The concept of employee wellness at the workplace is getting more important day by day. Lighting is the most important element of an office workspace. It has an enormous impact on the physical and mental well-being of humans.
How does office lighting improve productivity? According to a study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design, 68 percent of employees are not satisfied with the lighting solutions in their office space. This study indicates that comfortable and efficient lighting is the most important requirement of every employee which companies often overlook.
Understanding the concept of light temperature makes it easy to understand different types of lights and their impacts on the health and productivity of employees.
Understanding Light Temperature
Light temperature is the numerical measurement of the color emitted from an object when it is heated. For example, when an iron rod is heated, it changes its color with the rise in temperature from red to orange then yellow, then white, and finally bluish-white color.
Lower color temperatures are called warm because they are on the red, orange, and yellow end of the color spectrum. Contrarily, higher color temperature light sources are termed “cool” because they emit blue and violet lights.
Here is a brief explanation of the three categories of color temperatures in light sources.
Low Color Temperatures (Upto 3000 K)
Low color temperatures are regarded as warm colors and they usually give off a red, orange, or yellow-white appearance. These colors create a sense of comfort, relaxation, and coziness. That’s why warm lighting is effective in intimate settings where one wants to relax.
Medium Range Color Temperatures (3000-4600 K)
These color temperatures appear cool white. These colors create a sense of relaxation but are cool enough to keep workers active and motivated.
High Color Temperatures (4600 K and above)
High-color temperatures have a bluish-white or violet appearance. Interestingly, high color temperatures are regarded as the “cool” or “daylight colors.
What Color Temperature Light Increases Productivity
According to scientific studies, workers feel more comfortable and productive in cool lights such as bluish-white or violet. Many studies also prove that the natural lighting in the morning and evening makes it best for enhancing mood, productivity, and energy.
Let’s understand scientifically how office lighting affects productivity.
How does Office Lighting Improve Productivity
Office lighting plays a key role in improving the productivity of employees. As the day passes, employees feel less productive and tired. The temporary solution to workplace tiredness may lie in a cup of coffee or tea but a permanent solution is surely a proper lighting arrangement that keeps workers alert and proactive.
Keeps Alert and Proactive
Lighting plays a key role in keeping the employees alert and proactive. Different color lights have different impacts in this regard. Exposure to blue light helps in preventing sleepiness and drowsiness during the day. Similarly, white light also boosts the alertness and mood of the employees.
Prevents Eye strain
The right range of light is crucial for preventing eye strain. Bright lighting can have a big toll on eyesight. In dim lighting, the eyes have to work much harder to see and focus. Similarly, exposure to bright light can also cause eye problems such as blurred vision or eye strain.
Therefore, it’s important to choose mid-range color temperatures such as cool white, violet, and yellow for setting up the lighting in your office space.
Prevents Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and migraines are the common outcomes of poor lightning. If you already have a migraine problem, bright lights such as fluorescent lighting can intensify it. Light bulbs that have a kelvin range of around 2700 K or emit soft, yellow-hued lights, led lights, and ambient lighting are very beneficial for migraine sufferers.
Improve Mood and Energy
The human brain is receptive to colors and it feels differently under different color lights. Adequate lighting can play a key role in enhancing the mood of employees and boosting their energy efficiency.
Improve Office Lighting
As explained above, good lighting can do magic in enhancing your productivity level and mood. Irrespective of the scope and type of organization, there is always room for improving the working conditions of employees. So let’s learn how to incorporate different lights in our office for getting better results.
Allow Natural Light to Come in
First of all, there is no better light source than natural light. Natural light is key to the efficiency and productivity of employees. Human nature has been accustomed to natural light for centuries and no artificial light can make up for it.
This is the reason that employees are proactive and full of energy at the start of a working day, however, their bodies and minds get exhausted as the day passes on. Therefore, offices with no windows should be made bright using different artificial ways so as to add as much natural light as possible for employee productivity.
Install Blue Enriched Light Bulbs in Brainstorming Rooms
Practically, companies or organizations cannot seat all their employees near windows. Moreover, due to the changing nature of work, office timings, and other demands, daylight can’t be accessed. So, it is the responsibility of organizations to make good quality artificial lighting solutions available for their employees.
Install blue-enriched bulbs (around 17,000 K) in the office for keeping the employees alert and active. Studies show that people working under blue-enriched light bulbs feel more energetic, happier, and active.
Poor and dull lighting produces higher levels of melatonin hormones in our body that make us feel sleepy and drowsy. Blue-enriched lights produce less amount of melatonin hormones and keep us alert and active
Use Warmer Tone Lights in Relaxation Spaces
The nature of work at the offices demands employees sit at their desks for hours. Naturally, an individual gets frustrated and bored in such an environment. The importance of having comfortable office furniture and taking breaks can’t be undermined.
Therefore, the common areas, lunch areas, or meeting rooms must have warm tone lights that make employees feel calm and relaxed.
Use Middle Color Tones in Conference Rooms
Middle-color temperatures have a friendly and inviting feel. In addition, these colors keep employees motivated and alert as well. Therefore these colors should be incorporated into conference rooms to give a friendly and warm look to employees. Active and happy employees can undoubtedly add more value to your organization
Keep Balanced Lighting
As discussed above, blue lights are best for keeping the employees productive and alert but it is not good for people having a headache or migraine problems. Therefore avoid the excessive use of single-toned light.
Instead, keep a balance of different colors in the lighting for the best results. In addition, it’s better to install lights in the cabins or offices of the employees with their consultation so that a balanced lighting solution can be ensured for them.
Similarly, never overlight your home office as well. Keep a balance of different lights to get a comfortable, efficient, and working-friendly office space.
In sum, the quality of lighting directly impacts the productivity and performance levels of office workers. Many studies establish the relationship between the quality of lighting and the productivity levels of an individual. Poor office lighting affects the productivity of office workers.
Different color temperature lights serve different benefits. Studies show that cool lights make employees feel comfortable and productive. Similarly, soft and yellow-hued lights prevent eye strain and are ideal for migraine sufferers. Therefore, a balanced lighting solution must be ensured for the best results.