Office Lighting: The Dos and Don’ts For Your Office Space

Table of Contents

Office lighting directly affects your team’s mood, energy level, and productivity.

Dim lighting will cause your employees to feel tired and cranky, while too bright lighting may cause migraines and disrupt their body’s natural cycle.

If your workplace is well-lit, your employees will be alert, creative, energized, and ready to give 100 percent. But finding the right balance between too dim and too bright is tricky.

In this piece, we’ll tell you about all kinds of office lighting and offer help in figuring out which ones will work for you.


Optimal office lighting variables

Office Lighting

1) Office Lighting Standards

It is widely reported that the General Services Administration (GSA) sets the minimum office standard of 500 lumens per square meter. The US General Services Administration website shares that a normal workstation requires 500 lumens per square meter.

One might think that that seems like a lot or they might have no clue what this means and it doesn’t matter if they’re familiar with lumens or not because what you need to know is that each 6’x6′ (or 36 square-foot) space should have a lighting equivalency of a 35-watt incandescent light bulb.

By that measurement, most desk lamps utilize a 60-watt lightbulb which yields about 800 lumens.

The GSA provides different types of office lighting, including the following

  • Fluorescent fixtures and bulbs are common suggestions.
  • Lighting in the office should be evenly dispersed among the entire room
  • Add task lights in areas where they are needed
  • To change the light’s direction or the light intensity so there are fewer shadows.

For a more detailed discussion, refer to our other sections in this article.


2) Bulb Type

Fluorescent or LED bulbs work well for large, open office spaces but halogen or incandescent is also an option.

Since fluorescent bulbs are the oldest technology, they are the most common, but LED bulbs have several advantages over them.

  • The cost of operating and maintaining LED bulbs is lower
  • There is a longer life expectancy for LED bulbs
  • The LED bulb consumes less energy than other bulbs
  • Infrared radiation is not emitted by LED bulbs
  • The use of LED bulbs does not trigger migraines in migraine-prone individuals
  • Dimmable LED lights can be used during different seasons and times of the day
  • The use of LED bulbs does not interfere with the production of melatonin or sleep patterns

Weigh all the pros and cons of each bulb type before choosing one for your office lighting.


3) Color And Temperature

Color temperature

A team’s health and productivity are also affected by the color and temperature of your office lighting.

Cool blue or cool white lights are better for waking up, working, and concentrating, while warm yellow or warm orange lights are better for relaxing and unwinding.

Both fluorescent and LED bulbs emit light in the blue-and-white spectrum, which makes them ideal for morning illumination. LEDs also allow you to adjust the color and temperature so you can change the light they emit to mimic the natural light outside.


4) Brightness

Employees’ moods and energy levels are also affected by brightness.

In the morning, bright light promotes an alert, active, and creative mind; in the afternoon, dimmer light fosters more of a reflective and industrious spirit.

LED office lights today come with a feature that allows you to adjust the brightness of the bulbs (sometimes automatically) according to the time of day. They started brightly in the morning and gradually dim as the day goes on.


5) Cost

Since the bulbs will run for 14 to 18 hours (or more) each day, cost plays a significant role in the design of your office lighting.

LEDs and fluorescent bulbs are typically the least expensive to operate, but you can reduce the cost of any bulb by installing motion sensors, timers, and dimmers.


6) Computer Placement

Another thing you should take into account when setting up your office lighting is where your computers will be placed.

Bright lights – and even window locations – can overwhelm even the best computer and laptop screens to the point where it becomes impossible to work on them.

Consider lighting and your computer’s position when placing your office desk.



How to choose the right office lighting


1) Examine Your Workspace

Before purchasing new office lighting, examine the lighting in the workplace.

When arranging a home or business office, note which direction the sun comes from and make sure you can control (or have dimmed) artificial lighting in the hours when the sun is most abundant.

Please ask these sorts of questions, such as:

  • Can there be enough existing light that, at least, meets minimum standards?
  • Have you tried improving the arrangement?
  • Are team members complaining about eyestrain?
  • Does glare become a factor at any position in your workspace?

Consider hiring a professional to conduct a detailed light survey to measure illuminance, luminance, reflectance, and contrast.


2) Identify The Type Of Office Lighting You Need

For office lighting, the options are

  • Direct
  • Direct-Indirect
  • Indirect
  • Shielded

Incandescent lighting — like a desk lamp — is ideal as a complement to office light fixtures set on low.

For even illumination, direct-indirect lighting is commonly used in manufacturing to reduce glare.

The light of indirect illumination comes from up above and illuminates the entire room naturally.

Shielded lighting, often seen in an office setting, creates and emits light through different surfaces and filters for a fully covered working environment.

When it comes to light fixtures in an office, any combination of diverse light sources (such as direct-indirect, indirect, and shielded) works best as direct task lighting.


3) Install task lighting at every workstation

I mentioned above that any ambient light (from windows or overhead lights) can be augmented by direct task lighting in the form of a desk lamp or standing light at every workspace.

This means providing each team member with an easy-to-use, easily adjustable desk lamp that provides at least 500 lumens.


4) Make sure your team is exposed to as much natural light as possible

The space in which your team works will greatly influence this step.

Newer buildings may have smaller windows in only select locations that make it impossible to provide light to everyone on your team. Older buildings may have large, floor-to-ceiling windows that provide plenty of natural light throughout the day.

Consider installing office lighting that mimics the color and temperature of natural light in your workspace if windows are limited.


5) Prevent Flicker

There is an uncomfortable amount of flickering in the lights at work, a flicker that cannot be seen even with the naked eye, which can result in eye strain and more severe health issues.

Prevent flicker from impacting your team:

  1. Lighting options with electronic ballasts should be upgraded
  2. The lights must be in good working order at all times
  3. Maintain a regular schedule for bulb replacements

By implementing these measures, your team will be happier, healthier, and more productive in the long run.



Lacelesty lighting China manufacturer

Because of the lack of lighting, workers will experience a severe decrease in productivity. The right kind of lighting must be installed in the working environment to optimize performance. As such, you need to provide that atmosphere through well-placed lighting.

Our discussion of lighting strategies, lux levels, colors, and types of fixtures for the office has covered all the essential topics.

Lacelesty Lighting has ten years of experience designing and manufacturing conference room lighting fixtures. Our team members have worked on a lot of similar projects, so please let them know your lighting needs and they will be happy to work with you.

We have a large catalog that covers all the recessed lights, task lights, panel lights, spotlights, and magnetic track lights of various designs and shapes to fulfill all your needs.

Scroll to Top

Your Project Needs Consulting And Support?

Reach out to us today and get a complimentary business review and consultation.


Provide free
lighting solutions

your project needs consulting and support?

providing specialist support and advice.