Working from home has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and more of us who work from home now realize we need to improve the lighting in our home office. Video meetings in particular have helped us realize that the office desk lamp or backlighting from a nearby window is, shall we say, insufficient and unflattering. Fortunately, there are ways to improving our office lighting. And with help from a professional they can be pretty straightforward.
Inexpensive Lighting - Not Worth the Trouble
It might be seem like a good idea to just grab a couple of cheap lamps from the local home center and hope for the best, but after a few attempts you’ll realize, it's not a long-term solution. Your office lighting should work as a system to meet your specific needs and requirements—and include elements such as overhead lighting, ambient lighting, and task lighting.
Appearing good on video is another element to consider when choosing the proper lighting solution for your home office. It’s important to look your best, whether you’re meeting with colleagues, current or potential clients. Of course you’ll find a wide variety of lighting products that can help you accomplish this goal. However, choosing the option that works best for you is often the biggest challenge. This is another area where a lighting professional can offer valuable advice.
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Consider Whole Office Solutions
Hopefully your home office has at least one window to provide some natural light—a nice to have—which will require managing for potential glare. The room may also have an existing overhead fixture, which works well for providing the room with light, but not adequate enough for video meetings or working at night. If possible, adding a skylight or new overhead lighting can provide a better option and add a pleasant ambiance to the room.
Starting from Scratch
It’s probably safe to say that most of the lighting options currently used to illuminate home offices is insufficient. Therefore, it’s best to start from scratch and implement some lighting tips and ideas from the pros. A professional lighting designer will take into consideration all the existing lighting elements, in addition to any new features you would like to add.
Light fixtures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and sometimes their functionality can serve multiple purposes. Desk lamp can function as task lighting and a decorative element to a home office. Overhead lighting fixtures can provide ample lighting without glare and in some case can serve as task lighting too—if correctly positioned. Task lighting can be found in a variety of styles—recessed, pendants, or incorporated into a ceiling fan unit. Track lighting is the most flexible option because it offers different types of fixtures—such as spot lighting or flood lighting— which can be positioned according to your needs.
Pendant Lights Are A Good Choice
Rather than trying to get by with cheap computer lights, a more permanent solution may cost more initially, but will provide a better long-term solution. Pendant lights are a great option that can be used as a stand-alone fixture, or as part of track lighting. This style of lighting offers a huge variety of style and bulb options. Pendant lighting creates a “studio” effect that presents well on video—providing a more sophisticated look to your home office.
Lighting and Your Health
Lots of research has been performed on what type of lighting should be used to create the most productive work environment. Studies have found that poor lighting can have a detrimental effect on work productivity—specifically dim lighting. Working in a room with dim lighting can cause eye strain—which sometimes results in headaches and/or migraines. Insufficient lighting can also lead to drowsiness and difficulty maintaining focus and motivation. Harsh lighting can also be detrimental to work productivity. Excessively bright lighting can also trigger headaches and/or migraines.
According to lighting experts, light with a color temperature of 5000 Kelvin yield the best overall results. This is light that is a slightly warmer shade than natural daylight while still looking crisp and clear.
Related Topic: Office Lighting and its Effect on Your Health
Lighting your home office properly is a little more involved than just placing a desk lamp or overhead fixture in the room. To create a truly productive workspace, contact a lighting expert at your local Mr. Electric, to design a workspace that works for you.