An office is a place of productivity and teamwork. While you want enough illumination to get the job done, you should also keep in mind that lighting is for people first and foremost. Your employees need a space that is conducive to productivity and lighting plays a big role in this goal. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the best lighting for shared office spaces.
1. Brighter isn’t always better
When it comes to finding the best lighting for shared office spaces, many people think that brighter is inherently better, but not so fast. If a light is too bright, it can overpower the space, strain the eyes, and cause glares or discomfort when working on screens necessary to the job. It is important to follow the general rule of lumens based on square footage of the space. For example, if you are lighting floors, you need 20 lumens per square foot whereas lighting for desks and raised work surfaces requires an average of 50 lumens per square foot. The needs of your space will vary based on how much natural light is in the space already, but these are basic guidelines to get started on lighting design to make sure you aren’t going too bright in terms of lumen output.
2. Light by area and task
Any good lighting plan is layered with several different lighting solutions in place for a well-balanced end result. For example, an office should have general lighting which encompasses the entire scope of the room or space, but it should also have additional lighting for task work, visibility lighting for walkways or areas of concern, and even a little bit of ambiance lighting to create a pleasing work environment. The days of using one overly bright overhead fixture in an office are over. Today’s office lighting is gentler and more versatile to accommodate a changing workforce.
In a shared office space, there should be general overhead lighting in addition to various task lighting options. Task lighting is lighting used for performing specific tasks and should be more concentrated in scope than general light spread. For instance, desk lamps are an important part of office lighting in a shared space. You can also use overhead directional track lighting to add another layer of lighting. The goal is to have several layers of lighting with separate controls to give a gentler light source rather than having just one overbearing solution to encompass all needs.
3. Use dimmers
While layering light solutions is important, one of the biggest tips on best lighting for shared office spaces is to install dimmers. Dimmers allow the lights more versatility, so you can dim lights as needed for matters such as presentations, screen work, and other tasks where less light is required for better visibility. Dimmers are also a great way to create a gentler lighting plan to give staff a break from constantly bright lights as needed.
4. Choose the right temperature
Aside from dimming, the right color temperature is important in a shared office lighting plan. Color temperature is how warm or cool a lamp is on the Kelvin scale. A warmer light is more on the yellow side to the eyes while a cooler light is more of a white to blue-white appearance. This is especially important in an office setting because of the way the color temperature interacts with screens and affects the eyes. For instance, if you choose a too cool lamp, it can be sharp and unpleasant for the eyes while working on a screen or reading for extended periods of time whereas if you choose a too warm option, the yellow tinge can be too much of a contrast against the screen which leads to increased eye strain. You want to find a nice middle ground with lamps that aren’t too warm or too cool for the right balance. A good rule of thumb is to stay in the 3000k-3500k range. You can also install several color temperatures to experiment and find the right one for the area of the office.