Best Lighting for Productivity in the Workplace

For companies seeking to increase employee productivity in office environments, it is possible with the right kind of lighting – LED lighting. Unlike typical fluorescent lighting, LED lights for office work spaces can have positive effects on the productivity and alertness of employees, such as increasing physical response time, verbal memory, and cognitive tasks. These positive effects on people at work are attributed to the color temperature of LED lights.

Benefits of Color Temperature

Light is measured in Kelvins (k) as color temperature, which is light that can be seen by the human eye. There are specific color temperatures that are ideal for use in office spaces, schools, homes, and commercial environments.

For example, when looking at an LED bulb, with a color temperature of roughly 2700K, it will appear yellowish white. The color temperature will begin to appear whiter than yellow when reaching near 3500K, and will change to a bluish white when the color temperature exceeds 5000K.

While natural sunlight is the best, not all office work spaces have constant natural daylight shining through windows. The best alternative is using quality artificial light with color temperatures that mimics natural sunlight. Color temperatures that range between 5000K and 7000K are best, as it is near the natural daylight color temperature of roughly 5600K at noon time.

Using artificial lighting to mimic natural daylight is ideal for increasing productivity in the workplace, as LED lights are not affected by weather conditions the way that natural light is, which can change the color temperature as the day progresses.

Effects of LED Lighting

Human mental activity is influenced by higher color temperatures, such as blue light. Studies have shown the human central nervous system is stimulated by exposure to color temperatures of the blue light spectrum, resulting in increased mental activity and alertness.

Compared to the artificial light produced by fluorescent bulbs, bright white light from LED light bulbs (which mirror the color temperature of natural daylight) better helps employees complete their tasks more easily. In fact, it is not recommended to use fluorescent lighting in offices because of their long-term effects.

Negative Effects of Fluorescent Lighting

Over the years, incandescent lighting in offices has been systematically replaced with fluorescent lights, for various reasons. One of the main reasons is that fluorescent bulbs are significantly cheaper and use less electricity than incandescent bulbs. However, aside from the cost and energy benefits, many people have complained about the adverse effects of working under artificial lights.

One of the most frequently reported issues that people have complained about is that fluorescent lighting induces headaches. Research has proven that the invisible pulsing in fluorescent lighting negatively affects people who suffer from migraines.

Another common complaint office employees report about is that fluorescent lighting can disrupt sleep patterns. Fluorescent lighting does not mimic the color temperatures of natural daylight, which typically assists the brain in maintaining a circadian rhythm. Because LED lighting more closely mimics natural light, it’s a better option for the workplace.

Some studies have shown that because LED lights can mimic the color temperature range of natural daylight, using LED light bulbs in offices can help employees to stay awake during evening and night shifts. Fluorescent lighting does not have the same benefits.

Considering all of the above information, LED lights are better for employee health while also increasing their productivity. Their energy efficiency, coupled with their low cost, makes it a win-win for employees and employers.