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How to choose your office lighting – and avoid the winter blues …

Research shows that levels of absenteeism and symptoms of SAD (depression, lack of energy, lethargy, weight gain) are at their worst during January and February. During the winter months many of us have low spirits, less energy or “the winter blues” and if the winter blues is about lack of daylight it’s no surprise that treatment involves getting more light into your life. This is because a lack of light sends our biological clock (known as the circadian rhythm) haywire, and it dips and rises at different times of the day, so adults’ strongest sleep drive is generally between 2am and 4am and in the afternoon between 1pm and 3pm. If the afternoon is the low point of the day at work, then exposure to bright light at work for as little as 15 minutes, can prevent the mid-afternoon dip and help tackle winter absenteeism.

If your symptoms are mild getting outside during the day, such as lunch time, can really help as even winter sunlight has proven to be effective. However, if the sky is constantly overcast and you don’t have an office full of big windows to sit near then an additional light source may be needed. Is your office lighting ok? Not if you suffer from any of these…

  • Difficulty seeing document or screen (too much light or glare, or too little light or shadows);
  • Eyestrain;
  • Eye irritation;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Dry burning eyes; and
  • Headaches.

Poor lighting can also contribute to stiff necks and aches as workers adopt poor or awkward postures to try and read something under poor lighting conditions. Here’s our top tips to making sure you chose the right office lighting for you:

  1. Avoid working under direct overhead lights, this can give you eye strain. When we carry out office design our interior designer works with downlighters and uplighters to create an overall ‘lighting effect’. Where there are overhead lights use filters to diffuse the brightness.
  2. Natural Light is best, and a good office interior designer will always make the best use of light from your windows. Glare from sunlight needs to be controlled with curtains or blinds.
  3. Location is key, focus your lighting design on work intensive areas and a good task lamp which can be adjusted easily is key to reading paperwork.
  4. Practical choices of lighting and lamps don’t have to be dull. Our expert office interior designer will plan your lighting for optimum effect and make sure it looks good too.
  5. Think about the light colour – some of these, such as sodium, can make coloured text and diagrams difficult to read, while specialised work, for example electronic assembly, may require workers to differentiate between the colours of wire.

Do you need us to shed some light on your office design? Give our friendly team a call today and we’ll illuminate you!

Posted on 10th December 2015