Apart from setting up your desk (hopefully!) by a window, the next best thing about working from home is the ability to be selective about your work environment - lighting included!
We like to think that lighting is as essential as eating well and getting good rest when it comes to working your best the next day. And as you may know, lighting controls so much of our day-to-day functioning and mood.
Today let's get into picking out the best lighting for your home office!
To boost feelings of productivity and creativity from your light, you have to understand the intimate interplay between the color of light, the types of lighting, etc., and how it interacts with your mood, sleep, and pretty much your whole existence.
Short of going ahead and reading up on everything light and health, (though, please do- lighting is as elemental as air for us!), you can use this quick list to get you started on the right foot in illuminating your home office!
Let's dive in.
Step 1: Use bright white overhead lighting
First, make sure you have adequate overhead lighting.
Adequate meaning, it should be bright enough and "blue" enough in color temperature to stimulate an awakening, energizing effect.
The color temperature of light plays a role in our mood and daily functioning. Ensure your overhead lighting - likely recessed can light fixtures - uses flood bulbs in a color temperature range between around 4000K and 6000K. Remember, the higher the color temperature number, the "bluer" the light.
These bluer, whiter, and cooler light temperatures tell our brain and body that it's time to wake up and get productive.
For the same reason you've likely heard of limiting screen time and blue light exposure in the evening - it keeps you awake! - is the same reason you need access to plenty of it during the morning and daytime!
Our overhead lighting is like the backdrop in a painting - it sets the scene's tone. So if you fill your room well with a backfill of stimulating light, we can move on to step #2: using colorful, glare-free task lights to illuminate your workspace at close range!
Step 2: Illuminate your workspace with desk lamps
Once your overall space is set with bright white overheads, you'll want to illuminate your immediate desk or work area with some colorful task lighting.
Using this Chromalux® light bulb in any old desk or floor lamp is one of my favorite ways to illuminate my desk space daily at close range. Not only does it reduce eye strain, but it also envelops the room in colorful light that boosts creativity. I feel the difference working with it versus without!
Step 3: Use a bright light therapy pad or light box for an added jolt of energy in the morning
While not quite a lighting tip in the traditional sense, this one needs to be included - especially during the darker months of the year.
Traditionally used during the darker fall and winter months to combat feelings of depression and lethargy from a lack of sunlight (known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder), you can also use light pads throughout the year first thing in the morning for an added boost of energy! However, the effects are pretty instant, and you'll want to turn off your device anywhere after 10-30 minutes, depending on the intensity of the light.
The biggest mistake we always see is attempting to get work done without light. Don't expect gains in productivity and/or creativity without investing a bit in your light!
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