Let’s talk about lights. It may seem easy, flip a switch, the room lights up, and the day begins. True, but what about the best commercial lighting for the workplace? Should we really care about nitty gritty lighting details? Well, if you’re a business owner, manager, team member, or employee- yes, you should care! Extensive research has shown that lighting is a huge factor in productivity, mood, work place morale, and concentration. In a study by the American Society of Interior design results showed that 68 percent of the population complains of lighting in the workplace. This matters, big time. With simple adjustments in lighting an office can morph from a dreary and dreaded workplace with employees dragging their feet and complaining of headaches, to a vibrant energy infused motivated space. This is so important. Employees are now spending more time than ever in the workplace, but, if it isn’t healthier time, then it’s not necessarily better time. It’s hard to believe that anyone, owner or employee, wouldn’t want this change.
Most of us are unfamiliar with commercial lighting temperature and colors. Depending on what temperature the light emits there will be a color that will be projected by the light. Colors emitted by light can range between red (warmer) to blue (cooler) with the red end of the spectrum being associated with comfort and relaxation, while the blue end is associated with alertness, improved mood and productivity. The color white is in the middle of the spectrum with exudes a sense of calm and comfort, but still bright enough to promote alertness. The science behind this spectrum is amazing and has an incredible effect on a human’s circadian rhythm, better known as the human clock. A circadian rhythm determines a person’s sleep cycle, stimulation, and relaxation. The blue lights lower melatonin which is generated in our body to promote sleep. By lowering melatonin produced by the body people can stay more alert. Consider this a light-form equivalent to coffee! Given that lighting can be linked to the circadian rhythm, an office would want to be built in a way that warmer colors are less frequent, and cooler colors are more prevalent. This is true for workplaces across the spectrum from fast food production, to car sales, insurance companies, or real estate offices.
When looking to design your office space here are a few recommendations to consider in regards to lighting. Brainstorming rooms and cubicles should be lighted with blue or cooler lights. This will maximize brain power, idea sharing, and hopefully invigoration.
Certain meeting rooms may benefit from red or warmer lighting which will create a more Zen, calm, and relaxed setting. Promoting a calm space will invite people to share ideas and feel an increased sense of comfort and peace. Conference rooms which are normally geared for business matters are usually most appropriate for white light which would encourage a combination of inviting while maintaining an alert environment.
No matter what your commercial business is, lighting can impact your growth and success. We are happy to further educate and recommend best light for each of your design needs. If you’re really on board perhaps programmable lighting is best for you, allowing you to adjust the brightness as you discover the power of strategic lighting!