By March 28, 2013 Read More →

Shedding some light on the home office

Home office lighting can help productivity

Work from Home Wisdom - shedding light on the home officeLED Flex was established in 2010 and provides energy saving LED bulbs for your home. In today’s guest post they suggest ways to improve the lighting in your home office:

Lighting is important. It’s proven to affect our mood and help us feel settled or re-energised. It can help boost productivity. So why does so little thought go into how to illumine our workspaces? Fortunately, those of us who work from home have more control over the lighting, so here are some top tips to transform your home office into an optimally lit workspace.

Natural Light
According to a Swiss study*, people who spend more time in natural lighting have increased productivity due to their levels of melatonin, which affects alertness.

We all know daylight is the best to work in, but many of us who run a business from home have to compromise on our home office. Out of necessity, the rooms we choose are often the “runts” of the house and might not have much natural light.

There are several things you can do here:

  • Firstly, the radical option: move your home office to one that has more natural light.
  • If that’s too extreme, consider chasing the daylight (moving between rooms that catch the sun with a laptop for example).
  • There are ways to make a room feel lighter too, including hanging mirrors opposite windows, replacing bulky curtains or blinds, and trimming branches covering windows.
  • If your home office has no natural light at all, you might want to invest in a therapy lamp. They’re not cheap but they can definitely help with energy levels, especially during the winter.

Lamps & Lighting
The next stage is to consider lamps and lights. Good lighting can be broken down into three areas: overhead, task lights and ambient lighting. Ideally, all three can be used in your home office, allowing you to tweak the amount of light depending on the time of day and the amount of natural light.

For example, use a low wattage bulb and a lampshade to create a soft overhead light. A task lamp can add be added for strong directional light, especially good for reading. An ambient shaded lamp can help warm up the space and make it feel cosier.

Finally, consider corrective lights, which can help with monitor eyestrain. These should come from directly above or from the side of the monitor screen (always 90 degrees) to help remove glare.

Bulbs
The common house-variety light bulb has gone through a major evolution since the beginning of the incandescent bulb phase-out. The future is now in greener, more efficient bulbs that produce better quality light. But what are the options?

Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs became popular alternatives to the regular bulb (they’re the swirly looking ones) as they use much less energy, but they also contain mercury, which makes them a headache to dispose of safely.

LED lights are initially more expensive but last much longer (saving you money) and don’t contain mercury (The free LightSmart smartphone app helps you calculate the savings of switching from incandescent to CFL or LED lights. There’s also a function that lets you take a picture of a room in your home and change the lighting to see how it would look with a different light source).

The great thing about LED’s is that they’re dimmable and don’t generate as much heat as other bulbs. A good choice of LED light for a home office would be MR16 bulbs. They won’t need replacing for years, use tiny amounts of energy and don’t get hot so won’t overheat a smaller space.

* Münch, M., Linhart, F., Borisuit, A., Jaeggi, S. M., & Scartezzini, J.-L. (2011, December 26). Effects of Prior Light Exposure on Early Evening Performance, Subjective Sleepiness, and Hormonal Secretion.

Posted in: Home offices

1 Comment on "Shedding some light on the home office"

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  1. Jacob says:

    I’m so glad you’re sharing your light fixture options in this post. We are in the process of finding new fixtures and I know I can always count on your style to help inspire me!! Thanks for sharing and always inspiring me to create a space that I love. =)

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