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4 Steps to Home Office Lighting That Works

If you’re among the millions of Americans currently working from home, it’s more important than ever to get your home office or workspace lighting right. Consider these ideas for ensuring that your home office draws in natural light, is functional, adjusts to the time of day and is comfortable.

1. Draw In Natural Light

The best commercial office designs tend to include large windows, atriums and skylights to bring daylight to as many desks and their occupants as possible — your home office should be no different.

Windows and skylights provide views of the outdoors that can reduce eyestrain and make the work environment more enjoyable and productive. When possible, position your desk near a window with the desk chair facing the view.

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Pro tip: While natural light can help reduce eyestrain, it can also cause issues with glare. Consider adding window shades to filter light and adding anti-glare film to your computer screen to reduce glare from the sun and overhead lights.

2. Add Task Lighting

We need directed light to help us see what we are doing, often referred to as task lighting. Adjustable lamps can bring light right to where you need it most. Other task lighting, such as under-cabinet and recessed lighting, can help brighten desk alcoves too. The team at Euro Canadian Construction brightened the desk alcove in this Toronto home office by attaching LED strip lights to the bottoms of the floating shelves, illuminating the desktop.

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3. Embrace Change

Spending long hours in a static lighting environment can be harmful to our health and can mess with our circadian rhythms. Our bodies require lighting environments that change — we need more light in the mornings and less in the evenings. If your work at home occurs on a varied schedule, consider adding lighting that adapts to your needs and changes based on time of day. Having multiple layers of light, including indirect light and task lighting, as well as dimmers can help you customize your lighting environment.

The Boston home office seen here, designed by Kelly McGuill Home, includes large windows to bring in natural light during the day, pendant lights that bring light closer to the desk and recessed ceiling lights on a dimmer switch so they can be adjusted throughout the day.

4. Make the Space Comfy

Just because many of us use our home offices for work doesn’t mean they should be cold, sterile and inhospitable, like some office spaces of the past. A home office should be comfortable, and proper lighting is key to setting the scene for a relaxing work environment.

Accent lights, lamps, pendants and wall sconces all can improve a room’s mood and comfort level. A bevy of library sconces and a task lamp on the desk provide a warm glow in the traditional Paris home office seen here, designed by NOOOR Architecte d’Intérieur.

It’s easier than ever to get great lighting that helps you feel more productive and relaxed in your home office. Check out this illustration that reviews what to do and not do when lighting your home office.

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