Office Lighting Design- 6 Top Ideas for Optimal Productivity


Office space must have optimal lighting conditions for maximum working efficiency. Also, proper lighting will significantly impact the employees’ moods, productivity, and overall health. So what is the ideal lighting concept for an office space? Join us as we elaborate on the fundamental considerations for a great office lighting design.

Adverse Effects of Poor Office Lighting

A poorly lit office workspace in the night.

A poorly lit office workspace in the night.

Poor lighting has a significant impact on the office working environment. Primarily, it negatively impacts the employees’ moods, and their productivity is also likely to dip. Other critical effects of low light levels in the office include the following:

  1. First, it can cause general fatigue and headaches resulting from eye strain.
  2. Also, it will negatively impact levels of concentration by inducing drowsiness.
  3. Thirdly, employees may experience affective disorders like burning sensations while sitting and sleep disruptions. The latter effect is harmful to the employees’ overall health.

Office Lighting: Natural vs. Artificial Light

A workspace with efficient natural lighting.

A workspace with efficient natural lighting.

Like any other animal, humans benefit more from natural than artificial light. Hence, a good lighting designer should set up the space for sufficient natural lighting.

Transom windows, large windows, and skylights will significantly improve the workspace area lighting. Alternatively, you can install artificial lighting systems that mimic natural ambient light. Such fixtures include automatic dimming options and tunable white lighting features.

Besides, task lighting fixtures in place of overhead fluorescent lamps will effectively mimic natural daylight.

Ergonomics and Lighting in the Workplace

An employee in a good-lit office space. 

An employee in a good-lit office space. 

Illumination serves the visual perception and overall well-being of the body. Therefore, when choosing ceiling fixtures, you must consider the prevailing room conditions.

Also, you must have ergonomically designed lighting to help you achieve optimal quality of illumination. To accomplish that, find the appropriate balance between the following lighting parameters:

  • Restriction of glare
  • Light color
  • Lighting level & levels of illuminance
  • Direction of light
  • Shadiness
  • Harmonic brightness control

Office Lighting Level & Illuminance

Elderly persons need higher illuminance than young people. 

Elderly persons need higher illuminance than young people. 

The optimal lighting level is fundamentally significant in influencing concentration levels and alleviating tiredness. In general, an illuminance of the light level of around 500 Lux is ideal for computer workstations.

Also, increasing the lux improves the body’s visual information processing. Thus, operating at a Lux of between 500 and 1000 will significantly elevate the moods while working and reduce stress.

But a sophisticated visual task requires a relatively higher illuminance than a smaller one. Moreover, when setting up an office space, you must consider the age of the employees. Elderly workers need a higher illuminance than middle-aged and young employees of between 750 to 1000 Lux.

Lastly, you can realize mood lighting by manipulating the light color parameter, and you can choose this from three primary colors: neutral white, warm white, and bright white.

6 Top Office Lighting Design Ideas for Optimal Productivity

There’s no doubt that natural lighting has remarkable positive impacts on employee productivity and moods over artificial light. But what are some other key lighting quality ideas for office space? 

a.) Use a Suitable Light Source for an office

A young woman in a properly lit office.

A young woman in a properly lit office.

The overall ambient lighting of an office should provide exquisite illuminance and little shadows. Hence, LED lights are arguably the ideal office lighting source. Their benefits include the following: 

  1. They are dimmable concerning ambient daylight. 
  2. Secondly, they don’t use IR energy and don’t dissipate unnecessary heat. 
  3. Also, they have extended shelf life compared to conventional fluorescent fixtures
  4. They are imperative in glare elimination as LEDs don’t cause eye strain. 

b.) Use Maximum Natural Light

An office space with sufficient natural lighting. 

An office space with sufficient natural lighting. 

There’s no better lighting design than one that embraces natural light as the primary light source. Therefore, while overhead lighting is essential, you must ensure that your workspace receives sufficient direct lighting from the sun. 

c.) Use Various Light Sources

Combine natural light with a desk lamp for excellent lighting.

Combine natural light with a desk lamp for excellent lighting.

Don’t just limit your office lighting design to desk lighting. Consider installing other quality lighting systems to improve the office’s visual appeal. Thus, consider incorporating indirect lighting features into your office space in addition to overhead lighting. 

For instance, you can have non-reflective background surfaces such as muted color furniture to provide a warm allure to the office space. 

d.) Install the Ideal Office Color Temperature

No one color temperature will suit all office spaces. But white and blue lights will be ideal if you’re setting up workspaces with high concentration levels. Conversely, you can use yellow-toned lights for a relaxing area such as an office waiting bay. 

e.) Save Energy

LED lights are ideal for an office setting. 

LED lights are ideal for an office setting. 

You must ensure that your lighting design is frugal in energy use. Using dimmers and adopting LED technology will come in handy in achieving energy savings. 

f.) Install Lighting Control Systems

Lighting control systems will ensure there’s sufficient lighting while saving energy. An example is the automatic lighting control system that detects the ambient lighting levels and adjusts dimmable light intensity. 

Office Lighting Design Guide for Each Room

Earlier, we discussed lighting ergonomics and their suitability for proper lighting. Now, let us explore the ideal lighting requirements for different office areas. 

Reception and Entrance Lighting

A well-lit office reception.

A well-lit office reception.

For any office space, you must create an excellent first impression. Hence your entrance and reception light systems must provide visitors with a calming effect. It makes downlight the ideal lighting method for the area. 

Such lights will provide exquisite glare control and accent lighting. You can also have pendant light fixtures to improve the ambiance at the reception. 

Stairway and Corridor Lighting

A busy office corridor space

A busy office corridor space

These areas pose the most significant challenge in office workstation lighting since they often don’t receive natural light. But you must also know that these spaces receive relatively low traffic. So, don’t overlight them as it would be wasteful and at the same time, ensure they are adequately lit. 

The ideal light for corridors and stairways is wall-mounted lights. You can also install floor lamps to improve lighting and act as guidelines for people using the areas. 

Open-plan Workspace Lighting

An open-plan workspace. 

An open-plan workspace. 

High light illuminance levels are necessary for this setting to boost the overall workspace mood. Therefore, you can use daylight harvesting in addition to recessed ceiling-mounted lights to light it up. 

In addition, include spotlights where you suspect there could be dark spots. 

Desk Area Lighting

An office desk area. 

An office desk area. 

Primarily, every workplace should feature ceiling lights. But, you can further improve the brightness of the desk area by having adjustable task lights. Such lights will be handy in optimizing the light levels in the area and eliminating glare. 

However, ensure you install your desk lamp on the opposite end of your writing hand. Otherwise, it will cast a shadow on the space and affect the illuminance you want to realize. 

Executive Office Lighting

Office Lighting Design- An executives meeting

An executives meeting

You must experience a feeling of elegance immediately after you step into an executive office. Hence, it must have maximum illumination. Ideally, smart light control and accent lights are handy in efficiently lighting such a space. 

Therefore, you need track lights and hung luminaire to realize the overall elegance factor.

Meeting room lighting

Office Lighting Design- A well-lit meeting room. 

A well-lit meeting room. 

Ideally, the meeting room should have an optimal balance between warm and cool light. Hence, you can combine ambient and accent lighting to realize this effect.  

Kitchen Area

Office Lighting Design- An office kitchen. 

An office kitchen. 

Have warm lighting fixtures in the office kitchen’s serving island area. Also, ensure no shadows in your cooking area by having sharp and bright lighting illuminating this space. 

Waiting bay or Communal Space Lighting

Office Lighting Design- An office waiting for bay area.

An office waiting for bay area.

Your waiting bay area should have a calming effect, making natural lighting the ideal source for the space. But you can also have tabletop and dimmable lights to give it a feeling of elegance and class. 


Office Lighting Design-How much light is too bright for office space?

An office workspace shouldn’t have too much natural light that overwhelms the computers and artificial lighting system’s brightness. Hence, you must have a control measure of the direct light entering the office working area. But natural light is a prerequisite for the kitchen and common room. 


Proper lighting is everything, especially in an office where you’re doing brainy tasks. We’ve highlighted all the critical hacks for achieving optimal quality of light in the office. In addition, you need to get the right light requirements for specific areas in the office.

Our parting shot is – Improve your office environment lighting, and the overall cognitive performance of the employees will improve. 

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