Working from home comes with a wide range of advantages, and with the connectivity offered by modern technology, it is now far easier than ever before. Maybe this is the biggest reason why so many of us are starting to turn that nook under the staircase or the lonely basement into a home workspace. But it also comes with its own set of disadvantages that range from constant distractions that reduce productivity to design conundrums that need smart solutions. Today we take a look at the most essential aspect of the home office and how to get it spot on – Lighting!
Lighting plays a pivotal role in defining every room of the house, and it becomes even more important in spaces like the kitchen and the home office, where functionality is far more important than mere aesthetics. A poorly lit home office can be demoralizing and can affect your mood and hurt your vision in the long run. But these inherently simple and smart ‘must dos’ help in revamping your home office and seeing it in a whole new light –
1. Usher in Some Natural Light
One of the things you notice about some techno-addicts who are hooked onto their laptops, iPads and smartphones is the way they deliberately avoid any hint of natural sunlight. If you did not know better, you would be tempted to believe that these folks are long-lost cousins of Count Dracula! But in reality, natural light is not such a bad thing if you know how to use it in the right fashion. Yes, glossy surfaces can be a problem at times, but try and usher in natural light in a controlled fashion and ensure that in blends in beautifully with artificial illumination.
by Murphy & Co. Design
2. It Is All About the Angles!
Lighting is all about playing with angles, and a large part of how you use natural light depends on what task your home office serves. If you are an architect or a designer who works more on sheets and paper instead of tech gadgets, then a flood of natural light is a welcome addition. A smart decision here is to align your workstation in the north or south directions so that natural light does not create a shadow during any time of the day!
3. The Right Ambient Light
If you are not blessed with ample natural light, then artificial lights become twice as important, as you will be using them even during the day. Overhead lighting forms the most basic part of ambient lighting, and most often, you already have recessed lights in the house that take care of the job. But here is where many homeowners make the mistake of sticking with what they have. The existing ambient lighting was not designed to serve a home office. So, think about additional sources of illumination to add to the ambient light.
In case you have to work directly under a light source, then soften the light using the right lamp shade. Your ambient light should ideally light up the entire room in an even and balanced fashion without creating alternating pockets of darkness and bright light. Remember that while task lights get the job done, ambient lighting sets the mood for the room.
4. Trendy Task Lighting
Task lights are undoubtedly the most essential part of the home office, and no matter what your job is, task lighting ensures that you get it done under the best possible illumination. With a variety of trendy modern lamp designs around, you can pick from an amazing array of table lamps that offer focused illumination and do so with a dimmer option as well. Not all tasks require the same intensity of light, so this feature helps in more ways than one. But do not think of task lights as a flood of concentrated illumination to make the space brighter.
An interesting fact that many homeowners miss is that task lights help in giving a ‘better contrast’ to your reading experience. Since most of us have to put up with plenty of reading in the home office, a simple table lamp can reduce the strain on your eyes and make the experience a lot more convenient. This is precisely why you need a task light no matter how good the ambient lighting is!
by Rejuvenation Light
5. A Game of Gloss and Glare
Lighting the home workspace is a game of gloss and glare, and you are not going to win it if you stick to just one layer of lighting. Think of lighting the room as a layered effort where the ambient light provides the base, the task lighting offers functionality and accent lighting puts the sparkle on top of it all. If you think about, it is not all that different from a girl’s makeup kit or even making a sandwich! An overload of just one layer to compensate for the other two will never work out well. Also, expert interior designers suggest taking a height-based approach to it all. Each layer must be at a different level to ensure that one does not interfere with or overwhelm the other.
6. When Space is a Premium!
Small office spaces and workspaces are becoming an integral part of homes across the globe, and often space is the biggest constraint. Not all of us are blessed enough to dedicate an entire room to the home office. And even if we can, it is often highly limited in foot space. Modern pendants and wall sconces offer the ideal alternative that helps you de-clutter the workstation and give the space a sleeker and more airy appeal. In fact, give the latest trend of desk sconces with swing arm lamps a shot and you will soon realize that the table lamp is a thing of the past!
by Izumi Tanaka Photography
by Visbeen Architects
7. Slap on Some Shades!
A lot of people working from home complain about how natural light and its glare is a bit too much to handle. But shutting the room off completely to sunlight is not a desirable alternative. Instead, take the path down the middle with some cool sheer curtains, which are turning out to be one of the hottest trends this summer. Adjustable louvers, roman shades and simple blinds can also ensure that you only have as much natural light as you need. Not a fan of shades? A tall indoor plant next to the window will cut back on the glare while giving the room a sense of natural freshness.
If you do not get the lighting in your home office correct right off the bat, do not be disappointed. You are not alone, and often it takes awhile before you figure out the specific problems of the space and come up with clever solutions.