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CAPITALIZING on Office Lighting

by Hickerson Brothers on July 7, 2016

Capitalizing on Office LightingLighting, without it, we don’t function as effectively both because we need sunlight to trigger vitamin D release and because we can’t see without it.  Getting lighting just right in your office (whether at home or in a lofty skyscraper) helps with stress, efficiency, and overall health.  It isn’t just a matter of improving how well you can see your desk, but of improving mental and physical health by installing lights correctly and keeping them running effectively throughout the lifespan of the building.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when installing lights in either an office building or a home office.

Natural Lighting

Nothing is healthier than natural light.  If at all possible, try to take advantage of any natural light that’s available.  Obviously that means you need a window or skylight in the room to begin with, but you also shouldn’t block the window with other objects or heavy curtains.  Use a sun-shade to filter out the excess light and to mitigate heat.  It lets natural light into the room but cuts the intensity.

How and Why to Avoid Glare

Most of us want to avoid glare on our screens naturally.  Glare makes things hard to see and, for some people, can even be painful if the light source is too bright.  But glare can also cause other problems.  When the lights in your office are at the wrong angle, the glare on the screen can cause you to adjust your posture to get a better view.  Sitting for hours with bad posture is bad for your health.

The best way to prevent glare is to angle your screen away from windows.  Keeping windows to your side will help to prevent light from glaring onto the monitor from behind you and will keep the light out of your eyes.  You should also avoid placing your computer workstation directly beneath any office lights.

When you’re designing an office, avoid putting desks directly beneath light sources.  Try to keep overhead lighting about a foot behind where a person will be sitting.  This will keep the desk illuminated without adding extra glare to the screen.

And if you’re layout can’t be changed, consider investing in a glare screen for your monitor.  If you’re working from home, consider installing a desk lamp.  With a more controlled light source, you can turn off the overhead lights and use the lamp instead.  Just keep in mind that eye strain is caused by the rapid constriction and dilation of your eyes’ pupils.  Working in a dark room can cause extra strain as your eyes fight to adjust between the bright monitors and the darker room.  Try to keep an even amount of lighting on the wall behind your monitors or workstation.  Even working with a desk lamp in a dark room will have the same effect since your eyes will have to adjust every time you look up.

Types of Lighting

Offices typically use fluorescent lighting that’s about 3500-4000K in color temperature.  By comparison, the lights used in home lighting are usually 2700-3000K.  The lower temperature lights give off that warm amber color.  But a warm atmosphere can leave you feeling too cozy and make it hard to work.  Consider installing office lights into your home office.  The brighter white is closer to what the lighting outside is like during the day and helps to keep you awake and focused.

A few changes to your office lighting (or some forethought during setup) are essentially to a well-balanced life.  If you can, consider reorganizing your existing office and it might improve your work week:

  • Take advantage of natural lighting
  • Mitigate glare
  • Avoid harsh changes in light intensity
  • Use cooler color temperatures for focus

Hickerson Electrical is your source for all home electrical services.  We’re ready and willing to deliver top-quality service to your home at a moment’s notice.  So call today at (703) 594-3913.

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