Office Lighting Principles to Follow

Office lighting options can enhance workplace creativity. When the correct principles are followed, productivity improvements occur.


When these outcomes occur, each worker can experience a better overall well-being while feeling satisfied with their performance.


Improvements to office lighting can increase feelings of happiness, reduce the number of sick days taken, and improve individual efficiency.


What Are the Lights in Offices Called?

Most offices use tube lights to provide illumination. They're also called “linear light bulbs." Although LED upgrades are available for them, many buildings are still using fluorescent versions.


When comparing an LED bulb to its fluorescent counterpart, the primary difference that workers notice in office settings is a noise difference. The ballast that supplies ongoing light to CFLs and linear fluorescent tubes requires that component to prevent immediate burnout. It offers a hum that some people can hear.


Some fluorescent lights produce flickering, especially when they're first turned on during the day. If the ballast has a slight malfunction, this issue could generate an ongoing problem. LEDs provide an instant start without creating a noticeable flicker.


Those differences are the reason why many offices are considering improvements to their lighting setup.


How Can I Improve My Office Lighting?

Color temperature has a significant influence on how people perceive indoor spaces. When the illumination profile is on the warmer side, it tends to create amber and yellow tones that encourage relaxation.


When it is on the cooler side, you'll see whiter or bluer shades in the environment.


The table below outlines the various color temperatures available for office lighting needs today.


Cool Color Rating6000 to 7000Since this LED color temperature has the highest rating on the Kelvin scale, it works better in most industrial settings instead of offices. The brightness levels delivered with its coolness and blueish spectrum encourage more alertness.
Daylight Color Rating5000 to 6000This option delivers a clear and crisp white light with its Kelvin scale position. It works well for most general office settings, including garages and workshops. It is also featured in many retail locations.
Natural Color Rating3500 to 4500This LED lighting option provides a precise color that mimics natural sunlight. It's useful for almost any residential application, including shadowy areas where natural light isn't available. It's also used in offices to supplement natural sunlight.
Warm Color Rating2700 to 3000This color temperature rating provides a relaxing atmosphere because it creates a soothing effect. It's suitable for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms in most homes. You might see this option in break areas in some commercial buildings.
Amber Color RatingUnder 2200With this temperature rating, an environment receives an outcome similar to what a soft white incandescent bulb would offer. It produces a cozy mood with red, amber, and orange tones that are like a candle's flame. This option is not typically seen in an office.


Are LED Lights Better Than Fluorescent Lights?

LED lights have become the go-to option for most offices for three reasons.


  • They are more energy efficient than CFLs, fluorescent tubes, or incandescent bulbs.
  • A 100% adoption rate can lower the office's overhead expenses related to lighting.
  • LEDs provide a longer lifespan than other products, reducing maintenance needs.


Additional considerations that influence the benefits of LED lighting in the workplace include ceiling height, window placement, building orientation, and visual obstructions.


Switching to LEDs can reduce this issue because of the features this technology offers. Offices can dim or brighten the lights based on the time of day, match the colors of the season, and reduce glare or harshness.


A full-spectrum LED light can help office settings make the most out of the natural light that comes into the building. 


What Is the Best Light for Computer Work?

The goal of computer lighting is to bring in as much natural light as possible into the environment. Electronic screens push high levels of the blue spectrum to users, which creates fatigue after sitting in front of the device all day.


Properly lighting this area can make it more productive while creating focus spaces for specific tasks.


When natural light isn't available, the next best option is to use a full-spectrum bulb to mimic what the sun provides. Each office space should also receive an evaluation for having lights added or removed to ensure a proper lux rating is available at the user level.


Some offices might benefit from having indirect fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Others could use light diffusers, such as a frosted globe, with LED lights that complement the computer spectrum.


It also helps to adjust the computer screen and backlighting design to manage the environment. The display should match what is available in the office. If the white color of a website looks brighter than the light source in that space, it should be toned down a bit.


If the display looks gray or dull, the screen could be too dim.


When every other lighting element has received an adjustment and a worker is still uncomfortable, some computers have a night mode setting to use. This feature reduces the blue spectrum, creating a warmer tone that doesn't interfere with a worker's vision.


What Lights Are Best for Large Offices?

LED lights tend to be the best option for most office environments. Although halogen, incandescent, and fluorescent lights are available for these settings, LEDs provide several advantages that are worth considering.


You can incorporate direct, indirect, shielded, and direct-indirect lighting with LEDs, but those options aren't available for all the other choices.


Direct lighting is like a desk lamp. It supplements the indirect options that are available in the workplace environment.


Indirect lighting offers illumination that flows upward toward the ceiling, projecting light to disperse across the entire space naturally.


Shielded lighting filters the illumination before distributing it through different lenses and covers for additional support. If you picture the globes found in homes, the principle is the same in an office setting.


Direct-indirect light is used more in manufacturing settings where additional task lighting is necessary to complete tasks.


When there is a focus on the overall lighting environment for an office, it is easier to provide the supports that each worker needs. That process starts with task lighting at each workstation, and it ends with the brilliant illuminance that LEDs offer in an indirect setting. 

Sign up to to receive LEDVANCE Product Launch Updates and Webinar Invites!

Stay up to date on the latest innovations from LEDVANCE