Dark office space lit by a desk lamp.

How the Right Lighting Can Improve Productivity and Mood in the Workspace

Lighting is a crucial element of any workspace, and it plays a significant role in determining productivity and well-being. From colour temperature and brightness to glare and the type of lighting, every aspect of lighting can impact the comfort, health, and productivity of employees. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of good lighting in the workplace, and businesses are now investing in lighting solutions that can enhance the performance of their employees while creating a comfortable and healthy work environment.

In This Article

In this article, we will explore the importance of lighting in the workspace and how the right lighting can improve productivity and mood. We will discuss the impact of lighting on our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, as well as the pros and cons of different types of lighting, including natural, artificial, and task lighting. Additionally, we will provide tips for choosing the right lighting for your workspace, taking into account factors such as colour temperature, brightness, and glare. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the importance of good lighting in the workplace and how to choose the right lighting solutions to optimize performance and well-being both at home and in the traditional office environment.

An office with a laptop on the desk lit by warm natural light.

The Importance of Lighting in the Workplace

The importance of lighting in the workplace cannot be overstated. Lighting has a significant impact on productivity and mood, as well as our overall health and wellbeing. Poor lighting can cause eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue, which can all lead to a decrease in productivity. In addition, bad lighting can also negatively affect our mood, leading to feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression.

One of the main ways that lighting affects our productivity and mood is through its impact on our circadian rhythms. Our circadian rhythms are natural cycles that regulate our sleep patterns, hormone production, and other physiological processes. Exposure to bright, blue light during the day can help regulate our circadian rhythms and promote wakefulness, while exposure to dimmer, warmer light in the evening can signal to our bodies that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

Tidy and organised workspace with laptop and stationary.

When our circadian rhythms are disrupted by poor lighting, our sleep patterns can become irregular, leading to daytime fatigue and a decrease in productivity. This is particularly true in the workplace, where workers are often exposed to artificial lighting for extended periods of time.

In addition, the type and quality of lighting can also affect our mood. Studies have shown that natural light can improve mood and reduce stress, while dim and artificial lighting can have the opposite effect. In fact, workers in offices with poor lighting have been found to have higher levels of stress and lower job satisfaction compared to those in well-lit environments.

Types of Lighting

When it comes to lighting in the workspace, there are various types of lighting that can be used to achieve maximum productivity. One of the most obvious types is natural lighting, which is the light that comes from the sun. Natural light has been found to positively impact mood and productivity, as it helps to regulate our circadian rhythms and promote wakefulness during the day. In addition, natural light is often considered more aesthetically pleasing and can create a more pleasant and welcoming atmosphere in the workplace. However, one of the downsides of natural light is that it can be inconsistent and may not be available in all areas of the workspace.

Another type of lighting commonly used in the workplace is artificial lighting, which includes fluorescent, LED, and incandescent lighting. Artificial lighting is often used to supplement natural light, and can provide a consistent and reliable source of illumination throughout the workspace. However, different types of artificial lighting can have varying effects on mood and productivity. For example, fluorescent lighting is often associated with harsh and sterile environments and can cause eye strain and headaches, while LED lighting is more energy-efficient and can be adjusted to mimic natural lighting. It’s important to choose the right type of artificial lighting for the specific needs of the workspace.

Task lighting is another type of lighting that can be used in the workplace to enhance productivity. Task lighting includes lamps and lights that are specifically designed to provide focused illumination for specific tasks, such as reading or computer work. Task lighting can help reduce eye strain and improve focus and concentration, which can ultimately lead to improved productivity. However, it’s important to ensure that task lighting is properly placed and does not create glare or shadows that can be distracting.

A well lit open space with desks.

Choosing the Right Lighting for Your Workspace

When choosing the right lighting for your workspace, it’s important to consider a variety of factors to ensure that you are maximizing productivity and creating a comfortable and healthy environment. One of the most important factors to consider is colour temperature, which refers to the perceived warmth or coolness of the light. Generally, cooler light with a higher colour temperature (5000K-6500K) is recommended for workplaces, as it can improve focus and alertness. Warmer light with a lower colour temperature (2700K-3000K) is often preferred in areas such as break rooms or relaxation areas.

Brightness is another important factor to consider when choosing lighting for your workspace. It’s important to strike a balance between providing sufficient illumination and avoiding glare or eye strain. It’s recommended that workspaces have a minimum of 500-700 lux of illumination, with task lighting providing additional focused illumination as needed.

Glare is another factor to consider, as it can be a significant source of eye strain and discomfort. Glare can be caused by a variety of factors, including poorly positioned lighting fixtures or light sources that are too bright. To reduce glare, it’s important to position lighting fixtures properly and choose lighting that is designed to minimize glare.

When choosing lighting for your workspace, it’s also important to consider the specific needs of your employees and the tasks they perform. For example, computer work may require task lighting to reduce eye strain, while creative work may benefit from adjustable lighting to accommodate different types of projects.

a word productive printed on a piece of paper with stamping blocks next to it.

Benefits of Good Lighting

Good lighting is essential for creating a comfortable and healthy workspace, and there are numerous benefits to ensuring that your lighting is optimized for maximum productivity and well-being. One of the most significant benefits of good lighting is improved productivity. Proper lighting can reduce eye strain and fatigue, improve focus and concentration, and promote wakefulness during the day. This can ultimately lead to increased efficiency and output, which can have a positive impact on the success of your business.

Another benefit of good lighting is reduced eyestrain and headaches. Poorly lit workspaces can cause eye strain, headaches, and other physical discomforts, which can ultimately lead to decreased productivity and even absenteeism. Good lighting can help reduce these symptoms, making your workspace more comfortable and healthy for your employees.

In addition to the physical benefits, good lighting can also have a significant impact on mood and overall well-being. Natural lighting, in particular, has been found to improve mood and reduce stress, which can create a more positive and welcoming work environment. Additionally, good lighting can enhance the aesthetics of your workspace, making it more visually appealing and improving overall employee satisfaction.


In conclusion, lighting plays a crucial role in the workplace, affecting everything from productivity and focus to physical health and overall well-being. By choosing the right lighting for your workspace, you can create an environment that supports your own and your team’s success, enhances mood and productivity, and promotes overall good health. Whether you opt for natural lighting, artificial lighting, or a combination of both, it’s important to consider factors such as colour temperature, brightness, and glare to ensure that your lighting is optimized for maximum productivity and comfort.

Ultimately, creating a comfortable and healthy workspace is an investment in yourself, your employees and your business, one that can pay significant dividends in terms of improved performance, increased productivity, and a more positive workplace culture.

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