Though we may not always notice it, lighting has a huge effect on us. Light sets our body’s clock, affecting wakefulness and productivity, and poor lighting can have negative consequences for health and safety. Research has shown that we receive 85% of our information through our sense of sight, so it’s easy to see why proper lighting is so crucial.
In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, proper lighting can produce “potent biological and therapeutic effects,” while bad lighting can lead to eye strain and headaches. Good lighting is especially important in offices, our hubs of productivity. Without appropriate light, it’s impossible to get anything done!
For those of you who are interested in how you can boost your productivity and well-being while spending time in your office, our staff at iSpace Office Interiors has compiled this helpful guide illustrating the importance of proper lighting in your office.
First and foremost, inadequate office lighting has negative consequences for productivity. Lighting is critical to wakefulness and without proper lighting to help your body know it’s time to be awake, your productivity will fall. Dull lighting can zap your motivation by making you feel lethargic, dragging your productivity and performance to way below where you want them to be.
There is a great deal of research showing that proper office lighting boosts productivity and reduces errors. For example, the International Labor Office reports in their manual “Improving Working Conditions and Productivity in the Garment Industry” that improved lighting in factories resulted in a 10% productivity increase and a 30% decrease in errors.
Researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University also reported in a study entitled “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life” that there is a strong correlation between proper office lighting and your sleep and quality of life. Proper office lighting is a necessity, maximizing your mood, improving your quality of work, and boosting your productivity.
Improper office lighting can have a range of negative effects on your overall health. Without adequate lighting to see what you’re working on, your eyes have to work harder to focus, leading to eye strain and migraines. These health issues can spiral over time, getting worse and worse as your eyes have to work harder and harder to see what you’re working on. As previously mentioned, poor office lighting can also lead to fatigue and lethargy, making it nearly impossible to get anything done. On the other hand, too much harsh light, particularly fluorescent lighting, can also create health issues, such as “glare” migraines. Poor office lighting can also have negative effects on your mental health. There is evidence that bad lighting has adverse effects on the mind, resulting in conditions such as seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons; however, with people who spend at least eight hours a day in their office, the deprivation of light can cause symptoms of seasonal depressive disorder, such as lethargy, irritability, and feelings of worthlessness. Lighting can have an effect on our mood and hormonal balance, so researchers suggest using daylight bulbs in your office to help combat these potential risks.
With all this information in mind, it’s easy to see why adequate office lighting is so crucial for your productivity and health. So, what qualifies as proper office lighting? Firstly, studies have shown that natural light has the most positive effect on us, so it’s important to make use of windows and skylights when designing your office.
We suggest having your desk positioned near the window for maximum natural light exposure. When making choices about artificial lighting, we suggest sticking with warm or neutral white lighting that mimics daylight. LED light bulbs at about 4,000-5,000 Kelvin color temperature, the color temperature of midday sun, are perfect for your office space.
Be sure to check the color temperature of light bulbs before purchasing as temperatures that are too high can result in glare migraines and eye strain. LED light bulbs also use much less energy and last longer, so they will even save you money! For overhead ceiling lighting, we recommend placing it laterally to your desk so that no glare or reflection occurs.
iSpace Office Interiors
Here at iSpace Office Interiors, we are passionate about helping you optimize your office space for maximum productivity and comfort. For more information about how we can help you meet all your office needs, visit our website at www.ispaceoffice.com.
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