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Bright Ideas: The Importance of Updating Lighting in a Modern Office Environment

Light plays a major part in how productive we can be in interior spaces. Too much light and everything from device screens to the coworkers sitting across a conference room table become difficult to see. Insufficient light, of course, does not enhance visual clarity or make the workplace more pleasant. Balance is essential in lighting the modern workplace. There are two innovative strategies you can take to balance form and function with your lighting to foster productivity and enhance satisfaction.

 

Lighting as Decor

 

One of the mistakes that office designs of yesteryear made was assuming that light was a purely utilitarian element. While proper lighting is essential, that doesn’t mean that Spartan solutions are the best way forward. As part of the movement toward stylish, liveable workspaces continues, lighting is starting to become an organic part of the decor of the office environment. From sleek pendant fixtures to quirky table lamps, office renovations usually see lighting moving from the traditional overhead fluorescent strips to something more sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing.

 

Some organizations need to work with what they already have as far as lighting is concerned, but they can still get in on the fun of updated lighting design. Clever touches like white umbrellas and other light-diffusing shades suspended from the ceiling help obscure the look of industrial fluorescent lights and make the light itself a bit softer and more tolerable. When local fire code makes suspending items from the ceiling impossible, other decorative solutions may be an option. There’s no limit to the possible solutions to this issue when expert creativity is in play.

 

Using Lighting to Enhance Employee Health

 

Whenever possible, professional environments should incorporate natural light into their design. Studies from institutions such as the University of Connecticut have shown that artificial light can wreak havoc on circadian rythyms, leading the body’s internal timekeeping system to knock off kilter. This can cause sluggishness, sleep problems and generally make life more difficult in the office. Some artificial light is necessary, especially for cloudy days and after-hours meetings, but office spaces should incorporate large windows, skylights and other portals for natural light whenever possible.

 

This can seem like a daunting task at first, but there’s plenty of room for innovation and creativity here as well. For example, when skylight installation isn’t possible, solar tubes can be employed to refract natural light into an interior room that isn’t immediately underneath a rooftop area. Solar tubes are less expensive than skylights as well, which often means that they can be installed in greater quantities without exhausting the budget.