Office lighting does affect a business. But how? With people working longer hours having dim or intense office lighting will take its toll on the staff. By not having the right balance of light office workers will get headaches, strained eyes, drowsiness and become irritable. This means their productivity will drop considerably which no business really wants to happen.

The best way to stop this is with natural light. Natural light adjusts the body to a wake/sleep pattern. Artificial light does not. So is it any wonder you see people yawning when they leave an office building. But, it is not always possible to situate everyone by a window.

What needs to happen is to provide good lighting in an environment where natural light can be mimicked as much as possible. Good lighting means providing enough illumination so that people can see printed, handwritten or displayed documents clearly but are not blinded by excessively high light levels (a cause of glare).

There are plenty of offices that we see where overhead lighting is the only source of light. Why not introduce lighting into alcoves and on walls to change the angle of light? The idea is to throw illumination into the room as if light was pouring through a window. Try to introduce task lights if possible to add another dimension.

The right mood

There is also a lot to be said for different light colours.

Blue-enriched light bulbs increase work performance by supporting mental sharpness and alertness while reducing fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Other benefits of blue light include lowering melatonin, which is created in our glands and basically puts us to sleep.

On the other hand, since warmer tones tend to create a sense of comfort, use this kind of lighting in settings where you want workers to feel calm and relaxed.

Conference rooms should have middle tones that produce a friendly and inviting environment, but also cool enough tones to keep workers alert and motivated.

It is more than likely that an office was fitted out with the lighting before any equipment and furnishings are added. This means things like shadows and reflection from surfaces would not have been considered.

All offices should be comfortable and safe to work in. If lighting has not been replaced or staff are complaining of light related symptoms it is time to get an electrician and lighting designer in to have a look at re-modelling the business environment