Put your home office in the best possible light with some help from Bespoke Lights. In these challenging times many of us now find ourselves working from home, often for the first time. Working from home is great – you can start late, finish early and no one will know if you stay in your dressing gown all day! To help you stay focused and motivated, and perhaps avoid these bad habits, we have put together some clever lighting hints and tips.
It is important to create a well-lit space that is comfortable to work in. If you are lucky enough to have a home office or study then you already have a ready-made dedicated work space. Otherwise you will have to improvise and find a space where you can work productively whilst being mindful of others in the household. Whether you create a quiet workspace in your summerhouse at the end of the garden or set up a desk and chair in the corner of your living room there is one thing that is definitely essential and that is good lighting.
It may take a little time to figure out exactly what lighting will work best for you, but don’t get discouraged as you will be able to tweak things as you go along. Good office lighting will keep you awake, boost your productivity and reduce eye strain so it will be time well spent.
Assess the Natural Light
The first thing to look at is how much natural light you have. If possible, try to avoid hiding yourself away in a depressing dark corner – you won’t get much work done and will resent the time you spend there. A good level of natural light during the day will enhance your mood. If your chosen work space is by a window then move your desk to take advantage of the light – either position your desk right under the window or at right angles to wash your workstation with light. Daylight is much kinder on the eyes and if you have a nice view with little distraction you will have the perfect position.
Layer the Light
When formulating a home office lighting plan, you will need a combination of different light fittings to supplement the natural light you have available. Depending on your chosen location this could include desk lamps, ceiling lights, wall lights, spotlights, downlights and floor lamps. Aim for a balance of light that incorporates both ambient lighting (general or background light) and task lighting (directional light for reading and close work). A flexible lighting scheme that gives you sufficient light to work comfortably throughout the day without glare but bright enough to be able to read documents would be ideal.
Both the ceiling spotlights shown above will give you directional light. On the left is the Stirrup, a 3 light cluster of ceiling spots in an industrial chic style. The range also includes matching ceiling pendants, wall lights, table and floor lamps . These lights are all designed and made in the UK by British lighting company Original BTC. Crafted from aluminium and painted in a white finish and complimented by black and white vintage cotton cables. Each spotlight is separately adjustable to direct the light where it is needed. For a more streamlined appearance, recessed downlights give a discrete low profile look. The Minima range of white recessed spotlights will give a good background light. The version shown on the right can be tilted and rotated to direct the light and is designed for use with LED spotlight bulbs.
Overhead lights will provide you with ambient or background lighting. It is unlikely that overhead lighting on its own will be sufficient, but it does give an all-round background light that will fill in any spaces that other light sources don’t reach. You are looking to achieve a calm even distribution of light. It may be worth checking the light bulbs in your fittings as you may be able to change to lamps with a higher or lower lumen level to provide a more comfortable working light. LED bulbs tick all the boxes – they are long lasting, energy efficient and more importantly they have a low heat output making it easier to work nearby. If possible, also consider installing a dimmer switch so you can control the light level depending on the time of day and the amount of natural light available.
Both the ceiling bar pendant and the rise and fall pendants shown above give excellent background lighting. These lights are more commonly seen lighting kitchen islands or breakfast bars but do provide excellent background lighting that would be perfect for a workstation. The Arvin island pendant on the left, with its charismatic vintage look, has an antique chrome rod suspension and clear glass shades. It can be fitted onto a sloping or angled ceiling if necessary. The Cobb rise and fall pendants are another offering from British manufacturer Original BTC. These versatile pull up and down lights offer good a good background light as well as more directional light for close work when they are lowered.
Overhead lighting can be supplied by flush or hanging ceiling lights, spotlights, ceiling bar pendants, downlights and even floor lamps. Uplighter floor lamps will reflect light off the walls and ceiling brightening up any dark corners and adding a little accent lighting into the bargain. Spotlights that can be positioned at different angles, downlights with a tilt function or track lights are all ideally suitable for home office lighting. As they are adjustable you can change their position at different times of the day to give you the required light level where you need it. Add a dimmer switch to give yourself even greater flexibility.
Floor lamps are not the first thing that come to mind when lighting a work space, but they are surprisingly versatile. They take up little floor space and the mother and child style lamps, in particular, offer both ambient and directional light in one fitting. The modern Hahn floor light on the left offers the latest in LED technology. Its uplighter shade provides a good background light whilst the separate reading arm will give a more concentrated task light for reading. Each light is controlled by its own dimmer switch. The Victorian double headed standard lamp on the right offers a more traditional take on the mother and child style of floor lamps. Both lights are height adjustable and the shades can be angled to direct the light. This lamp is made in the UK from solid brass and has a natural waxed tarnish. The striking Astoria uplighter floor standing lamp, shown in the centre, is very reminiscent of the Art Deco cinema style of the 1920’s and 1930’s. It provides a good background light over a wide area.
Task lighting is very important when lighting any home office space. Task lights do what they say and give you the required light to perform specific tasks. In your home office this is likely to be reading, writing or working at a computer screen. Although task lighting is important, you should not rely on it solely as this will very quickly give you eyestrain – adding ambient lighting into the mix will soften the more focused task light.
This trio of retro style desk lamps will add character to any workspace and provide directional light when needed. They are all in varying shades of grey which is surprisingly easy to team with other colours.
There is little to beat a classic desk lamp for task lighting in a traditional home office. These tried and tested task lights bring everything into focus. They should be positioned so you have an even distribution of light across your workspace and, if possible, place them on the opposite side of the desk to your writing hand to avoid shadows. To avoid glare, aim the light at your workspace and not your computer screen. Desk lamps with a flexible or adjustable arm are ideal as you can adjust their height and angle to suit. As you are illuminating an area that is only a matter of inches away you may need to use a bulb with a lower lumen level. Some desk lamps have an integral dimmer switch which is perfect.
Bespoke Lights have a great selection of desk lights to choose from in all sorts of styles and designs. This is your opportunity to add a touch of your own personality to your workspace by selecting a desk lamp to suit your surroundings. Shake off the corporate office image and turn your office into your own little haven.
These two stylish lamps both have dramatic black shades and will supply task light where it is needed. The modern curved profile of the London desk lamp on the left gives it a relaxed comfortable style that is just perfect for contemporary interiors. UK made in chrome with a spun aluminium dome shade in a black powder coated finish. The black cotton braided flex is woven through the arm for a clean, neatly tailored finish. The Joel desk light on the right offers a perfectly proportioned minimalist look. It is also in chrome with its black shade supported on a cantilever arm allowing the light to be angled on the work in hand.
Using Wall Lights and Floor Lamps as Task Lights
If you are short of space or only have room for a small desk or table, a good tip is to fix a task light to the wall. These task wall lights are more commonly used as over bed reading lights but will be just as effective in this situation. There is a huge choice of light fittings with flexible arms and adjustable shades that can be fixed to wall to reduce the clutter on your desk.
These two adjustable and angled wall lights will provide task light and free up valuable space on your desk or table. The Map Room wall light on the left is made in solid brass and hand finished in the UK in a traditional aged patina. It is supplied with a low energy dimmable spotlight bulb that provides the equivalent of a 50 watt halogen bulb. The Rebell angled wall light, on the right, is a characterful fitting made in Ireland which is perfect for giving light exactly where it is needed – it is fully adjustable from the three pivot points and has an attractive coolie holophane glass shade which gives a soft light with little or no glare.
Even if you do not have the necessary wiring in place to install a fixed wall light there are versions that can easily be plugged into the nearest socket and attached to the wall where you need it. Some of these wall lights also come with a clip and can be attached to the desk or a shelf – the ultimate in flexible lighting. Floor reading lamps can work in much the same way as plug in wall lights. Many have adjustable shades and long arms and can be positioned to give you the required task lighting where you want it.
The Circle Line plug in wall light on the left is a modern take on a traditional classic design light with a relaxed timeless feel. Manufactured in the UK using an interesting mix of materials that includes a bone china shade with bold black and white stripes, chrome and aluminium metalwork and a long braided cotton cable with a 3 pin plug. It can be fitted onto the wall at the desired height and plugged into an available socket. The Hector Pleat wall light, on the right, also plugs into an available socket but is designed to be clipped onto a shelf or table. Clip-on lights like this are easily moved from one location to another. Both these wall lights are from UK manufacturer Original BTC and are great choices if you do not have the necessary wiring in place for a fixed wall light.
Top Tips for Working from Home
- Get started early and pretend you are going to the office – set the alarm, dress accordingly and do all the things you usually do before you go to work.
- If you are using a computer have separate tool bars/browsers for home and work so you do not get distracted.
- Structure your day and plan what you will be doing ahead of time. Factor in clear breaks when you get away from your desk for a while.
- Pick a definite finishing time each day.
- Stay connected with colleagues and bosses.
- Ensure other members of the household respect your space during working hours.
- Have a dedicated work space with good lighting from Bespoke Lights.
Take a look at our earlier blog for lots of lighting ideas for reading at home in other rooms.
We hope you have found this blog helpful. If you would like any help with lighting your work space at home please do get in touch.