12 Home Office Lighting Ideas
Create a work environment that's beautiful and functional, too, with inspiration taken from these lighting ideas.
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This is one of the top lighting decisions you have to make for a home office: Choosing the light to view your important (and not-so-important) documents, drafts and to-do lists.
While overhead lights can create glare or shadows, task lamps reduce both, which is soothing to the eye and the spirit. Task lamps, like this one, often have metal shades that direct the light to a specific spot on your desk.
Many have adjustable arms, joints or shades, too. That way you can shine the light exactly where you need it, no matter what type of work you’re doing.
Directional Floor Lamp
Floor lamps are a great way to add light to a home office, especially if the space is practically pocket-sized.
A single, slim directional floor lamp provides versatility. You can light your home office generally, as well as aim the separate fixtures up, down or wherever you want them to go. Looking for light that’s more diffuse? Choose a directional floor lamp with frosted globes.
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Look for the Color Rendering Index (CRI), which tells you how closely it’s mimicking natural sunlight. You want something more than 90 at least and closer to 100. Dimmability and adjusting light temperature are key customizing features to getting the most flattering and comfortable light.
If you don’t have enough natural light in your home office and/or you are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, consider adding a flat panel sun lamp.
Get that Vitamin D with a full-spectrum, UV-free lamp. Thaese are said to boost your mood, well-being and productivity. As few as 20 minutes a day can help, depending on the lamp. They come in task and floor form, too.
Offices often get tucked into nooks, closets and other alcoves, not known for their abundant light. Plant lovers of all levels know plants need at least some light to thrive. Switching on a grow light once in a while can make your plants, and you, thrive as well.
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(Smart) Dimmer Switch
Some home offices feature an overhead light, perhaps a single fixture centered in the ceiling or recessed lighting. Either way, installing a dimmer switch is a must, because it lets you adjust the brightness to exactly what you need. Smart dimmer switches have a gentle on or off so the light fades gradually.
Swap Your Lampshades
Task lighting often has a metal shade to direct light. But some floor lamps deliver warm, diffuse light that reduces eyestrain, especially if you’re staring at screens all day.
Consider a white fabric drum shade, which softens light, or paper lampshades, which create a welcoming glow. Swapping in a color or a new shape can also give an old lamp a fresh design while reviving office style, too.
Wall-mount lights add mood or task lighting wherever your office calls for it. They’re especially handy for tiny reading nooks, if your desk is narrow and when floor space is at a premium.
Use Smart Bulbs
If you haven’t already, switch to smart bulbs to help with home office light temperature, color, brightness and automation. You can set up on/off and other functionalities in an app.
Some, like the Wyze option linked here, can mimic the sun’s changing light throughout the day as you work. Cost and features of smart bulbs vary greatly, so shop carefully for ones that fit your budget and needs. Look for bulbs with a CRI score nearest 100 for the most accurate colors.
Add Chrome-Tip Bulbs
The colored bulb tip (most are golden or silver, but other colors are available) redirects light and makes it softer. This also means if you happen to glance in the direction of the bulb, you don’t see spots afterward. Indirect light is key to working with minimal eye strain, so this is one easy, affordable way to make your pendant light work for you.
LED Strip Lights
They’re cheap, easy to install and create a fun office vibe, in multiple colors if you like. LED strip lights have improved in quality and can illuminate otherwise hard-to-light office spots like under a shelf or inside a supply closet, drawers or file cabinets. They’re also easy on your energy bill.
Add Temperature or Color
The modern Philips Signe lamp blends various colors of light together for a distinctive office experience. Set the ambiance to make you feel relaxed and comfortable, whatever that means to you in the moment.
It can mimic the slowly changing, warming light of a sunrise to get you going at the start of your workday, or the flickering light of a fireplace to lend afternoon office coziness.