescent Lighting
A majority of traditional offices feature fluorescent lighting. However, it’s been proven that this type of lighting is detrimental to both your health and productivity. It messes with people’s circadian rhythms because it is so unnatural, and can cause migraines, depression, obesity, stress, and anxiety.
If you have any fluorescent lighting in your home office, it’s time to replace it with other ceiling fixtures instead. Buy a chandelier or pretty fixture that matches your office decor, install a daylight or LED bulb in it, and start to feel better instantly.
By making a few lighting changes, you can completely transform your home office, as well as get more done throughout the day. With improved lighting, your productivity will skyrocket.
About the Author:
Kylie Ora Lobell writes on home office topics, including productivity, health, and lighting for Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection.