Can office lighting be too bright?

Office lighting that is too bright, or too dim, does not create a workspace that is conducive to doing your best work.  Poor office lighting can cause eyestrain, fatigue and headaches that keep us from focusing on our work. This results in lower productivity, absenteeism, and a recent study by the HSE has shown it also has an adverse effect on our daily moods.
office lighting
Offices that are too bright are not ideal.
Light That is Too Bright

Light that is too bright is especially bothersome in areas with computer screens, video monitors, tablets and smartphones. With excessive glare on these devices they can be hard to view and the quality of their visuals is lost due to bright light.  In this situation it is important to remove or change the lighting to ensure the light levels in these areas is where it needs to be.

Flickering office lights also distract workers, create additional eyestrain and negatively affect productivity. That’s why it is important to repair flickering fluorescent lights in a timely manner.

How much lighting do I need?

Of course the answer to this is that it depends.  It depends on the type of work that is being performed, how much natural light is available, and the size of the work area.  Recommended light levels in offices is 300 – 500 lumens.

In spaces where there are no other sources of bright light, lighting at around 300 lumens is best. When the environment is already bright or there are large contrasts in lighting, brighter lights (400-500 lumens) are more appropriate. 

light color comparisonLight Temperature is a Factor, Too

Warm light is best for the eyes. This includes filtered natural light and light produced by incandescent and LED light bulbs. Bulbs that produce warm white light generate 2700K to 3000K degrees Kelvin while cool white bulbs are rated at 5000K to 6000K degrees Kelvin.  Warm white light is more relaxing to the eyes than cool white.

Add Task Office Lighting Where Needed

Supplement overhead lights with task lighting to ensure individual works paces have the appropriate light levels.  Task lighting bulbs should be low glare and in flexible goose neck lamps that can be positioned where additional light is needed, but not where they will create glare on reflective surfaces like computer screens.

Need Help Figuring All This Out?

Culture Lighting would be happy to visit your office or facility and assess your current light levels and then review your options to improve your lighting.  This will lead to higher productivity and a more appealing work environment.  Just give us a call at 317-471-1129.