No matter where you work, the type of lighting you’re exposed to can make or break your workday. Studies show that lighting in the workplace can have a significant impact on employees’ productivity and efficiency on the job, sometimes having both a psychological and physical effect on workers.
Discover how certain lighting can affect you and your team’s productivity, as well as the best tips to light your workplace.
How Does Lighting Affect Productivity?
When you think about how lighting affects productivity, you may already know some ways without reading a scientific study. Bright lights can sometimes be too harsh, and staring at the blue light of a computer too long can strain your eyes.
You see, certain types of light will activate our body’s circadian rhythm. In other words, it can trigger certain activities like the desire to sleep, relax, or be stimulated. Certain lighting can even decrease depression, improve mood, energy, and alertness. It’s important to consider these factors when designing a workspace.
Artificial Lighting in the Workplace
It’s almost impossible to avoid artificial lighting in the workplace. However, it’s crucial to consider the type of lighting you use depending on the work being done. In a workplace where computers are used often, it’s important to have an accurate source of lighting to relieve the brightness of the computer screen on workers’ eyes.
Artificial lighting can be bright or dim, and each has a different impact on employees:
- Dim lighting tends to cause unnecessary strain on the eyes, which can lead to eye issues or headaches. Employees may experience drowsiness or lose their sense of motivation, which can result in an overall reduction of work productivity.
- Bright lighting or high-intensity lighting can also affect productivity. Fluorescent or halogen lighting can sometimes cause workers to get headaches; lights like this that are too bright were named one of the major causes of migraines in workers.
It’s important to find a healthy balance between dim and bright lighting in a workspace.
One of the best types of lighting for a workspace is natural lighting. Direct light from the sun can reduce the rate at which workers get headaches, and it can even reduce stress and drowsiness in workers. Access to windows and natural lighting are factors that can increase workers’ satisfaction levels and reduce the levels of anxiety. Natural light helps workers see better, which reduces eye strain.
Unfortunately, not all working spaces have access to large windows. The next best thing is to mimic the look and feel of natural light with artificial lighting. The color temperature of natural daylight is 5000-7000K. Achieve this look by including lighting (like LEDs) with this color temperature in your office space.
Certain bright lights that mimic daylight can improve performance at work by increasing an employee’s alertness and stimulating the brain.
LED vs Fluorescent Lighting
Contrary to popular belief, fluorescent lighting does not cause migraines; however, it can make people who regularly suffer from migraines feel worse at times. People who already suffer from migraines may be more sensitive to light than others, so it’s important to consider this depending on the people you have on your team.
LED lighting can be better for offices, as it’s more energy-efficient and lasts longer than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Also, LED lights can be dimmed or brightened depending on the time of day or activity being performed. This allows for a lot more customization to your workspace.
Tips for Lighting Your Workspace
In a study from the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of workers complain about the lighting in their office. It’s important to find a balance between artificial and natural lighting in the workplace to provide the most optimal setting for your workers. Design your workspace’s lighting based on the needs of your space and your team.
Position furniture in the right place so workers can benefit from both artificial lighting and natural light. Arrange desks, tables, and computers so workers are facing opposite of artificial lighting. This can reduce the rate at which your employees have direct contact with artificial lighting.
You can (and should) also consider color temperature (in kelvins) when thinking about the way lighting affects how we work:
- Warm lighting is best for intimate settings, like break rooms. It can create a sense of comfort and relaxation.
- Mid-toned lighting is best for conference rooms. It’s more welcoming, but also cool enough to promote alertness.
- Cool lighting is best for brainstorming rooms. This light can improve alertness, mood, and productivity. It can also lower melatonin levels, which can reduce fatigue.
Consult the Lighting Experts
Exploring the many different types of lighting can be intimidating if you’re new to interior design. Our team of lighting manufacturer representatives is here to help. Talk to us today and we’ll point you in the right direction when you’re planning your next workspace lighting project.