Creating a luminous environment in the office has a positive impact on how workers feel and how they interact with one another. Even as you update the artificial lighting, it is imperative that you optimize natural lighting in the office.
We spend most of our daylight hours working in an office. However, most offices do not offer very favorable lighting levels.
Proper lighting boosts productivity on employees’ health and creates a healthier working environment. This post expounds further on the benefits of updating office lighting both for your health and the environment.
6 Health Benefits of Optimized Office Lighting
1. Lighting affects productivity
Working in a dimly lit, grimy office impacts your mood negatively. You feel demotivated to work, your mood dips, and your enthusiasm fades. The only way of reversing this impact is to update your office lighting. Studies show that people who work in inappropriately illuminated areas have optimal productivity.
Although research is not conclusive as to how proper lighting improves productivity, there sure is an undeniable correlation between office outlook, positive office vibe, and productivity. Perhaps one explanation to this correlation is the magnitude of fatigue a given employee suffers during business hours. Dimly lit offices put employees in an awkward situation where they have to over-strain their eyes all the time, which leads to fatigue-related health issues such as headaches. Workers will want to get out of that office as soon as they check-in and that attitude lowers their productivity. They will never perform to their maximum efficiency. Thus, if there is insufficient lighting in the office, then some measures need to be undertaken. First, some immediate office remodeling actions would be needed in order to break some walls and open the space for some windows that allow lighting. Second, the company could make a policy that would make employees stand up and go outside to get some sunlight and be back to work.
2. Improves circadian rhythm
Circadian rhythm means a human biological process that influences our psychological processes. Circadian rhythm is influenced by lightning. With the traditional lighting system, not much was done in that aspect but with the discovery and usage of LED lights, they can be kept at a good rate. For office people, having a regular Circadian rhythm means having a productive and healthy mind.
3. Boost Vitamin D
Offices that tend to have a lot of natural light are perfect for boosting employee’s vitamin D. Some offices are lucky to have a lot of windows that allow natural light to come in. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our body with multiple functionalities such as helps our body absorb calcium, boost bone growth and strength, improve the immune system. Most importantly, it can play a role in stopping cancer, heart disease, depression, diabetes, etc.
4. Improve Mood
Research studies have shown that exposure to sunlight during the day for 13-15 minutes can trigger serotonin, which is also known as the happy hormone. There is also a disease known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is triggered when there is a decrease in the serotonin hormone which manifests during the winter season because of lack of sunlight. The same can happen to people spending most of their day indoors without exposure to sunlight. As mentioned above, there are some offices that are lucky to be in buildings surrounded by windows. But some are not so lucky and as such are deprived of sufficient sunlight. Some suggestions would be to invest in new offices, remodel the current office and create som artificial windows, or allow employees to take their laptops and continue their work in part or elsewhere where natural light is available.
5. Improved sleep
Studies have shown that lack of sunlight can cause serious sleep problems. The study mentioned that people who are not exposed to sunlight during the day may lose around 46 minutes of sleep each night. That for an average working person is a lot. Imagine spending most of your day indoors, without much sunlight, then going out of work when it’s almost dark, probably going out to have a drink with friends and by the time you go home it will already be too late. You will crave to have those 46 minutes extra minutes of sleep. This highlights the need to have windows in the office or at least a certain area where you can spend several hours during the day.
6. Improves emotional stability
Sufficient lighting enables your body to be in balance emotionally. That means, it helps your emotions to be stable, relaxed, and keeps your stress levels low. You have also read or heard advice from experts saying to people experiencing some sort of anxiety, to out and have regular walks in nature. That’s because being outside, exposed to sunlight, has a calming and relaxing effect. On the other hand, staying in an office that is ‘dark’ and powered by artificial lightning can trigger an emotion of fear, underestimation and under self-worth. In the long term, this can be dangerous and negative because it can trigger aggressive behaviors.
4 Environmental Benefits of Having Efficient Office Lighting
1. Reducing cost and energy wastage
Lighting contributes to about a third of the total energy output in an office setting. When you install smart lights that can be dimmed when not in use or that can automatically dim themselves depending on how much natural light is present, the lighting costs reduce by about half. You can also be able to turn off smart lights from a remote location, which again contributes to huge energy savings. Lamps that are able to automatically adjust their brightness also have a 20-times longer lifespan than traditional bulbs such as incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps.
On top of getting superior energy efficiency, smart lights are also great for your office plants. LED grow lights, for example, consume fewer watts than regular HID lights, but they produce much more usable light. These lights will keep your indoor plants healthy and at the same time help you save up to 60% in growing energy costs.
2. Added convenience
Smart lighting systems hands you the control of your office lighting even when you aren’t in the office. You can, for example, create lighting schedules whereby the lights go off or turn themselves on automatically for specific situations. If someone forgets to switch off the lights when leaving for home, you can always switch them off remotely using a mobile app. You can also dim or brighten office lights from home. What’s more, the ability to centralize your office lighting so that you can control it from one mobile app or voice recognition further improves energy efficiency. It gives you a clear analysis of energy usage and patterns in the office, so you are able to come up with an informed, clear energy plan for your office.
3. Good for your corporate image
First, proper lighting in your office makes everything look more beautiful than it actually is. Everyone who steps into your office will fall in love with the perfectly balanced illumination. Secondly, LEDs are part of the green technology revolution, which is a big thing right now. People are realizing how carbon emissions harm our world and are therefore gravitating towards a carbon-free world. Converting to LED lighting is a great boost to your company image.
4. Safer workplace
Your ability to control the office lighting even when you are away greatly reduces the chances of burglary and other crimes. Besides that, proper lighting in the workplace, especially where heavy machinery is involved, greatly improves workers’ safety. Dim lights reduce workers’ ability to see dangerous situations, so they become innocently reckless. Also, the fatigue that comes with inadequate lighting can also lower the employee’s awareness of his/her surroundings. If you think of the liabilities that could stem from workplace accidents, you cannot afford to keep inadequately lit working areas.