Importance of Good Lighting in The Workplace

Maximize visibility; minimize eye strain

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.

Types of Workplace Lighting

  • Natural lighting from windows, skylights, and solar tubes helps regulate circadian rhythms and boosts vitamin D production. Studies show natural light improves worker performance, mood, and wellbeing. Make sure to control glare and heat gain through shading and tinting. Look into solar tube skylights to bring natural light into interior spaces.
  • Overhead lighting like LED or fluorescent lights should provide uniform, shadow-free illumination for general tasks. Overhead lighting levels depend on the workspace – higher light levels are needed for manufacturing compared to office spaces. Look for dimmable LED high bay lights to adjust light levels.
  • Task lighting like desk lamps focuses light on specific work areas without creating glare on computer screens. This supplements overhead lighting. Opt for LED desk lamps with adjustable arms and brightness.
  • Accent lighting like track lights highlights artwork and architectural features. Go for LED track lighting that allows flexible aiming and dimming.

Recommended Light Levels

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommends the following light levels for different tasks:

  • Precision assembly, inspection: 500-1000 lux
  • Offices, reception areas: 300-500 lux
  • Corridors, walkways, stairwells: 100-200 lux
  • Archives, storage areas: 200-300 lux
  • Parking areas: 50-75 lux

Higher light levels increase visibility but also energy use. Balance task needs, efficiency, and visual comfort.

Lighting Design Tips

  • Vary light levels for different tasks – bright for detailed work, lower for relaxation areas.
  • Avoid flare and harsh shadows. Use diffusers, parabolic louvers and indirect lighting. Consider pendant lights to soften overhead lighting.
  • Reduce glare with matte finishes on surfaces and screens. Position workstations perpendicular to windows. Install glare reducing film on windows where needed.
  • Use lighting controls like occupancy sensors, dimmers, and smart lighting to optimize energy efficiency.
  • Get employees’ input to ensure visual comfort. Conduct periodic lighting assessments.

Choosing Light Sources

Consider factors like color quality, efficiency, lifespan, and controllability when selecting light sources:

  • LEDs have excellent color quality, lifespan, and efficiency. Go for LED tubes or panels to replace fluorescents.
  • Fluorescents are cost-effective for ambient lighting. Opt for T5 or T8 with electronic ballasts.
  • Metal halides work well for high bay and warehouse lighting. Look into LED high bays as an efficient alternative.
  • Compact fluorescents are good for task lighting. LED desk lamps offer better quality and efficiency.

Circadian Lighting

Our bodies respond to the color temperature and intensity of light. Circadian lighting mimics daylight patterns to promote health:

  • Use cool, intense lights (5000K – 6500K) early in the day.
  • Switch to warmer hues (<3000K) in the afternoon and evening.
  • Vary brightness throughout the day. Dim lighting in the evening.
  • Allow access to daylight and outdoor views.

Circadian-tuned smart LED systems change spectrum and intensity to align with natural rhythms. Studies show circadian lighting improves sleep, mood, and performance.

Benefits of Good Lighting

“Good quality lighting in the workplace provides comfort and engagement in social and work-related settings. It enables people to perform visual tasks efficiently and safely, accurately perceive spaces, objects and other people, and facilitates safety and ease of movement between spaces.” – Society for Light and Lighting

  • Improves productivity, accuracy and safety.
  • Reduces eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness.
  • Enhances concentration, learning, and decision making.
  • Promotes employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
  • Can lower absenteeism and staff turnover.
  • Creates an inviting, engaging workplace environment.

Lighting Controls

Lighting controls like sensors, timers and dimmers help optimize light use:

  • Occupancy/Vacancy sensors turn lights on or off based on presence. Save energy by using occupancy sensors.
  • Daylight sensors dim artificial light when ample natural light is available. Consider daylight sensor dimmers.
  • Timers automatically turn lights on/off by time of day. Useful for exterior lighting and schedules.
  • Dimmers enable easy adjustment of light levels. LED dimmers ensure compatibility.
  • Centralized control systems enable facility-wide lighting management for greater efficiency.

Lighting Maintenance

  • Clean fixtures regularly to optimize light levels. Vacuum or wipe down lenses and diffusers.
  • Replace old lighting with efficient LEDs to lower energy costs. Consult a lighting design specialist.
  • Group re-lamping can ensure lighting is replaced at optimal intervals.
  • Paint walls and ceilings light colors to maximize reflectance.
  • Keep lamp inventory on hand for prompt replacements as needed.

Proper lighting design, controls, and maintenance are smart investments for optimizing employee performance, safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Consult lighting professionals and get employee feedback when planning workplace lighting.

Top 5 Signs That Your Fluorescent Lighting is Counterproductive

Spotting problems caused by incorrect lighting is not always easy. Employees do not always realize that the office lighting may be contributing to their health problems and poor performance. Here are some signs that your lighting may be having a negative impact on productivity.

1) Eye discomfort – More and more workers who experience eye discomfort in the workplace are diagnosed with photophobia, a condition related to overexposure to harsh lighting. Fluorescent lighting and glare are thought to worsen the condition.

2) More headaches – According to the National Headache Foundation, fluorescent lighting can be a trigger for migraines and other types of headaches, such as tension headaches and cluster headaches.

3) Employee complaints – Studies show that nearly 70% of employees complain about the lighting in their offices, particularly if it is too dim or too harsh. If your employees are voicing their complaints, you should seriously consider making some adjustments.

4) Increased absenteeism –Are your employees taking more sick days than usual? Productivity suffers when workers need to visit the doctor due to headaches and eye strain. Now would be an excellent time to evaluate your office lighting.

5) Poor energy efficiency – You may be using the wrong type of lighting if you are experiencing high energy bills. Fluorescent bulbs are four to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but standard lamps have poor color rendition, produce less light, and cause eye strain.

Transform Your Office Lighting

The very best solution for transforming the problematic lighting in your workplace is to install NaturaLux™ light filters from Make Great Light.

We have three products to choose from:

  • Fluorescent tube filters that slide over standard-size bulbs and work in just about every light fixture; and
  • Fluorescent flat panel filters that can be installed on top of or inside existing fluorescent light panels, light covers, or diffusers.
  • LED light covers that install inside or on top of LED light panels and fixtures. 

The many benefits include:

  • Constructed with high-quality materials
  • Very affordable
  • Compatible with fluorescent and LED lights
  • Have a Class A fire rating
  • One person can manage the installation
  • Can easily be cut to match your light size
  • Designed to stand the test of time

To achieve optimal color balance when using NaturaLux™ filters, we recommend using either 4100K or 5000K bulbs. Our experience indicates that 3500K lights are too orange, and 6500K bulbs are too bluish-green to permit proper color rendering.

Explore the importance of good lighting in the workplace at Make Great Light.  Visit our website to shop online for light filters and covers, use our contact form, or give us a call at 612-399-6484 to learn more about our products.


Lighting Research Center. “Lighting for Work: A Visual and Neurophysiological Approach.”

Society for Light and Lighting. “The SLL Code for Lighting.”

SLL Lighting Handbook. “6 Workplaces.” 2009.

IES Lighting Library. “Recommended Light Levels.”


Lighting Research Center. “Lighting for Work: A Visual and Neurophysiological Approach.”

Society for Light and Lighting. “The SLL Code for Lighting.”

SLL Lighting Handbook. “6 Workplaces.” 2009.

IES Lighting Library. “Recommended Light Levels.”

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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