Your Guide to Good Desk Lighting
In 2015, most people either work at a desk or at least have a desk space in their home. As people spend more and more time working on computers, it is increasingly important to get the lighting right in order to have an optimal working space and to avoid possible injury from staring at a screen too long.
Why is it important?
- People working on computers for long hours without the correct lighting are more likely to develop Computer Vision Syndrome, a type of eye strain which manifests itself in headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. This risk can be reduced by buying good, efficient lighting.
- Good lighting increases your productivity! Bright light that is close to daylight makes us feel more energised and awake, whereas dimmer lights cue us to relax and sleep due to our biological clocks.
- Layering light is really important to the overall style and feel of an office space and a desk lamp simply adds another layer to this.
- If your office space is in an open area, such as part of a dining room or kitchen, or is linked to one, having a good desk lighting system can mean you can continue to work effectively, whilst others in the room relax.
What to consider when buying desk lighting
One of the most important things to consider is how much light you require in your desk area.
Identify where the natural light (if any) is coming from. It is recommended that the desk should be perpendicular to the window, as this gives you the benefit of the light without the glare on your computer or light in your eyes. If natural light is unavailable, ensure you have sufficient overhead light that mimics natural light, but once again be careful of glare.
Work out where the shadows fall on your desk as these will be the areas targeted by your lighting, where you do the most work on your desk, and what sort of work it is. For example, if you work on your computer but also have a space on your desk for paperwork, you’re going to want to light both these areas.
For this Task Lighting, we recommend any of our traditional desk lamps or swing-arm desk lamps as these can angle the light to where you need it most. This lighting needs to be bright as it is supposed to be concentrated on whatever specific task you are doing.
Also Corrective lighting can help combat the effects of eye strain as it minimises the contrast between the computer screen lights and the wall. This requires a softer light than task or ambient lighting, as this will be more soothing to the eye.
Desk lamps with the shade surrounding them will filter the light to make it less harsh than other, directional lamps.
Dimmer lights are a good way of controlling the amount of light to suit changing needs. For example, in the middle of the day it may not be necessary to have the lights on full brightness, whereas in the evenings, it is likely you will need more to see properly.
When choosing a light, you need to think about the amount of space you can afford to give over to the lighting. If you have a bigger desk, a bigger lamp is not an issue, but for smaller desks a Clip-On light may be a good, space saving solution. These are also useful for people like architects who work on slanted desks and so cannot have traditional lights, but still need the benefits of good lighting.
Also be aware of any shadows created by the task you are doing. For example, if you are working to the right of your desk and are right-handed, a light on the right side of the desk can cause shadows. Placing the light on the left side of the desk, pointing towards the right, can eliminate this problem.
Don’t forget that there may also be spaces in your office that could use lighting that are not in everyday use. Underneath your desk, for example, could be a useful storage space and adding some strip lights may make it easier to see what’s there when you need to.
Once you’ve made these other decisions, you can then choose which light best fits your requirements and the individual style of your office. Whether you like bold colours or a cool chrome finish, we have lamps to suit your style.
Because why have one computer when you can have four?!