We are all facing new challenges, both at home and in the workplace due to the global spread of COVID-19. As people are encouraged to work from home, the home-office has suddenly become the new reality for many.
As lighting designers, we wanted to share with you some of our lighting tips and tricks on how to get your home-office ready!

1. Get ready to work – get some daylight

We’re all attracted to light and there isn’t any other medium that has as big an influence on our bodies and our minds. Both daylight and artificial light play a key role in our health and well-being.

Brightness during the day and darkness at the night are the most important cues for our biological clock that controls our sleep and waking phases, heart rate, blood pressure and mood. The retina of our eye receives those cues through the light that it absorbs. It doesn’t even need to be sunny, brightness helps us to start the day fresh.

So take your preferred morning drink on the balcony or at the window instead of going straight for a screen.

2. Go for the brightest spot in the house

Did you know that, according to the building regulations for daylight, at least one of your living spaces should have four hours of daylight? Choose a bright room with a view to work in and sit perpendicular to the window to avoid glare from the sun or reflections on your screen. This connection to the outside is important and even more so in times of the COVID-lockdown.

3. Take daylight breaks

Take breaks and go outside for at least 15 minutes per day. Direct daylight is essential for your biological clock (sleep-wake cycle) to work well. Small amounts of direct light deliver the UVA-B radiation that we need to produce and refill Vitamin D after the short winter days.

Daylight - Studio De Schutter
Daylight – Studio De Schutter

4. Light for concentration and focus

Research shows that in companies with a high standard of interior design, productivity can increase by up to 36 per cent. The design of the office space plays a vital role in team efficiency and well-being, as a study from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute has indicated.

So how can we improve team well-being and create a dynamic and motivating working environment at home?

The graph below shows how office workers assess their working environments, which features are important to them and how satisfied they are with each of these. Lighting is found to be very important and at the same time there is 40% space for improvement.

Take a moment to analyze the lighting situation in your home:

Do you have table luminaires that you can adjust to your preference? Is there light glaring or bothering you? Try to avoid one single bright sources in front or behind you. Do you have enough light? Check this by downloading a Lux Meter App (many free versions available) on your phone. You should have around 400-500lx on your table. Note, light is not only there to make us see, it also sets the mood and creates a setting of productivity.

Lighting Conditions in Work Environments Graph - Studio De Schutter
Lighting Conditions in Work Environments Graph – Studio De Schutter

5. Keep your rhythm & shift the atmospheres: light colour and quantity

Everyone who works remotely has to figure out how to create boundaries between work and personal life.

Working in your living room or at your kitchen table? No problem! With lighting, you can change the setting so that one space can become multifunctional. Change between lighting for living and lighting for working. This will help you and your kids to focus. For work you need brighter and whiter light, in the evenings you’ll want warmer, dimmer and lower lighting levels. It can be as easy as exchanging a lightbulb with 4000K for working to 2700K for more relaxed setting.

Workplace Lighting - Studio De Shutter
Workplace Lighting – Studio De Shutter

6. Lighting for video calls

Weird shadows on your face or hard light coming from one side? Here are our professional lighting tips for conference calls! Have a warm diffuse light source coming from the same direction as the camera. This will make your face look smoother and shadow-free.

About

At Studio De Schutter, we aim to promote good, creative and thoughtful lighting solutions with the user at its centre. As independent lighting consultants, our work ranges from creative lighting for working environments to installations for public space. For us, design is about creating meaningful spaces that positively affect people’s lives.

For more from Studio De Schutter

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