Saturday, March 2, 2013
Proper lighting may not at first seem like the most crucial factor in creating an effective working environment, but in fact the long-term effects of good or poor lighting are significant.
The lighting needs to be both adequate and varied to prevent eye fatigue, which can have a long term detrimental impact. Poor lighting can also induce headaches, migraines and loss of concentration.
The home office, unlike a purpose-built office, is likely to be smaller, and will present a different set of challenges for creating adequate lighting conditions.
Here are some simple ways in which you can use lighting to create a good working environment.
These are an adaptable method of instantly changing the lighting in a home office workspace. They can be easily moved around, and you can adjust their height to suit the needs of the room. A floor lamp with a flexible head will even direct light on to a book or screen.
The colours of a room greatly influence the perception of the light within. Colours reflect different wavelengths of light – with white reflecting the most. So if you have an office filled with darker colours - such as navy and brown furnishings and mahogany furniture - consider making it 20% brighter than you normally would. Furthermore, varying the colours in a room stops the eye from constantly looking for the brightest spot, which helps prevent eye fatigue.
Different types of lights
Using various types of light will greatly help you achieve a similar effect. Ordinary incandescent bulbs give off a lot of ‘yellow’ light, whereas halogen bulbs emit a more clinical blue-white type of light. Mix them up to encourage varying light levels in a room. Fluorescent bulbs are also useful for indirect lighting, and are great in terms of energy efficiency.
When planning an office, consider the proximity of your desk to the windows. Natural lighting is incredibly important. On the other hand, do not rely on it all the time. Fitting windows with shades or dimmers can help dim bright light on a sunny day, and in turn let in more light on overcast days.
Another way of varying the level of light in a room is to use surfaces and angles to bounce light around. Avoiding an office which is too uniform can help slightly, as can hanging a light-reflecting fixture (such as a picture in a frame) off the wall. This will direct a different intensity of light back down into the room below to provide variation in light, without distracting you.
Small lighting accessories
Another easy way of adapting your office to create better lighting conditions is to use small, attachable light setups. Some of these include lighting strips, or illuminated shelves. Small LED spotlights can even help illuminate spaces such as cupboards or shelves. Very often a home office will contain nooks and crannies with shadows that a set off small lighting accessories can dissipate.
Each lighting solution here meets a different requirement, from designing a home office to illuminating an existing layout. Above all, a little creativity with your office environment will go a long way to making the most of these solutions.
Have you got any other good suggestions when it comes to lighting a home office?
Owain is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing about arts and sciences, particularly music and technological solutions. He writes here for Litecraft Commercial.