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The Best Office Lighting Ideas to Boost Productivity

a blurred picture of seven people working together around a desk with a light bulb in focus at the front of the shot

Office lighting is one of the most important aspects of any office interior design. Lighting can have a huge impact on a number of things, such as productivity, creativity, circadian rhythms, eye health and even your mood, so it’s vital to get it right in order to get the most out of your employees whilst prioritising their health and wellbeing.

From natural light to coloured bulbs, it’s not always an easy task to decipher which type of lighting arrangements are the best for your office, but we’re on hand with the best office lighting ideas to maximise productivity and create a creative, nurturing environment.

Office Lighting Ideas and Tips

From the brightness to the type of bulb you opt for, there are so many different considerations when it comes to choosing the right lighting for your office space. 

How Bright Should Office Lighting Be?

There is a surprisingly delicate balance to strike here - too dim and you risk your employees straining their eyes, too bright and it may cause headaches or affect the visibility of screens. So what exactly is the optimal brightness for productivity?

The Workplace Regulations Act of 1992 states that all workplaces must have sufficient and suitable lighting and, where possible, be from natural light.

When it’s not possible to utilise natural lighting, it’s recommended that artificial lights should be around 300 lux for screen-based tasks and 500 lux for paper-based tasks. This can be a combination of overhead lights and task lighting, such as desk lamps.

If the brightness isn’t at an optimal level, then employee productivity may dip for several reasons. Glare on their computer screens can make it difficult to see, eye strain and headaches may require frequent desk and screen breaks, and insufficient lighting may well cause drowsiness, all of which certainly aren’t conducive to productivity.

What is the Best Office Lighting for Work?

When it comes to the best office lighting for work, there are a number of different options. Aside from natural lighting, which should always be utilised when possible, cool bulbs are recommended, as warmer bulbs can cause drowsiness.

Fluorescent and LED bulbs emit light on the blue and white spectrum, which can help to mimic natural daylight and can even improve productivity by nearly 20%. This can be especially useful for those who work in the evenings, at night or during the shorter, darker days of autumn and winter.

In recent years, LED light bulbs have become the more popular option due to their energy efficiency. Although they may be more expensive than fluorescent bulbs initially, they can help a business to save money. They tend to have a longer lifespan, so don’t need replacing as frequently, as well as saving on energy costs.

How to Make the Most Out of Natural Lighting 

Whilst it may not always be possible to completely rely on natural lighting within an office, utilising it should always be a priority before investing in other kinds of artificial lights.

A survey by Harvard Business Review found that having access to natural light was one of the most desired attributes of an office environment, ranking above on-site gyms and cafes. Therefore, a naturally-lit office could even help to attract new talent and retain valuable team members.

Some of the best ways to make the most of natural lighting include:

  • Evaluate the office furniture arrangements to see if they could be better positioned

  • Remove any items obstructing windows 

  • Consider an open-plan office to allow natural light to flow throughout

  • Opt for reflective surfaces such as glass and mirrors to maximise the light

  • If possible, set up an outdoor space with seating where employees can host meetings or take breaks

Even if natural light is limited within your office space, simply incorporating a couple of strategically-placed mirrors could help to maximise the light available.

What Plants Do Well in Office Lighting?

With biophilic design becoming more popular in offices, it’s common to find plants dotted around. With this in mind, it’s not just your employees you need to think about when it comes to office lighting - it’s important to consider which plants will be able to thrive with your chosen lighting arrangement too!

If there’s a lack of natural lighting in your office, you may think that plants aren’t an option. However, there are a number of different office plants which can survive under fluorescent office lighting, including: 

  • ZZ plants

  • Peace Lilies

  • Ivy 

  • Snake plants

  • Chinese Evergreen 

  • Monstera

On the other hand, if there’s plenty of natural lighting to make use of, then there are some great, low-maintenance plants which can thrive in offices, including: 

  • Jade plants

  • Aloe Vera 

  • Donkey Tail succulents 

  • Yucca cane 

  • Ferns 

Incorporating just a few plants into an office environment has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety levels among staff, improve air quality and even increase productivity. So regardless of whether you can take advantage of natural lighting within your office, or have to rely on artificial lights, there’s sure to be a number of plants that will thrive in any lighting arrangement.

From making the most of natural lighting, to balancing the brightness of artificial lights, there are a number of different ways to improve your office lighting arrangement to boost productivity. If you’re looking for an office space to inspire creativity and output among your employees, then explore our spaces today. From short-term rentals to fully-managed packages, we’ve got everything you need to ensure your business thrives.

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