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Bright ideas for your home office lighting

Image of a home office with John Cullen Lighting

Bright ideas for your home office lighting

We’re spending more time than ever before in our home office spaces. Whether you’re up early or prefer working later into the evening, good home office lighting is key to keeping you focused and comfortable.

There are clever ways in which you can transform the space through effective lighting design, taking into account the practicality of the space, but also blending seamlessly into your home and existing features. Luke Thomas, Design Director at John Cullen reveals his top tips on how to brighten up your workspace and get your home office lighting spot on.

Think about practicality

It’s key to consider the practical usage of the work space, the time of day that it is most used, and who will be using it. For example, adults may want to work at night with softer evening lamp light. Meanwhile, children doing their homework will probably require a more crisp, even wash of light from correctly positioned downlights. Balancing natural and artificial light is key throughout the day.

Avoid harsh shadows on the desk area. Place two or more low-glare Polespring 40 LED downlights to cross light the work space. Ensure fittings are positioned so that the user is not working in their own shadow – don’t position them behind the desk. When selecting a beam, go for a wide beam for any downlights. In addition, consider adding a honeycomb lens to soften the light and reduce glare.

Focus with effective task lighting

Ensure you include some adjustable task lighting to provide a pool of focused light as the natural light changes. There are several options for task lighting and the right option will depend on the specific tasks performed. A desk-mounted lamp is effective for localised light. Plus, if the lamp is linked to a 5amp socket, it can be dimmed as a lighting circuit. This is particularly useful in reducing eye strain late at night.

Ceiling recessed downlights (such as Polespring) above a desk area are a good clutter-free option for providing task light. Though if the desk is freestanding and away from the walls, careful planning is required to set the lights correctly over the desk. If you have an armchair you like to use for reading, avoid downlights as they can cause glare and be uncomfortable to sit under. Table lamps or adjustable floorstanding lamps – such as our Pocket of Light – are the perfect solutions here and add a nice decorative element to the room.

Layer with light

One of the great mantras of lighting is ‘layering with light’. Adding layers of light is not only practical, as it enables you to change the focus on areas and dim as you need, but it also adds points of interest and focus, creating ambience.

Integrating lighting into shelves makes an eye-catching feature while also adding additional light to the room. Consider using our Contour HD27 linear lighting strips under shelving for a soft yet consistent glow of light. Pair this with integrated Etta Eyelid Under Cupboard Lights to create a spot and focus. When combined with additional layers of light from correctly positioned downlights and table lamps, this creates a calming ambient light to work by. It can be adjusted depending on the intensity of the natural light.

Consider materials

Light will react differently with a variety of materials, so you need to consider your scheme and how best to light it based on the finishes selected. If you have chosen a high-gloss finish for the desk or bookcases, for example, avoid glare by keeping direct light away from these surfaces.

By using angled recessed downlights positioned as a wall wash, you will give the area softer reflected light. Our linear Contour HD27 strips can add an energy-efficient interesting effect to bookshelves and joinery. This also creates depth and adds interest in the room. If dealing with reflective surfaces, like a laptop screen, LED strips should be set within aluminium profiles. Use with frosted diffusers to prevent a dotting effect caused by reflection of the LED light source.

Set the tone

It’s important to get the right balance, colour and positioning of light to set the right tone. The position of the lights is very important. A grid will often light dead space, but lighting towards the walls and other vertical surfaces makes rooms feel bigger and brighter. The Kelvins (K) is the colour temperature and it’s best to use either 2700K or 3000K for an office. For a home office I would go with 2700K so it is not too stark and you achieve a softer ambience.

About John Cullen: For over 35 years, John Cullen has been offering a complete end-to-end solution for all aspects of interior and exterior lighting for the residential, superyacht and hospitality markets all over the world.

Featured image: John Cullen provided lighting for this loft office with a view.

Want more? If you enjoyed Luke’s tips, don’t miss our other expert tips blogs.