How Can I Improve My Home Office Without Natural Light?
An essential part of your home office’s overall design is its lighting. It has been proved that office lighting influences comfort, productivity, and general office morale. Additionally, good lighting is an integral part of a healthy and ergonomic work environment. You must then be wondering: How can I improve my home office without natural light? Well, let us get into it, shall we?
It should not be underestimated or rather overlooked. As it has been previously mentioned, light has got the power to motivate and inspire as well as set the mood in your work environment. It also can enable communication, creativity, and collaboration.
It is no secret that dim or rather inadequate office lighting can result in headaches, eye strain, fatigue to even loss of focus and/or concentration, and drowsiness—these disadvantages in one way or another compromise productivity.
However, switching up your wall colors and changing the type of lighting in your home office could contribute to large improvements even in the absence of natural light. This article will highlight how you can improve your home office without natural light by expanding on the previously mentioned tweaks and more!
Tips to Improving your Home Without Natural Light
1. Choose Bright Wall Colours
Coloring your wall is the easiest way to brighten and lighten up your home office space. Ensure to choose light paint colors. This is because they will help to improve the productivity and general mood of the people surrounding you.
Colors like light baby blue, cream, white, and even light lime green could create the illusion of natural window lighting in your space. An effective substitute for natural sunlight is said to be bright yellow.
The science of color therapy is said to help inform your decision when office paint colors are the subject of discussion. In fact, studies have explored the effects of color on employee wellness state. Colors in shades of green and blue are known to improve efficiency and focus. They also give a great sense of well-being… Meanwhile, mellow yellow is energetic and fresh. It is said to trigger innovation.
In conclusion, color does affect emotional and physical well-being and thus can be used to enhance the home office experience. But what if I do not want to commit to painting the walls with bright colors? Do not worry. An alternative to bright office wall colors is bright wallpapers. They are said to be similarly effective as they are still composed of bright colors. I will revisit bright wallpapers as the article progresses.
2. Choose Good Lighting
Your home office lighting should be beyond just a bulb or desk lamp. Many lighting options are important to a windowless space as they allow you to change the light sources depending on the tasks at hand. For example:
- Cove lights - This type of lighting directs light to the ceiling from a cove. As it is typically incorporated and/or mounted into a wall, the light emanates from the cove on either one or more sides of a room.Cove lighting provides illumination that is generally diffused. Cove lights often minimize the common visual irritation and/or disturbances of direct light. Thus bringing about an ambiance of a natural light feel to the room.
- Hidden Lights - These lights are similar to cove lights, only that they are easier to install and more cost-effective. These types of lights are often installed in discreet areas such as onto shelves and behind furniture. As the fixtures are often unseen, they end up providing a sense of natural light by slightly mimicking natural window light.
- Fluorescent Light Filters - fluorescent lights are commonly gloomy and dull. However, fluorescent light filters can make this type of light possess a more natural light. This is achieved by the filters allowing for a nearly full-spectrum natural light.
- Lamps - In case overhead lights are not your taste, then lamps are a great alternative. The biggest advantage of lamp lighting is that it can be directly and individually controlled to provide direct and indirect lighting. The use of a daylight bulb in your lamp often mimics natural lighting.
3. Pay Attention to the Direction of Light
Even the perfect type of lighting can still be not enough. It is very important to consider where your light is coming from. For example, hidden lights set on the bookshelf behind you will most likely create an annoying glare on your monitor or laptop screen.
Unintended shadows caused by lamps set up for task lighting could be an inconvenience. For example, if you are right-handed, placing a desk lamp over your right arm may result in cast shadows. This is why it is important to consider where you will place your source(s) of light.
4. Coloured & Ambient Lighting
This is ideal if you usually work in your home office for long periods of extended time. It may seem unbelievable, but artists and interior architects have long known that bulb colors can affect mood, feelings, and emotions.
Various studies have revealed that different colors have got the potential to influence a person. Below are some examples from this website:
- Yellow - this color is known as “the depression killer.” It is said to also be associated with the liver, intestines, and stomach.
- Blue - this color is said to have a calming effect. The website further goes ahead to reveal that blue light could help in the treatment of a migraine. WOW!
- Green - termed as the color of nature, this color is said to stimulate the creation of growth hormones. It is also said that it can strengthen muscles, bones, and other tissues.
- Orange - this color is said to stimulate the creative thought process. Orange light has been linked with contributing to the production of breast milk in pregnant women.
From the science known as chromo therapy, or rather color therapy, stems colored lighting. Not only would colored lighting spice up your workspace, but it could also potentially increase your productivity.
5. Choose Reflective Accessories
A strategically placed mirror in your home office space can serve two important purposes. The first is that they can make any small space larger by expanding the room visually.
Secondly, a mirror can mimic a window. This is a double win as mirrors can reflect dim light and further amplify its illumination. It is highly recommended to strategically place the mirror near a lighting source.
For example, if you have a cove light on your wall, place a large daily mirror on the opposite or adjacent wall. Make sure that the mirror is not placed directly in front of the lighting source.
Alternatively, if there’s a window in the next room, you could place the mirror on the wall that is right opposite the window in the other room. Doing so will have two effects. The first one is that you will have successfully mimicked a second window.
While the second win is that the light from the other room will bounce into your space via the mirror. When it comes to the ideal size for the mirror, it is recommended to use a large mirror, if possible. This is because the larger the mirror, the more light it will reflect.
6. Transom Windows
This is a window that is located above a window. A transom window is located right above a door.. Transom windows offer two great advantages.
One is that you can the opening and closing of transom windows are often carried out by an electronic switch.
The second advantage is that they let in a great amount of light in. Transom windows are best installed between a room that has got a window and one that does not have a window.
This way, the light from the room that has got the window would also reach the room that has got no window or source of natural light.
7. Indoor Plants
A touch of nature indeed does go a long way. Bring the outdoors inside, literally! Plants have got a huge impact on the overall health and spirit of a room.
Including plants as a part of your decor will serve as a great compliment to the already existing lighting that you have got in your space. However, if your office space has got low lighting, it is important to consider plant varieties that thrive in low light.
This ranges from some varieties of palms and ferns to philodendrons, peace lilies, and snake plants, just to name a few.
8. Wall Artwork & Bright Wallpapers
This could range from murals to photographic portraits. Artwork, in general, already has an innately inspiring ambiance and is a great inclusion to office decor.
In addition to that, it can lighten and brighten up your home office space. For example, wall paintings of nature could help mimic the view of a window. Pictures of outdoor elements such as water, trees, and the sky allow a sort of simulated feel of being outside.
9. Flux Application
About 90% of individuals that are working from home are performing their work digitally. This means that for 10 hours (or even more), you are probably on your laptop or computer working.
Artificial lighting is said to disrupt circadian rhythms. And yes, aside from ceiling, floor, and desk lamps, artificial lighting is also emitted from phones, laptops, and tablets.
As technology keeps on advancing, there is no surprise in knowing that there’s an app that can regulate your laptop or computer display color screen to that of the day. And that is not just it. This app will change the display’s color to adapt to the exact time of the day, similar to sunlight during the day and warm color during the night.
This way, you are not only improving your workspace but your mental space to efficiently work in your home office space.
10. See Through Ceiling (Optional)
This could sound over the top, but why not? A see-through ceiling will not only bring in a whole deal of natural light but also complement the architecture of your home. To keep privacy and security in check, it is possible to have a translucent ceiling.
This is achieved by the translucent property of letting light in but blurring objects that are inside. A translucent portion of your ceiling could contribute to major energy saving as you would only need to make use of your ceiling lights at night.
Summary - How Can I Improve My Home Office Without Natural Light?
In conclusion, by investing some money and time, making these changes to your home office will be worth all of the effort. Lighting is an important aspect. Not just for seeing things clearly, but also for inspiration and enhancement of productivity and creativity. Numerous studies reveal that natural window light provides the illumination that is needed for a healthy, inspiring, and positive work environment.
However, not having access to natural light in your workspace does not mean that you will miss out on all the benefits. Making use of colored lighting could contribute to health improvements as certain colors are linked to having therapeutic effects. What a phenomenon!
Bear in mind that as you improve your home office lighting, you win in two areas. The first area that you win in is that you increase your productivity as light influences mood and general energy. While the second area you win in is that you get to also visually improve your home space.
Experiment as much as you can with the combining of different elements to bring out certain results. For example, putting a large piece of art beside a cove light and a mirror right opposite will brighten up your space. It will also give your space some sort of aesthetic look with the presence of some indoor plants.
Lastly, do remember to make use of the Flux application as you are probably staring at a computer/laptop screen 90% of the time. The application’s ability to switch your screen’s display to match that of natural daylight will be of great benefit to your overall mental health.