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Brighten Your Office:
Home Office Lighting Ideas

Choosing lighting for a home office is not just about selecting an attractive fixture. There are many factors that come into play, from the size your workspace to the intensity of the light required. But don't let it overwhelm you! Here are some practical ideas to help you focus your lighting needs and pick the right lamp for each purpose.

Cut the Cord

One of the challenges of an adaptable standing/sitting desk is finding desk lighting that will work with both modes. Rather than fussing with cords as you switch modes, try a rechargeable lamp or one with a USB connection that can connect to your computer.

No Drop Zone

Flushmount ceiling lights are too often an afterthought, but they're a great way to add character and style without overwhelming a small space. The low profile of this type of ceiling lighting provides overall ambient lighting without being imposing.

Layer Up

Different areas of your office will require different types of lighting, so you'll want varying layers of light: ambient lighting, task lighting and/or accent lighting. For example, use a desk lamp for daily project work and a large overhead pendant for more general room illumination.

Small Details Pay Off

You can have high design in overhead lighting without the fixture being intrusive. A white lamp in a simple shape can be deceptively detailed—intricate cutouts, patterns or the types of construction materials can change the way the light reflects on ceiling and walls.

Multi-Functional Task Lighting

Not all projects need the same type of illumination, so look for task lighting fixtures that are both functional and versatile—particularly those that can change heights and angles. It can also be helpful if a lamp has different mounting styles and can either rest on or be clamped to a desk, or be mounted to a wall or ceiling.

Choose the Unexpected

A statement lamp doesn't have to be overwhelming. A simple modern desk lamp in a bold, bright color can make a huge impact, particularly set against a neutral background.

Look for Flexibility

Eye strain can be a problem when looking at a computer screen or reading for a long time. Look for sleek, elegant task lighting that lets you change the light's intensity, brightening or dimming to meet your needs.

Get on Track

Track lighting has seriously evolved over the years, with lots of great fixture designs that let you take this versatile lighting option and make a subtle visual statement. The great advantage of track lighting is it lets you focus and pinpoint the light, whether to highlight a piece of art or feature a specific area in the room.

Focus on Your Needs

Different task lamps fulfill different needs, and just one light may not be enough. For example, a desk lamp provides focused light on a specific area, where a simple pendant lamp with a naked bulb provides a more diffuse, broader area of illumination over the desk area.

Warm Up Your Light

If you are going to be reading a lot, you'll want to consider not only the brightness of the light, but the output tone. Reading is best with lamps that are lower on the Kelvin scale, ideally in the 2700 – 3000K range. Lamps lower on the scale have a warmer output closer to a classic incandescent light bulb, versus the cool blue of an LED. Also, look for lamps that allows the path of the light to be adjusted depending on the task at hand.

Get Floored

Task lighting doesn't have to be restricted to table lamps. Floor lamps also can provide focused, direct lighting, particularly with a shade that's flexible and can be adjusted as needed.

Make a Statement

Make a visual impact with a large modern accent lamp. You can play with the height of the lamp as well: Hang it high in a large open room and lower over a table or a desk to give off stronger downlight.

Location, Location, Location

Don't underestimate the importance of choosing the right location for an overhead light. If you’re used to bright natural light, for example, select a diffuse overhead light to mimic sunlight in the darker hours and lend consistency to the feel of the room.

Make it a Blow Out

Modern office ceiling fans with lights have come a long way in terms of style and design options and are worth consideration for an overhead fixture. They provide both functional air circulation and overhead lighting with style.

Pendants Can Be Task Lighting Too

A statement pendant can double as task lighting when fitted with a shade that focuses the light down onto a specific area. Particularly on a smaller desk, it can illuminate the central work area without taking up precious real estate.

What's It Made Of?

Before you buy a lamp, consider the light output you want it to provide. Different materials create different types of light. For example, a crystal shade provides reflective, often scattered light, where a frosted shade diffuses light more evenly.

Hold Out for A Hero

This classic desk light has been consistently popular for a reason: Its focused hood gives you the opportunity to put a spotlight on the task at hand. If you need differing lighting levels within one workspace, look for task lamps that let you quickly and easily adjust the light's direction and distance from what you're working—a spring-loaded articulated arm does the job here.

Lamps Can Be Wallflowers

Sure, the lamp can be a design focal point, but sometimes you want it to simply blend into the background. For example, a small white table lamp can visually merge with white walls, leaving the emphasis on a natural wood desk and matching wood and grey fabric chair.

Don't Kick the Can

When designing a home office space, consider recessed office lighting. Recessed lights provide enough diffuse overhead light to illuminate the entire room but are direct enough to spotlight specific areas. Then layer in other lights, like a desk lamp, to provide more intense light where needed.

And Repeat...

Consider grouping bold, brightly colored pendant lights to make an eye-catching design statement. Hang several of the exact same design, vary the colors or choose a variation of different silhouettes. Hanging them at staggered levels provides additional visual interest. (The rule of three here is a design pro-tip.)

Undress Your Bulbs

Naked light bulbs don't often provide the most intense light, but they do create a tone and style for the room. Combining an exposed bulb with a stylistic shade can create interesting shadows in the room. As a design touch, consider coordinating a shade with a chair or other piece of furniture from a similar color palette and construction material.

Keep It in the Family

Using lamps from the same design family in different iterations is a great way to harmonize a room while solving different lighting needs. In a home office setting, it's especially helpful if each lamp has flexible positioning, allowing for a smaller number of lamps to provide all required functions.

Mix It Up

Don't feel the need to stick to one design style. Feel free to play with different shapes and eras, like juxtaposing an avant-garde modern floor lamp with industrial fixtures and plush contemporary furniture.

Banish the Shadows

The word sconce can evoke images of a shadowy hallway lit by dim bulbs or torches. But with so many state-of-the-art design styles available, sconces are no longer staid or scary. Whether a bar light, an uplight or a highly designed cone, the goal of a sconce is to provide diffuse, soft light on walls, walkways and other areas where direct light isn't necessary.

Lighting that Speaks for Itself

Illumination doesn't always have to be the only function of a lighting fixture. Create a dramatic focal point in a room with a unique, bold fixture that becomes as much art as illumination.

When thinking of office lighting, the mind immediately goes to desk lamps. But while task lighting is important, it's not the only component in a well lit home office. Think of your daily tasks, project-specific tasks or any other lighting needs you might have and look for creative, practical solutions that are both beautiful and functional.