You arrive at the office in the early morning for a day full of meetings and calls. Before you know it, the day has gone by and as you leave, after staying late to finish your to-do list, the sun is setting. You realize that you didn’t leave the office for the entire day. “Where did the day go?” you ask.
Can you relate to this situation, especially in the winter?
While we can’t necessarily move our desks outside to soak up natural light, understanding the importance of our internal, circadian rhythms and taking steps to restore them to a more natural state can help boost productivity and mood around the office, especially during the darker, shorter days of winter.
Lighting is considered one of the most essential factors in ergonomics But, not all office layouts allow for a constant influx of natural light. After a while, you may notice quietly frustrated employees starting to be less productive and more disgruntled at work. Don’t worry there are ways to manage the man-made light sources in your workspace to help increase productivity and alertness.
What’s Color Temperature?
Daylight rates as a cool, blue light that ranges from 5,000-7,000 K and increases brain activity, while a more soothing light, such as firelight, would be considered a warm, yellow light and ranges from 2,000-4,000 K. So, you can manage your optimal office lighting even without strong, natural light based on these principles.
Whats My Kelvin?
For highest productivity, The New York Times suggests LED bulbs, which admit a white light that’s actually, on the K spectrum, blue. The color temperature of daylight is typically between 5000K and 7000K. The daylight color temperature at noon is 5600K and sunlight color temperature varies depending on the time of day and weather conditions. To give the perception of daylight, we suggest offices use light sources with color temperatures of 5000K or higher.
The amount of blue light in the spectrum of light sources increases with increasing color temperature. Higher color temperatures have a more significant effect on mental activity, alertness, and the central nervous system.
How LED Lighting Affects You
LED lighting allows you to have the broadest possible control and adjustment of light color temperature. Of course, different areas of an overall workspace will call for different temperature lighting. So, areas in which your employees are doing detailed tasks or are reading will be better and more comfortable for employees if they are lit with cooler lighting. Retail spaces that display products will benefit from warm lighting. In each case, employees in those spaces react better and are more productive if the lighting matches their designated tasks.
Taking these proactive steps to create a light-filled environment can bring an array of possible benefits to your team, including better sleep, increased focus, and improved health. When each member of your team has their circadian rhythms in sync, the office as a whole will flourish. And it’s only a light bulb order away.