The most sought-after home office design ideas typically detail finding the right nook or cranny for your workspace, choosing the right colour to paint the walls, saving space and what furniture to buy. One often overlooked aspect of any interior space is that of lighting design. We notice when shops aren’t well lit and when restaurants are too bright but what about the spaces which we work in. For those pushing for greater motivation and productivity while working from home, a well thought out lighting design is paramount and easy to achieve. In fact, lighting is so important, it fits into the realm of ergonomics. The effects of the incorrect lighting are more than aesthetic.
The Right Light, the Right Situation
Lighting is an essential aspect of every indoor space. Dim lighting in a shop makes it impossible to find and select your shopping items. Bright lighting in a restaurant is nothing short of unromantic but is a necessity in any functional kitchen. Creating the right lighting design is dependant on the purpose of the space. It affects our ability to enjoy the space and use it for its intended purpose. While we can manage with slightly less than perfect lighting in our homes, the spaces we need to be motivated and productive in, really need more attention.
Why We Need Lighting Design in Our Home Offices
Improving our motivation and productivity while working from home is the core reason we take the time and care to perfect our home office design. We have come to realise that our backs get sore when we are sitting in the wrong chair or at the wrong table, but what about ineffective lighting? Lighting has a greater impact on the functionality of our home offices than we may have previously realised. Offices are designed with this in mind, but our homes are not. A poorly lit room will affect your performance and motivation by inducing headaches, straining your eyes, affect your concentration levels, and make you sleepy. It’s also paramount to note that people with even mild forms of epilepsy are at risk of seizures when subjected to flickering lights for extended periods. This makes carefully lighting your home office a health and safety issue in the same way that having ergonomic furniture is.
Things to Consider in Your Lighting Design
The ideal lighting for your home office is a combination of natural light, ambient light, task lighting and accent lighting if necessary. Within this framework finding the perfect balance is essential and it is best done through the careful layering of light sources.
Here are a few things to consider:
Natural light – when you select the spot for your home office space, you need to base this on your natural light source. Diffused light through windows and skylights can go a long way to reducing eyestrain. You do however need to ensure that you aren’t subject to direct sunlight which will create glare or shadows on your computer and workspace at certain times of the day. If you carefully choose the position of your desk, you should be able to avoid this but it can be further assisted with the right type of blinds. This way you can control the light levels throughout the day.
Ambient light – another form of diffused light, this overhead indirect light gives your office and overall diffused light. Ambient light doesn’t create glare which bounces off walls and ceilings. This light usually comes from ceilings and wall fixtures. In your home office, it’s best to have an even layer of light which doesn’t create shadows. This light is best if you can control it through a dimmer switch to ensure you have sufficient light throughout the day.
Task lighting – task lighting offers you bright and focused light for the immediate area in which you are working. This type of lighting is best created with a desk lamp which can be articulated and manoeuvred in order to shed light on your work area without causing glare or dark shadows. It’s also helpful if you are able to dim or brighten this light as needed.
Accent lighting – the last layer of lighting which you may want to add to your home office is accent lighting. It is generally decorative, used to draw attention to the more stylistic elements in your home office such as paintings, sculptures or certificates.
Working at home has become the norm for many people, whether due to the COVID-19 pandemic or even due to the general shift in how people are choosing to work. The trick is making sure the workspace is best suited to your working needs. A well thought out lighting design is essential to maintain your motivation and productivity while working from home. If you need more advice, book a consultation with our space planning and design team.