FEATURED | Business

Office Lighting Isn’t Just an Amenity, It Can Be a Profit Killer


We’ve known for thirty years that fluorescent lighting in the office leads to headaches, loss of attention, and tiredness, but it remains an office standard. Now what other commonplace standard would you allow in your company that had so many negative aspects?

Yet the odds are ten to one that the corner office the owner or CEO occupies is deeply carpeted and softly lit. Chances are he (or she) is out of their office a good part of the time, anyway, doing the business lunch thing or closing a deal.

The main reason we’ve put up with fluorescent is it was cheap, both to install and run. The only other choice back then was incandescent, which you probably had at home, but it’s more expensive and runs hot.

As an employee, would you rather work in the office heading this article, or the one pictured below?

Forget pretty. I know this one’s prettier, but we’re talking light levels here.

Nowadays we have the option of LED lighting, which runs cool, runs longer, comes in soothing, warm colors and pays for itself in operational savings. What’s not to like? Well, it would leave some sawdust on the floor and needs additional fixtures.

Who needs the bother?

Actually, you do, as an owner or CEO. The running costs of LED lighting are significantly lower than alternative lighting forms. LED lighting can last up to 20 times longer than standard forms of lighting such as incandescent or halogen lamps. Their efficiency and length of life is better because they waste little energy on heat, concentrating electricity on the production of light.

But there are things to know other than simply unscrewing one type of lamp and screwing in another.  Not to put too fine a point on it, one needs to avoid getting screwed in the process.

When choosing LED light bulbs for optimal office environments, health, and sleep, you want to look for bulbs on the lower end of the color-temperature scale. Avoid any type lights that produce artificial blue light. Go for bulbs with less blue light energy and more orange and red tones — this will reduce the impact on your circadian rhythm and relax your nervous system.

A 2013 study found that people were more relaxed in warm, low color temperature lighting, and another interesting study found that adults who were exposed to low, warmer light were more likely to offer praise to fellow workers and resolve conflicts with collaboration. Additionally, you want bulbs that state they are flicker-free.

That’s a lot to remember, so be sure to hire a consultant, outlining the above requirements

As a form of lighting, LED offers the biggest return on investment of any type. But that’s only for the hardware. The ROI on better concentration, less fatigue and healthier off hours outside the office will show up on your financial bottom line as well as a lessening of turnover.

A relaxed, refreshed and attentive employee is a godsend, but you needn’t wait for God to improve your lighting…