How to Change Office Lights

how to change office lights
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If you are seeking to raise employee morale, one great way to do so is to change the lights in the office. A great majority of employees are unhappy with how the office in which they work is lit.

The following article will describe how to change office lights and instantly boost morale in your office. Better lighting has even been shown to raise productivity in the office.

Why Should the Office Lights Be Changed?

Employees in offices around the country hate the lighting conditions in their offices. According to a study by the American Society of Interior Designers, 68% of employees express dissatisfaction in regards to the lighting situation in their offices. This constitutes a large percentage of the population, which indicates that it is not simply a matter of personal taste. It is actually an issue of daily ergonomics.

A Cornell study conducted on productivity and environmental conditions revealed that if office lighting is too bright, too dim, or too glaring, the result is a decrease in performance. However, it also indicates that lighting requirements appear to change from person to person based on the assigned task as well as the age.

Since preferences in lighting vary from individual to individual, your office might consider providing specific task lights to each employee so that every person is able to customize his or her office space.

Similar to the findings of the Cornell study, the National Institute of Health conducted a study on adjustable task lighting, which concluded that employees are more comfortable, have better posture, less eye fatigue, and better perception of work content when they are provided with a high-quality task light.

Have your employees consider which kind of light will fit their work style and their workspace. Do they want a lamp on top of their desks, which may take up valuable space? Do they need a lamp with an adjustable arm to better aim the light? Do they prefer a lamp with a dimmer function built-in?

Lighting and Ergonomics

Lighting is actually one of the most crucial factors in the science of ergonomics. However, this part of the design of an office is too often rushed, overlooked, or sacrificed for the sake of style or cost-cutting.

If you have neglected to consider the lighting factor in the ergonomics of your office, you may soon notice employees who are quietly frustrated and choose to bring in their own floor lamps and desk lights in order to create the perfect blend of a less corporate ambiance and visual accuracy.

Some of your employees may have even tacked shipping boxes together in an attempt to reduce glare on their screens from the fluorescent lights that are overhead or from unfortunately located loft windows.

Overlooking this crucial factor of lighting when considering the ergonomics of your office can cause your employees to take desperate measures.

how to change office lights

How to Change Office Lights

It has been proven that lighting that is too dim can cause eye strain as well as headaches. This will have the effect of lowering employee productivity and will result in employee fatigue.

Dim lighting may also cause a lack of focus and drowsiness. A more commonly found problem is harsh lighting. Harsh lighting is as harmful as dim lighting. It also causes eye strain and may even trigger migraine headaches.

Natural Light Is Best

One of the solutions to bad lighting is, of course, natural light. Natural lighting helps us to see better. It also boosts our energy level, mood, and hormonal balance, and can reduce the number of absences due to fewer illnesses and less fatigue from overwork, which, in turn, allows employees more chances to take time off and recharge.

Sometimes, it is as simple as opening the window blinds, although computer screen glare must also be taken into consideration. The number one determining factor of the degree of satisfaction an employee has with a building is its windows. If your office space does not have a great many windows, you might consider adding one or more skylights.

Sleep Journal conducted a study comparing workers in offices lacking windows with those in offices possessing windows. The employees with office windows and natural light obtained 173% more exposure to white light during work hours and got an average of 46 more minutes of sleep each night.

Consider Your Light Bulbs and Lamps

Lamps can help to reduce glare and offer indirect lighting, and dimmer switch functions on lights will provide greater control over the form of lighting enjoyed by a wide-open room. Daylight bulbs are intended to mimic natural lighting conditions. To find the perfect balance between artificial and natural light in order to avoid glare and shadows, you should try placing your lights parallel to the workspace and the window.

You can reduce the energy consumption of your office by up to 67% by using task lights closer to the desks instead of relying all day on overhead lights. A wide variety of excellent task lights on the market merge minimalist aesthetics, sustainable design, and CFL or LED sources for maximum energy efficiency.

Try not to follow the latest trends of repurposed industrial light fixtures and Edison bulbs in areas of the office in which employees will have to work for extended periods.

For instance, resist the urge to hang Edison bulbs above modular workstations. Though they may look cool, such bulbs will not provide adequate lighting and will be resented by your employees. Such trends should be implemented in areas of the office that will have the greatest impact on your company’s culture, ambiance, or social atmospheres, such as cafés or hallways.

Reduce Glare

When it comes to laptop or desktop work, it is best to offer diffuse, well-distributed light. This will reduce the hot spots, or surfaces with glare, in the field of vision.

Also, the contrasts generated by the forms of objects will usually be softer. Using matte, lighter colors and finishes of paint on the walls is one design trick that helps to reflect indirect light while reducing contrast and dark shadows.

Get a Return on Your Investment

The cost of an upgrade to your office lighting can be offset or even paid for completely by the energy savings and the effect on productivity.

Here’s an example: In the 1980s, a post office in Reno, Nevada, had its lighting systems renovated in an attempt to improve its working conditions. The ceiling was given a slope to enhance indirect lighting and to replace the harsher direct downlighting. Longer-lasting, more efficient lamps that gave off a more pleasant quality of light were installed.

The lighting upgrade yielded energy savings of approximately $50,000 each year. Also, productivity started to rise exponentially after the first year of the lighting upgrade. Mail sorters in the Reno post office were found to be the most productive sorters in the western half of the United States, and within a few months, machine operators were found to have the lowest rates of error. This increase in productivity yielded an expected revenue boost of approximately $500,000 each year.

If you have not yet taken into consideration the lighting ergonomics for your new office or office expansion design, you should definitely do so. Consider whether your team is being required to settle for subpar fixtures or mediocre lighting. A lighting design upgrade will not only make your company shine, but it will also have a huge impact on your brand’s overall creativity, productivity, and mood.

Changing Office Lights to LED

You might not have the time or resources to set up adjustable task lighting for each of your employees or offer each one his or her choice of lighting. In this case, the cheapest way to have the greatest impact on the overall lighting conditions of your office may be switching your overhead lighting from fluorescent to LED.

LED lights have taken the place of a great many traditional fixtures and bulbs over the past several years. These LED bulbs are better for the environment and are much more efficient. This makes them a favorable option in a wide variety of settings—particularly office buildings.

What Is LED Lighting?

LED is an acronym for light-emitting diode. This is a kind of semiconductor that emits light upon contact with a current.

The LED bulb itself contains a microchip and a number of sources that conduct light. When the switch is flipped on so that electricity can flow to the LED bulb, the light sources become illuminated.

Why Should You Use LED Office Lighting?

LED bulbs last about 10 to 20 times longer than traditional incandescent or halogen light bulbs. They also are more efficient and use less electricity than traditional light bulbs.

Because they use less power and last longer than other light bulbs, over time, they cost less because you buy fewer of them, although the cost upfront of an LED bulb may be greater. This results in less environmental harm.

LED bulbs output less heat than traditional light bulbs. This allows your office to remain cooler and lowers the fire risk.

LEDs have faster switching and warm-up times, and they result in lower CO2 emissions and a lessened risk of possessing toxic materials such as mercury. You can even choose different styles or colors to match your specific preferences and fixtures.

An Easy Way to Change to LED Lighting

T8 LED lights are often used for office lighting and can be used to replace fluorescent lighting in both indirect and parabolic light fixtures. LED tube bulbs are energy-efficient substitutes for fluorescent tube bulbs; they need less maintenance, offer a better rendering of color, and burn out less frequently.

LED tube bulbs are one of the least expensive and hassle-free options overall for changing your office lighting since they do not require the entire lighting fixture to be replaced.


There are vast benefits to be obtained from improving the lighting situation in your office. Productivity will almost certainly rise, employee morale and health will be boosted, and the general ambiance will be improved.

Increasing the natural light in your office is an excellent way to improve the lighting situation for all involved. Furthermore, an investment in new lamps and light bulbs is one that is sure to pay off in terms of employee productivity, satisfaction, and morale. You can also consider giving each employee his or her choice of personal desk lighting to best meet their needs.

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to reduce harsh lighting conditions in the office is by learning how to change office lights into LED bulbs. This can actually be done in a relatively inexpensive fashion, with long LED bulbs designed to take the place of fluorescent lights. However you choose to change the lighting around the office, your efforts are sure to pay off in the long run.

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