how to transform your office with commercial lighting and shading

on 11.11.22

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Numerous studies have shown that the quality of lighting in an office has a powerful effect on employee productivity and well-being. A lack of proper lighting leaves workers feeling drained and unmotivated, while access to better light sources (especially natural light) can lift workers’ moods and energy levels. 

At a time of high employee turnover, businesses in every industry are hard-pressed to offer attractive, comfortable workspaces that make their teams love coming to work every day. Choosing the right commercial lighting and shading is a critical component of this, as these systems play a central role in regulating the quality of light in the space.

In this post, we look at the various ways that commercial lighting and shading can transform an office and why it’s so important.

the importance of proper office lighting

In a study highlighted by Harvard Business Review, researchers found that “optimization of natural light in an office significantly improves health and wellness among workers.” 

The study found that an increase in lighting quality had a powerful impact on employees:

  • 56% decrease in reports of workers feeling tired or drowsy
  • 63% decrease in headaches
  • 51% decrease in eye strain

Another study found that access to natural light is the single most popular office perk among employees. Researchers polled more than 1,600 office workers across North America and found that the most desirable benefit was better lighting. (It was even more popular than other perks, like office cafeterias and gyms.)

common challenges

Despite the positive impact of high-quality office lighting, many organizations fail to provide the well-lit working environment that employees desire. 

Most commonly:

  • Outdated commercial lighting systems are dim, eye-straining, or simply too harsh.
  • Windows are blocked by thick shading or other window treatments that restrict natural light.
  • Office managers and stakeholders leave existing commercial lighting and shading systems in place because they don’t realize the negative impact on employee health, well-being, and productivity.

Today’s businesses need to rethink the lighting in their workspaces. They need to be more proactive about installing high-quality commercial lighting and shading systems that make their offices more comfortable and energizing. In doing so, businesses can transform their office in several ways.

Here’s how.

1) Light-filtering shading

If your business has windows, then this strategy is especially transformative. The objective here is to allow as much natural light as possible, without employees being blinded by sunlight during the day. This can be achieved by choosing light-filtering shades that still allow natural light to flood your office, while also filtering out the sun’s harshest rays.

The result is a bright, well-lit workspace that harnesses more natural light from your existing windows and cuts on energy costs at the same time.

2) Shading for meeting spaces 

While your primary work areas should be well lit, you want to make sure meeting spaces can be appropriately dimmed for presentations. If your conference rooms have glass walls or exterior windows, then you’ll want to install shades or blinds with greater light-blocking power.

This will ensure that presentations on video displays or projection screens are bright and easy to see by everyone in the room.

3) Brighter, more natural lighting

Yes, the bulbs in your light fixtures matter. Aside from your windows, they play the most significant role in lighting your office. So if the bulbs are too harsh or too dim, they will create an uncomfortable workspace that hurts workers’ productivity and makes them feel fatigued.

Studies show that lighting with cooler, “daylight” color temperatures (about 4,600 kelvin or higher) can help to improve productivity, alertness, and mood. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use those same bulbs throughout the entire office. 

Today’s offices increasingly have more relaxed spaces for meeting, lounging, and sharing ideas, aside from the traditional conference rooms. Warmer lighting in these spaces can help employees feel more relaxed and comfortable – exactly what they need when stepping away from their desks for a break.

4) Attractive light fixtures

Aside from the actual bulbs, the fixtures themselves play a huge role in the aesthetic of the space. If your office feels like a medical corridor lined with harsh fluorescent lights, then your employees probably don’t feel great coming to this space every day.

Adding new light fixtures with fresh, distinctive designs can go a long way to making the office more modern and inviting.

5) Smart automation and control

Automated commercial lighting and shading eliminate the need to manually adjust these systems throughout the workday. This can be transformative for your office because it means your operations manager or employees don’t have to touch the shades or even think about them. That’s one less distraction to worry about.

Plus, individual spaces throughout the office can be automated based on routines, schedules, or light sensors. For example, conference rooms can be programmed to automatically lower the shades and dim the lighting when meetings are kicked off. Or, shades and lights can automatically adjust throughout the day based on the amount of available light in the space.

Finally, if manual adjustment is needed, it’s as simple as tapping a button on a touchscreen device or smartphone.

6) Energy savings

Another important way that commercial lighting and shading can transform your office is by reducing energy usage. By combining automation with higher-efficiency fixtures, businesses can lighten the load on their HVAC systems, thus reducing their heating and cooling costs. This not only helps the bottom line but also reduces businesses’ carbon footprint.

explore smart commercial lighting and shading from AVDG

AVDG is a national leader in office automation, specializing in lighting, shading, conferencing, and audio-visual solutions. Contact us today to speak with a lighting and shading specialist and discover how our integrations can transform your workspace.