Enhance Productivity and Well-Being with Proper Lighting in the Workplace

Maximize visibility and minimize eyestrain

Poor lighting can directly impact the health and productivity of your workers. The path to a thriving workplace begins with lighting that maximizes visibility while minimizing eye strain. Learn more about the importance of good office lighting from the experts at Make Great Light.

Importance of Good Lighting in The Workplace

Make Great Light sells NaturaLux™ fluorescent light and LED light filters that transform light to improve the health of students, teachers, and employees. We are female-owned, veteran-owned, and our filters are made in the USA.

Ever found yourself squinting at your computer screen by midday? Proper lighting at work isn’t just about making things look nice; it’s crucial for your productivity and well-being. Trust me, many offices miss this essential element, leading to unnecessary discomfort and fatigue.

In today’s fast-paced work environment, effective lighting can make a world of difference. It’s not just about avoiding headaches and eye strain—it’s about creating a space where you can perform at your best. Let’s get into why getting the lighting right is so vital and how it can transform your work experience.

Varieties of Workplace Lighting

Workplace lighting comes in many flavors, each with its perks. My journey through various office setups has enlightened me (pun intended) about these options.

Natural Lighting

Natural light isn’t just for plants. It’s the best for productivity, boosting mood and energy levels. Placing workstations near windows helps. Think fewer headaches and yawns. Plus, free sunlight cuts energy bills. I once worked in an office with huge windows, and it felt like I was working in a park.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting creates a general glow in the office. Overhead fixtures like fluorescents or LEDs get the job done. The goal? Evenly illuminate the workspace without harsh shadows. I remember an office with dim lights where everyone squinted all day—bad move.

Task Lighting

Task lighting focuses on specific work areas. Desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, and adjustable wall-mounted fixtures fit the bill. Ever tried debugging code under a flickering bulb? Pure frustration. I once had a sleek LED desk lamp, and wow, my productivity soared.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting highlights specific areas or objects, adding visual interest. Think artwork on a wall or a trophy case. It’s not just about aesthetics; it can make an office feel less sterile. A warm spotlight on the break room art always cheered me up during coffee breaks.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting adds flair. Chandeliers, pendant lights, or quirky desk lamps fall into this category. I once worked in a startup with vintage Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling—super cool vibe, though maybe not for everyone.

Adjustable Lighting

Adjustable lighting lets you control brightness. Dimmer switches and smart lights offer flexibility. One day you need bright light to stay alert, the next a softer glow for brainstorming. Trust me, being able to tweak the lighting saves on eye strain.

Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting kicks in during power outages. Exit signs, stairway lights, and backup systems ensure safety. I haven’t experienced a blackout at work, thank goodness, but knowing these systems are in place offers peace of mind.

Having explored these varieties, it’s clear that proper lighting in the workplace offers critical benefits. From boosting productivity to enhancing well-being, getting it right can change the whole office vibe for the better.

Ideal Lighting Levels for Workspaces

Every workspace needs the right kind of light, and getting the ideal lighting levels can make all the difference. Proper lighting ensures that employees stay productive and comfortable. For starters, lighting levels should align with the type of work being performed.

Office Tasks

General office work like typing, meetings, and reading require lighting levels around 300-500 lux. This range keeps eye strain at bay while boosting focus, ultimately contributing to the benefits of good lighting in the workplace.

Detailed Work

For tasks that need fine attention to detail, like drafting or designing, aim for brighter lighting. Levels around 750-1000 lux allow for precision without causing glare or discomfort. I remember working on a delicate design project under dim lights and feeling the strain – trust me, bright and balanced lighting makes a world of difference.

Computer Work

If most of your time’s spent staring at a screen, ensure your workplace lighting hits around 500 lux. Balanced lighting avoids harsh reflections on the screen, mitigating eye fatigue and headaches.

Natural Light

Incorporating natural light into your workspace is a game-changer. It not only adds warmth and reduces electricity bills but also promotes a healthy circadian rhythm among employees. I once moved my desk closer to a window, and the surge in my mood and energy levels was undeniable.

Let’s face it, no one wants to work under harsh fluorescent lights that resemble a hospital. Investing in adjustable lighting setups allows you to control brightness levels depending on the task. Use dimmable LED lights so you can tweak the ambiance from bright and alert for meetings to cozy and relaxed for brainstorming sessions.

Highlighting zones within the workspace with the best light for productivity creates a more dynamic and effective environment. Task lighting, such as desk lamps, ensures that those who need focused light get it. On the other hand, ambient lighting provides that even distribution that avoids the dull, cave-like feel.

Lighting at work isn’t just about visibility – it’s about creating an atmosphere that people want to be in. With the right combination, you can transform any space into a hub of activity and creativity. By taking the time to assess and optimize lighting levels, you make a small change that yields massive returns in productivity and employee satisfaction.

Guidelines for Lighting Design

Creating the perfect lighting setup at work can drastically change the game, and I’ve been around enough to know a bright idea when I see one. Proper lighting isn’t just about avoiding eye strain; it’s a productivity booster.

Assess Natural Light

First off, always take note of the natural light in your workspace. I can’t stress enough how much sunlight improves mood and focus. If your office windows bring in a decent amount of daylight, use it to your advantage. Position workstations close to windows but be wary of glare on screens. Finding that sweet spot can make all the difference.

Use a Blend of Lighting Types

Blend natural light with artificial sources. Task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting need to work together. Task lighting should focus on areas where detailed work happens. Ambient lighting should spread evenly across the room, creating a base layer of light. Accent lighting highlights specific features or areas, giving the space personality.

Adjustable Lighting

Invest in adjustable lighting fixtures. Remember that one-size-fits-all solutions rarely fit anyone well. Use dimmers and adjustable lamps to allow for personal preferences. I’ve noticed how much people appreciate being able to tweak their light levels to match tasks or simply set the mood. It’s a quick win for comfort and productivity.

Consider the Best Light for Productivity

Using the right color temperature is crucial. Cooler light (around 5000K) helps with focus and reduces fatigue, making it the best light for productivity. Imagine the boost you get after a brisk walk in the morning chill—that’s what cool light does for your brain cells.

Ergonomic Lighting

Ergonomic lighting setups are a must. Make sure that employees don’t have to deal with annoying shadows or harsh contrasts. Distribute lighting evenly to avoid dark spots and glaring highlights, which can be as distracting as a slack-jawed yawner in a meeting.

Importance of Task and Ambient Lighting

Task and ambient lighting have their own roles. Task lighting is your laser pointer, zooming in on specific work areas, while ambient lighting is like the background music that keeps the mood steady. Combine them to support various tasks and maintain an adaptable environment.

Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting often gets overlooked, but it’s vital. Ensure that pathways are lit up and there’s enough light to navigate safely in case of an emergency. It’s like your insurance policy—better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Selecting Lighting Sources

Choosing the right lighting sources can transform any dull, lifeless workspace into a vibrant, energetic hub. Proper lighting isn’t just about slapping some bulbs onto the ceiling. It’s about creating an environment where productivity and well-being shine.

Natural Light

Maximize natural light where possible. It’s the best light for productivity. If you’re lucky enough to have big windows, keep them unobstructed to flood the space with daylight. Natural light reduces eye strain and boosts mood.

LED Lighting

LEDs are your best friend when working indoors. They’re energy-efficient, long-lasting, and mimic daylight pretty well. Forget those old fluorescent tubes that flicker like a haunted house thriller; LEDs offer consistent, quality light.

Task Lighting

For detailed tasks, turn to task lighting. Desk lamps and under-cabinet lighting are ideal. They focus light exactly where needed, reducing eye strain and improving accuracy. I’ve got a sleek desk lamp with adjustable brightness; it’s like my productivity sidekick.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting fills the room with a soft, background glow. Think of overhead fixtures, ceiling lights, or large floor lamps. It’s usually the primary source, creating a comfortable level of brightness without glare.

Accent Lighting

Sometimes, a splash of drama is necessary. Accent lighting, like track lights or spotlights, highlights specific areas or objects. They add depth and make spaces feel more dynamic. If there’s an art piece or an awards shelf in your office, give it a little spotlight love.

Adjustable Lighting

Flexibility is key. Lighting should adapt to different tasks throughout the day. Use fixtures with adjustable brightness or color temperature. Believe me, dimmable lights can be a lifesaver during those marathon work sessions.

Emergency Lighting

Safety first! Emergency lighting ensures you’ll navigate safely during power outages. Install backup sources like battery-operated fixtures or generators. It’s not glamorous, but crucial.

Investing in the right lighting not only boosts productivity but also promotes well-being in the workplace. You’ll be surprised how these tweaks can transform everyday work into a more enjoyable experience.

The Role of Circadian Lighting

Circadian lighting plays a crucial role in maintaining our biological clock. It’s not just about throwing some light bulbs around. By mimicking natural light cycles, it helps regulate sleep-wake patterns and improves alertness. For those spending long hours at work, optimizing lighting to support circadian rhythms can be a game-changer. Studies indicate that exposure to proper circadian lighting boosts mood and productivity.

When natural light isn’t abundant, artificial circadian lighting steps in. Using LED systems that adjust color temperature throughout the day can mirror the natural progression of sunlight. You get cool, bright light in the morning to energize you, transitioning to warm, softer tones as the day progresses. This keeps your body aligned with its natural rhythm.

Incorporating circadian lighting at the workplace isn’t rocket science. Practical solutions include installing smart lighting systems that mimic daylight patterns or simply using LED lights with adjustable color temperatures. I recall when my office installed such a system; the difference was palpable. Colleagues were more alert, meetings were less of a drag, and the overall vibe felt more positive. Performance metrics even reflected an uptick within weeks of the change.

Imagine walking into an office where the lighting is harsh and unchanging. It’s like being stuck in an endless midday sun. That’s exhausting! Circadian lighting, on the other hand, feels almost organic. It evolves with your workday, subtly enhancing your work environment.

Businesses keen on maximizing productivity should consider circadian lighting as part of their proper lighting strategy. It’s not just about efficiency; it’s also about well-being. And let’s face it, happy employees are more productive. So, if you’re thinking about workplace lighting, don’t ignore the benefits of lighting that aligns with our natural circadian rhythms.

Advantages of Effective Lighting

Effective lighting in the workplace brings many benefits, transforming not just how we see but also how we feel and function. Good lighting at work takes productivity to a whole new level. Imagine turning your dim workspace into a bright haven—say goodbye to those mid-afternoon slumps.

Boosts Productivity

Good lighting boosts productivity more than any cup of coffee can. When the lighting is just right, people find it easier to focus on tasks, reducing eye strain and mental fatigue. Effective workplace lighting has been linked to a 23% increase in productivity. So, if you’ve been squinting at your screen or fighting off yawns, it’s time to brighten up.

Enhances Mood

Good lighting does wonders for the mood. Natural light, or even high-quality artificial lighting, can make you feel more alert and positive. Happy employees are productive employees. The right lighting can lift spirits, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction.

Promotes Health and Well-being

Proper lighting in the workplace is essential for well-being. Poor lighting can lead to headaches, eye strain, and even contribute to neck and back pain from poor posture. With the right lighting, such issues can be mitigated. Energy-efficient LED lighting, with adjustable color temperatures, can mimic natural daylight, aligning with our body’s natural rhythms and promoting better health.

Improves Safety

Safety in the workplace isn’t just about preventing slips and trips. Poor lighting can cause accidents. Proper lighting ensures that walkways are visible and tasks are performed accurately. Clear, well-lit environments reduce the risk of errors and accidents, making the workplace safer for everyone.

Enhances Aesthetics

A well-lit space looks more appealing. Effective lighting design can highlight architectural features and make your workspace look more professional. If you’ve ever walked into an office that looks sleek and modern, chances are, good lighting played a big part. It makes the space feel welcoming, inviting, and a place where you’d actually want to work.

Supports Circadian Rhythms

Circadian lighting, which mimics natural light cycles, supports the body’s natural rhythms. Installing LED systems with adjustable color temperatures can positively influence alertness and productivity. In workplaces with little natural light, artificial circadian lighting provides the benefits of sunlight, enhancing overall well-being.

The benefits of good lighting in the workplace are too significant to ignore. So next time you look up from your desk and wonder why you’re feeling sluggish, check if your lighting’s doing its job.

Managing Lighting Controls

Managing lighting controls in the workplace can drastically boost productivity and well-being. It’s not just about flipping a switch; it’s about knowing when and how to adjust the lights for maximum efficiency.

Types of Lighting Controls

  • Dimmers: These let you tweak the lighting intensity, adapting to tasks and time. For example, you might need brighter light for detailed work and softer light for relaxation or brainstorming sessions.
  • Motion Sensors: These controls automatically turn lights on or off based on movement. They save energy and ensure rooms are lit only when in use, keeping costs down.
  • Timers: These are great for setting lights to switch on or off at specific times. For instance, set the office lights to turn on an hour before work starts and turn off an hour after everyone leaves.
  • Smart Lighting Systems: These can be controlled via smartphones or voice assistants. They offer flexibility, allowing adjustments to light intensity and color over the day to support circadian rhythms.
  • Daylight Harvesting Systems: These systems adjust artificial light levels based on the amount of natural light available. For example, if the sun is shining brightly through the windows, these systems reduce indoor lighting to save energy.

Benefits of Effective Lighting Controls

  • Energy Efficiency: Proper use of lighting controls cuts energy consumption. For instance, motion sensors ensure that empty rooms don’t waste electricity.
  • Enhanced Productivity: Adjusting light levels throughout the day can keep your team alert and focused. Brighter light in the morning jumpstarts productivity while dimmer light in the afternoon reduces eye strain and mental fatigue.
  • Cost Savings: Reduced energy use translates to lower utility bills. Timers and smart systems ensure lights are only used when necessary, preventing wastage.
  • Improved Mood and Well-being: Dynamic lighting adjusts to support natural circadian rhythms, improving mood, reducing stress, and enhancing overall well-being.

Practical Examples

I once worked in an office where timers were a game-changer. We had them set to gradually dim the lights in the evening, signaling it was time to wrap up work. Productivity and energy increased because we weren’t jolted by sudden changes in lighting.

Another example is my current workspace. We’ve installed smart lighting systems controlled by apps on our phones. They adjust the light color and intensity throughout the day, matching natural light patterns. It keeps everyone energetic and in a good groove, making it the best light for productivity.

Maintaining Workplace Lighting

Let’s get real, proper lighting in the workplace is not just about seeing things clearly. It’s about creating a space where you can thrive and be at your best. Many folks don’t realize how much those flickering fluorescent lights might be draining their energy and productivity. So, let’s dive into how to keep your office bright and your spirits higher.

Top 5 Indicators of Ineffective Fluorescent Lighting

Spotting problems with your office lighting can be tricky. Trust me, I’ve been there. Here are some major signs that your lighting might be doing more harm than good.

  1. Eye Discomfort: If you’re squinting or rubbing your eyes constantly, you’re not alone. Many workers develop photophobia, a condition from too much harsh lighting. Fluorescent lights and glare are major culprits here.
  2. More Headaches: Ever noticed those pounding headaches after a long day at the office? According to the National Headache Foundation, fluorescent lights can trigger migraines and tension headaches. Who knew?
  3. Employee Complaints: Studies show about 70% of workers grumble about their office lighting. If folks around you are saying it’s too dim or too harsh, it’s time to take them seriously.
  4. Increased Absenteeism: If your team is calling in sick often, it might be those blinding lights causing eye strain and headaches. It’s not just a health problem, it’s a productivity killer.
  5. Poor Energy Efficiency: If your energy bills are through the roof, your lighting might be to blame. Fluorescent bulbs are more efficient than incandescents, but if you’re using standard lamps, you’re probably not seeing the benefits.

Enhancing Office Lighting

Let’s solve this lighting mess. Meet NaturaLux™ light filters from Make Great Light.

  • Fluorescent Tube Filters: These slide over your standard bulbs and fit almost any fixture.
  • Fluorescent Flat Panel Filters: Perfect for existing panels, covers, or diffusers. Just lay them on top or inside—easy peasy.
  • LED Light Covers: Ideal for LED light panels and fixtures. They install with no fuss.

Why NaturaLux™?

  • Made with top-notch materials.
  • Super affordable.
  • Fits both fluorescent and LED lights.
  • Class A fire rating for peace of mind.
  • One-person installation—no need to call in a squad.
  • Easily cut to fit your lights.
  • Durable and long-lasting.

For optimal color, go with 4100K or 5000K bulbs. Avoid 3500K and 6500K bulbs; trust me, they mess with the colors.


  • American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). “Impact of Workplace Design on Employee Productivity.” ASID, Feb 2018.
  • Brainard, G.C., et al. “Action Spectrum for Melatonin Regulation in Humans: Evidence for a Novel Circadian Photoreceptor.” Journal of Neuroscience, Aug 2001.
  • CIBSE Lighting Guide 07. “Lighting for Offices.” Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), 2015.
  • Mills, P.R., et al. “The Role of Office Lighting in Employee Health and Wellbeing.” Ergonomics, Oct 2007.
  • Wurtman, R.J. “The Effects of Light on the Human Body.” Scientific American, Nov 1975.

These sources provide a wealth of information on how proper lighting in the workplace can make a big difference. For instance, ASID discusses how lighting design impacts productivity—turns out, good lighting can actually make people work better. Brainard’s work dives into the science behind lighting and circadian rhythms. CIBSE’s guide explains optimal lighting levels and their applications, while Mills’ research links lighting to overall employee health. Wurtman’s classic study sheds light on how our bodies react to different lighting conditions.

If you’re looking to boost office productivity or just create a better working environment, these references are solid steps toward understanding the profound impact good lighting has on the workplace.

Additional Sources

Proper lighting in the workplace is more than just a design choice; it’s a science-backed necessity. By understanding the research from experts like the American Society of Interior Designers and scientists like Brainard and Wurtman, we can see the profound impact lighting has on productivity and well-being. Investing in optimal lighting solutions, managing lighting controls, and considering the health benefits highlighted by studies from CIBSE and Mills can transform any workspace into a more productive and healthier environment.

Light Filters


Four fluorescent light tube covers

Fluorescent tube covers are versatile, durable solution for standard 4′ fluorescent lamps. 

Fluorescent light covers are designed to cover fixtures that are flush to the ceiling. Works with LED too.

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