Office lighting solutions
Working in an office for long periods of time, particularly on a computer, demands specific office lighting solutions so that the right environment for focused work is created, keeping headaches and eye-strain at bay. If the work space is part of another room then flexibility for your office lighting solution is essential.
Office lighting solutions provided by desk lamps
When lighting an office – unlike most other rooms – the most important requirement is an effective office task lighting. A successful balance must be achieved between this and the general office lighting to avoid eye-strain, which can result from strong contrast between well-lit surfaces and dark surrounding walls, or if too much light is reflecting onto a computer screen. Feature office lighting is not essential, but will be effective in creating more atmosphere in a room where you have to spend time, and could be used to highlight a bookshelf or a picture.
Office task lighting could be provided by a desk lamp or, if there are shelves above the desk, by office lighting fixed to, or underneath, the shelves. Desk lamps and those fixed to shelves offer a degree of adaptability as the direction of their light beam can be adjusted. A movable light would work very well if a computer is to be used, since the amount of light and any reflection on the screen can be fully controlled. Whichever solution is chosen, the task light should, if possible, be on a separate switch from all other sources in the room so that it creates a focus on the work area only.
Office lighting solutions using uplighters
Many office lighting solutions can be provided efficiently by a free-standing uplight, which will create a soft, diffuse light without casting problematic reflections on computer screen; these reflections can occur when using downlights in your overall scheme.
If the office has shelves, further office lighting sources can be employed. If there is a gap of at least 600mm (24in) between the top shelf and the ceiling, an uplight could be incorporated above the shelf. If the gap is smaller than 600mm (24in), a continuous source, such as overlapping fluorescent tubes or xenon striplights, will be more successful than a tungsten halogen uplight, which creates ‘hotspots’ of intense lighting on the ceiling rather than provide a general wash over the room.
Low-voltage office track lighting, if you have a whole wall of shelving or a library, will give enough light for you to see every book on each shelf. Alternatively, traditional library lights can be employed. Sometimes called French library lights, generally they are wall-mounted on brackets and can have one -, two – or three-arm connections depending on the extension and versatility required. Originating from the idea of a candle on a vertical pole, with an arm-extension so that the lamp could be shifted upwards or sideways, they offer focused office lighting that can be moved across the shelves. The electrical versions provide the same versatility for both contemporary and traditional interiors.