Forget checklists and sticky notes - our favorite productivity hacks have everything to do with lighting! 

Keep these lighting tips in mind to easily improve your daily productivity and creativity! 

Tip 1: Use bright, white lights overhead 

First, ensure your workspace is well-lit: adequate illumination is a significant factor behind productivity and the presence of light is among the main triggers to our brain to wake up and be alert! 

While natural daylight is always welcome, you may also want to supplement natural light with some good overhead lighting.

Ensure that your overhead lighting is adequately bright, focused, and anywhere in the natural to cool white color temperature range (4100K-6000K).

Color temperature is a metric of how "white" a light source appears; so called "warmer" color temperatures are more yellow or red appearing, while "cooler" color temperatures (with a higher Kelvin temperature) appear more white and contain more blue in their spectrum. It's precisely the blue spectrum wavelengths - and cooler white color temperatures -  that keeps our body and brain focused during the day! 

Tip 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. 

While any color and contrast enhancing light bulbs like Chromalux® full spectrum will do, I find that the using the clear glass version of the A21 100W Chromalux® Incandescent bulb in particular mixes nicely with whiter overhead lighting.

In writing this article, I've cycled through a few bulbs, and find the 100W clear glass incandescent to be my favorite in inducing creative flow. Of course, you could always use lower-wattage bulbs, but remember that brightness is key to keeping productivity levels high! 

Tip 3Use a bright light therapy pad or light box for an added jolt of energy in the morning

With the days gradually getting shorter, some of you may have started to dust off your light therapy units that have been sitting dormant in a closet for the last few months. But, did you know you can also use these units first thing in the morning throughout the entire year for an added boost of energy? While traditionally used during the fall and winter months to combat feelings of depression and lethargy from a lack of sunlight (known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder), these devices provide a very bright and powerful supply of white light to kickstart our alertness and day. 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, its distance from you, and how you're feeling. 

Tip 4: Turn down the lights at night + reduce blue light 

Surprise, surprise: much of our day-to-day productivity results from how well we slept the night before! 

While we mostly all know to ditch the blue light from our screens before bedtime, also make sure you're dimming your lights at least two hours before heading to bed. Of course, those lights better be warm white (and lower than 3800K in color temperature!), so your body has ample time to ramp up production of melatonin - the sleep hormone - to lull you off to sleep. So remember, bright white light during the day = productivity, but block as much of it at night!  Learn more about the effect of light on sleep here.

 

Signing off

There you have it. Hopefully, these tips can get you thinking differently about your lighting. 

In traditional office spaces, keeping things bright and well-lit isn't usually an issue, but with so many of us working more from home, it's time to make your lighting a top priority!

In all our years of advising customers on their lighting, it's surprising how many people work and live in dark spaces! Light is as essential as air during the day, so, let this be your sign to light up your space!

May these lighting tips help you to get some excellent work done! 

💡Thanks for reading!

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