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7 Tips to Creating a Comfortable Home Office that's Functional and Personal

Last Updated on July 08, 2020 by Suzanne Carlson | 0 comments

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Stay Productive and Relaxed

Whether you work remotely, or simply desire a private sanctuary to escape the drama commonly referred to as 'home', lighting plays an important role in making your home office space functional, comfortable, and personal.

So why not enjoy your office space as much as you would any other room in the house?

There are many lighting fixtures available to create the private sanctuary you envision, and each lighting fixture will play a specific role in helping alleviate weariness when spending extended periods of time in a relatively small space, or a space that does not have access to natural light. A well-lit, comfortable home work space will help you stay productive and relaxed.

Essential Tips for Home Office Lighting

Desk Lamps and Task Lighting You'll Love

Beginning at the desk of your home office, task lighting is widely relied on by those who need focused light—especially when attention to detail is of utmost importance. Task lighting reduces eye strain and fatigue, and has come a long way since your grandpa’s workbench.

Today’s desk lamps now combine full-spectrum LED technology with sleek, stylish lines and are available with floor, table, or clamp bases, in addition to adjustable brightness levels that work with you instead of against you.

Top Seven Home Office Lighting Tips from the Experts:

  1. Plan. Plan. Plan: Before you shop for lighting fixtures, have a lay out of the room or office that includes the size and location of your desk and other furniture.

  2. Pleasing placement: Avoid placing lamps or lighting fixtures directly in front of behind your desk to reduce glare.

  3. Get the 'Layered Look': Just as layering your clothing assures comfort in a changing outdoor environment, layering your light optimizes your work environment. Combine task lighting with ambient lighting from a chandelier, floor lamp, and/or wall lights, in addition to accent lighting from a floor lamp or table lamp to deliver varying levels and combinations of light. Layering your light will help to reduce eye strain and headaches.

  4. Maximize desk space: A clamp-on task light or a plug-in swag light will maximize the amount of space on your desk, giving you more room to work. You can also add a personal flare by adding a pendant light (or two) mounted off to the side of your desk.

  5. Select lighting fixtures that are in scale to the room size:
    The Ultimate Chandelier Buying Guide from LampsUSA, will show you everything you need to know about chandeliers, including how to measure your room and make sure the chandelier you choose is the right size.

  6. Avoid eye strain: Task lighting combined with ambient lighting not only makes you feel 'at home' in your home office, it helps your eyes readily adjust to different parts of your work space.

  7. The right bulb can enhance the lighting effect: Cool white 4100K light in your work space has been shown to reduce eye fatigue. Daylight colors in the 5000-6000K range, or a warm white such as 2600-3500K may be more to your personal liking. Play with the color to see what works best for you, as well as to reduce light reflection on paperwork or computer monitor glare.

 Temperature Range Effects of Lighting in Kelvin (K)Warm to Light Lightbulb Range

 

Ambient Lighting—The Foundation of Lighting Design

Think of ambient lighting (or general lighting) as the neutral tone in your paint palette, or the scoop of vanilla ice cream in your hot fudge sundae. Ambient lighting is the foundation to which all other lighting is added, and will create the desired mood, or atmosphere, of your personal office space.

Functionally, ambient light combined with the task lighting on your desk and other accent lighting around the room, will help you avoid eye strain which can lead to drowsiness or headaches. Ambient lighting also allows your eyes to readily adjust to objects around the room, whether near or far away.

Ambient lighting is achieved through use of Chandeliers or ceiling fans with lights and wall lighting. These lighting fixtures are often overlooked when planning a home office environment. Still, ambient light is just as important as the desk, the furniture, or the area rug and other room décor, as the light the chandelier itself will be the design element that ties it all together.

 "Chandeliers aren't just for dining rooms anymore," says Deb Milis, professional lighting designer of LampsUSA. "Replacing an outdated ceiling light with a signature-piece chandelier, or with a unique pendant light, is the key establishing the style you want, setting the overall tone of the room. Lighting fixtures within a home office can really improve the way a person feels while performing their day-to-day tasks."

 

So toss that circa 1984 flush-mount ceiling light and trash the track lighting system; instead, make a statement with a chandelier that reflects your true personality, or consider a chandelier with a contrasting color, asymmetric shape, or material such as iron or wood. 

The Ultimate Chandelier Buying Guide will show you everything you need to know about chandeliers, including how to measure your room and make sure the chandelier you choose is the right size.

Accent Lighting—Punctuate Your Personality and Add Depth of Space

If a chandelier just isn't in your budget or to your liking, accent lighting such as floor lamps combined with cute  table lamps or a plug-in pendant light can further enhance functionality through a 'layering effect' of light, while at the same time, punctuate your personal style.

Accent lighting adds the final layer without adding glare. Accent lighting is also

Create Home Office Light

an integral part of your home office décor and add a greater range of depth when you use floor lamps with neutral or dark shades, or with pendant lights that draw attention to an object or create a focal point.

How to Choose Floor Lamps, Plus Table Lamps, and Lamp Shades provides more information in greater depth.

Other Considerations

Lastly, a rheostat or dimmer switch delivers more control of the amount of light your home office requires. Add a set of string lights to keep light to create a relaxing effect and add visual interest to complete your home office environment.

Light layering and creating your dream home office

One more consideration—and one that is relatively inexpensive—is to update an existing lamp shade with a new shade topped off with a fun finial or charm. A new lamp shade can also provide a way to widen or narrow the flow of light depending on the shape of the shade.

Lamp Shades: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Shopping Ideas

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