In recent years, there’s been various research done on the effect of lighting on workplace efficiency. Research has also shown that the amount of light we receive throughout the day has a direct correlation to our mood. If we undergo a good amount of quality light throughout the day, studies show an increase in mood and energy, whereas poor quality has the opposite effect. Concentration is one of the first things affected by poor light; your workplace must contain the right lighting.
With a variety of different light bulb colors, dimmers, and wattages out there, it can be challenging to figure out precisely what’s the best one for you and your work.
Any artificial light pales in comparison to the benefits of real, natural lighting. That’s why it’s essential to take advantage of any natural light source you can. Place your work in direct contact with as much natural light as you possibly can. The sun’s natural rays have a direct link to levels of anxiety and will lessen your stress throughout the day. Sunlight also makes you feel happier throughout the day. With less stress and a sunnier outlook on your day, you’ll naturally produce work that reflects that. Not only will your mood improve, but natural light will help to prevent unnecessary eye strain from artificial light and the computer screen. Make good use of natural light at any chance you get and reap the benefits.
When using artificial light, its crucial in considering the purpose of the room your lighting.
Cold Lighting – Cool Colors (5,500K-7,000K) – Brainstorming Rooms
Cold lighting that appears blue-white should be used in rooms that are used for brainstorming activities. The reason for this is that cool color bulbs mimic the light that comes from the brightest part of the day — enforcing a feeling of alertness, attention, and concentration that are vital in brainstorming activities of any kind. If you are feeling stuck, or use brainstorming sessions in your day to day work life, using the right bulb will affect you much more than you think. Warm lights, though comfortable and relaxing, don’t necessarily make you want to work at the level your brain needs to in a brainstorming session. If you need one such brainstorming session, consider using this cool bulb.
For this kind of light look for a cool bulb at 5,500K – 7,000K for optimal effects.
Cool-White Lighting – Cool Daylight Colors – Conference Rooms
Cool, white lighting is a slightly softer, less blue light that should be used in conference rooms. This kind of light promotes the feel of a clear-skied, sunny day from midday to sunset. This is a warmer, more welcoming tone that will encourage the necessary heated, pleasant conversation of a conference while remaining alert. If you want to be awake, but not on overdrive, consider using this light.
For this kind of light, look for a cool-white bulb at 4,000K – 5,500K for optimal effects.
Warm Lighting – Sunset/Fireplace Colors – Intimate Meetings & Breaks
Meeting with someone one on one and want a more comfortable feel? Choose a warm light for this occasion. Warm lighting is also ideal if you need a break from the daily grind for a few moments. Switch over to a room or light with this lighting in it. Warm lighting provides the feel of being at home or somewhere cozy, like before the warm embers of a fire, and makes one feel relaxed and less alert.
For this kind of light, look for a warm bulb under 4,000K.
Lighting & Self-Care
It’s imperative to get the light right as too bright or too dim lighting can affect more than just your work, but your eyesight as well. Consistent, overly fluorescent lighting is responsible for many workers’ regular migraines and is a source for constant discomfort, not an optimal environment for productive work at all. If the light is too dim, it not only leads to eye strain, which also causes headaches but can make you tired and less likely to think at the level that you need to.
Our body’s internal clocks are highly susceptible to lighting, so the more we imitate that natural clock, the better our bodies will respond. Self-care is essential to productivity and work. The better we take care of the self, the better we do at work. Lighting is no different and should be considered right along with our physical and mental health. Want to be your best self at work? Consider lighting as another tool to accomplish what your work needs!