Lighting Considerations in the Workplace

Studies have consistently shown the connection between adequate lighting and employee well-being, productivity, and sleep. Poor lighting can lead to a wide variety of health-related problems such as headaches, eye strain, fatigue, and depression, and it is now widely accepted that a lack of natural sunlight can negatively impact a person’s mental health with conditions such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) being prevalent in the winter months.

A Harvard Business Review published survey of 1,614 North American office workers revealed that exposure to natural light and outdoor views was the element of office design that employees craved the most in their workplace environment, ranking ahead of other desirable perks such as fitness areas, on-site childcare, and onsite cafeterias.

Since many people spend much of their day at work, it is essential for employers to give proper consideration to their office lighting choices and commercial lighting suppliers such as can offer a variety of lighting solutions for the office environment. When it comes to proper lighting in the workplace the following points should be considered:

Adequate Lighting


For it to fulfill its function, lighting should be adequately distributed throughout the workplace. Sufficient lighting can elevate the mood and help employees to combat fatigue and low energy, motivating them throughout their day. Adequate lighting can also reduce headaches and eye strain in office workers helping to boost productivity.

The workplace should also make optimal use of natural light as exposure to light during the day helps employees feel more alert and aids their sleep at night compared to those who work in offices with artificial light only.

LED Light

In some cases, access to natural light is not an option. LED lighting can help capture the benefits of natural light instead. Their digital nature allows them to be tuned to settings that aid circadian needs, promoting improved mood and well-being. LED lighting can be used in offices to adapt and control the duration, timing, and intensity of lighting throughout the day in line with circadian rhythms.

Light Temperature

Studies have shown that the color temperature of light can impact a person’s mood and well-being. The color temperature of light is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) and describes its appearance by a light bulb. Warmer temperature light can contribute to feelings of drowsiness while cooler temperature light aids mood, alertness, productivity, and general well-being.

Dual-source Light

If light is not evenly distributed throughout the workplace, it can lead to headaches and eye strain, as employees are continually having to acclimate to differing amounts of light.

 Dual-source lighting that incorporates both overhead and task-specific lighting can help remove shadows and dark areas around the office thereby providing workspaces with a more even distribution of light.

Installing a main light source along with task lighting such as desk lamps will allow employees to adjust the amount of light according to their needs.

As this article shows, when it comes to overall well-being and employee morale, the importance of correct lighting cannot be underestimated and should be a design priority for any workplace.