Office Lighting Ideas For Wellness & Creativity

March 8, 2021 | Cristina Dinulescu

office lighting ideas

An office space should always inspire creativity and lead to productivity, which is why it’s important to spruce it up every once in a while. Lighting is one of the easiest, most notable ways in which you can transform a work environment, as there are many office lighting ideas that harvest wellness and creativity. 

Whether your commercial property is a new construction or you’re renovating the office space, light fixtures play an important role that goes beyond the aesthetic value. As mentioned before, the right office lighting can increase workers’ productivity, while the wrong one can have a negative impact. You’d want to create a harmonious working environment, which you can easily achieve with the right combo of interior design and lighting.

Here are not only a few office lighting ideas to help you achieve such a balanced environment, but also the main lighting standards to be aware of in doing so.

Office Lighting Standards

office lighting standards

Since the office space is a work environment, there are certain requirements from the GSA – the US General Services Administration – when it comes to the amount of light under which workers need to perform their tasks. 

These standards have determined that you need 500 lumens per square meter for a regular workstation, which means a 6’ by 6’ cubicle needs an amount of light equal with that generated by a 35-watt incandescent light bulb.

It’s not only the amount of light that is important though, it’s also the layout of the lighting. Ideally, you’d want to provide an even amount of illumination across the entire space. Partitions and cubicle walls should be accounted for as well, as they can cast shadows and lighting needs to be adjusted to minimize such issues.

Your commercial electrician should be aware of all such standards and requirements, not just from the GSA, but also from OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which also has workplace lighting standards for everything from light fixture cover requirements to lighting levels.

Office Lighting Ideas For Productivity

office lighting for productivity

As mentioned above, lighting can impact workers’ productivity and mood, whether it’s the office’s natural light or the fixtures you have. It has been shown that the types of light in a working environment also affects physical health and circadian rhythms, as many studies have analyzed the brain’s ability to perceive and function in different environments.

To that extent, when you’re shopping around for office lighting ideas, consider not only design or price, but also factors like colors and temperatures and how these may affect workers’ sight and brain function. The right lighting can put a person in the right state, feeling well rested, alert and energized, which leads to creativity. 

Lighting that’s too dim, on the other hand, can cause eye strain, disrupt sleep, and even trigger headaches and migraines, because the brain is working too hard to fill in the blanks. This results in fatigue, and therefore diminishes one’s ability to be either creative or productive.

There are many kinds of light fixtures, light colors and temperatures, so it may be difficult to choose from such a variety of office lighting ideas. Here are a few guidelines to help you sort through the choices and select lights that keep your employees happy, healthy and productive. 

Neutral Colors for Ceiling or Wall Lights

If your space has a neutral-colored ceiling, then choosing lighting fixtures will not be too difficult, as there’s plenty you can do with either track lights or pendants. Also choose neutral colors for your light fixtures and you’ll achieve a clean, modern look. Think black, white or grey, which will work not only for the ceiling, but also for wall lighting, helping you achieve a cohesive look.

Track lighting is generally preferred when it comes to ceiling lights, not only in office spaces, but also retail stores or restaurants because it creates a subtle look. Even if you’re on a budget, this idea can work, as they’re generally inexpensive. However, if you want a more formal look and you have the budget for it, you can choose overhead light fixtures.

Adding a Pop of Color With Pendants

If neutral colors won’t work in your office space, you can add a pop of color using ceiling pendants. You can go for brightly-colored fixtures that coordinate with the rest of your decor. These will also liven up the space, since usually office furniture is black, brown or grey and the ceilings are white or silver. 

Pendants usually hang down from the ceiling and provide direct light. You can place them anywhere, including over desks or conference tables. Beware of hanging them too low, as taller employees could knock their heads. Direct, overhead light helps keep workers focused on their tasks.

Warm Colors for Relaxation

When considering office lighting ideas, the color is not the only important aspect. Temperature is equally significant. This usually varies depending on the function of the space. To that extent, warmer colors, such as yellow or orange lights, are ideal for relaxation. You can place them in the lounge area, the breakout room, the kitchen or cafeteria, etc. 

At the other end of the spectrum, cooler lights, such as blue and white lighting, are great for concentrating, therefore for working areas. You can use these in conference rooms, war rooms, cubicles and desks. If this is a possibility for you, consider adjusting the lighting color and temperature based on the time of day as well, not just the function of the space. In the mornings, lighting is ideally cooler and brighter, whereas in the afternoon or evening, it should be warmer. 

Levels of Office Lighting

office lighting levels

Having different levels of lighting is one of the most ingenious office lighting ideas, especially when it comes to the reception area. The reception desk and entrance area can be lit from both above and below. You can use several pendants hanging from the ceiling, as well as neon lighting mounted on the front and sides of the desk.

You can also achieve different levels of lighting with the use of desk lamps. Desk lamps always add a stylish, yet comfortable note to offices. They provide targeted light and are ideal for task lighting. Here, you also have a wide variety of colors, styles and designs. They’re perfect for supplemental lighting, as they allow workers to customize the amount of light desired.

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