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How to Light a Home Office

In a home office, lighting is key to help you tackle any task. See our best ideas for getting your …
Tolomeo Table lamp in a home office.
Tolomeo Classic Table Lamp by Giancarlo Fassina, Michele De Lucchi 
 and Come Together Table Lamp by Carlotta de Bevilacqua for Artemide 

Just as important as the desk and chair, proper home office lighting is an integral step toward carving out a productive space to work from home. 

Overly harsh fluorescent lighting is draining for your eyes and is a trigger for migraines. Dim lighting is just as bad, and can cause eye strain and headaches. So, here are some simple steps to take to brighten up your workspace–whether it’s at home or in a corporate setting. 

In a Home Office 

Leaf LED Floor Lamp in a home office.
ReGeneration Office Chair by Formway Design for Knoll and Leaf LED Floor Lamp by Broberg and Ridderstrale for Muuto  

Having a home office means having the flexibility of designing your own set-up. While you may pay more attention to the styling, it’s a good idea to take into account the ergonomics of your environment, including your modern office lighting. 

Assess the Natural Light 

Take a good look at your space and the natural light that’s already provided. If you have a window that gives plenty of natural light, take advantage of it by moving your desk toward it. Natural light is easier on your eyes. If you’ve got a great view with little distractions, consider putting your desk right under the window. 

Address the Overhead Lighting 

Apple Bubble Pendant above a home office desk.
Apple Bubble Pendant by George Nelson for Nelson Bubble Lamps and Aeron Office Chair – Size B, Mineral by Don Chadwick for Herman Miller 

Overhead lighting isn’t the greatest office lighting source—and it shouldn’t be the sole source—but it can help fill in places that other sources of light seem to miss. Take the opportunity to switch out your boring overhead lighting for something fun. 

Add a Task Light 

Original 1227 Task Light on a writing desk.
Original 1227 Task Light by Anglepoise 

Nothing beats a classic desk lamp. These lamps are key to bringing everything into focus. Desk lamps that have a flexible arm are ideal since you can adjust their height and angle to suit the task at hand. But task lighting alone can quickly give you eyestrain. 

Finish with Ambient Light 

Atollo Metal Table Lamp in a mid-century modern office.
Atollo Metal Table Lamp by Vico Magistretti for Oluce 

Eye strain is a serious problem, one that happens from intense use like staring at a computer monitor for eight hours. Throwing a little ambient light into the mix will help soften the harsh light that can come from just overhead or task lighting. 

Working In An Office Building

Equo Gen 3 LED Desk Lamp providing light at work.
Equo Gen 3 LED Desk Lamp by Koncept Lighting 

If you’re not working at home, it may seem like your fluorescent lighting woes will never leave. But fret not, here are some tips to lighten up your day and help keep your eyes healthy and focused. 

Get Outside 

Take a stroll outside periodically to soak in some natural light. This is great if your desk isn’t by a window, and is also a great way to get a little exercise during that fifteen-minute break before lunch. 

Integrate Your Own Task & Ambient Lighting  

BIRD LED Table Lamp by Nemo.
BIRD LED Table Lamp by Bernhard Osann for Nemo

You can modify your lighting setup inside your cubicle with portables. If you don’t have a lot of desk space, look for lights that are more compact, or even clip onto the side of your desk. Just remember that you’re sharing spaces with people, so be sure that all your additional lighting won’t disturb your neighbor. 

Add an LED Strip 

If major modifications are out, like moving your desk, try adding an LED strip behind your monitor, or mounting it underneath a cabinet, like the UCX 36 Inch LED Undercabinet Light

When choosing office light fixtures, there are many factors that come into play, from the size of the workspace to the intensity of the light required. If you have more questions, our team of ALA-certified lighting experts are ready to assist you by phone, online chat or email.  

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