• Melanie Koerperich

Lighting: Natural vs Artificial – Which Is Better For Your Work Environment?


Today we know much more about lighting and natural light versus artificial light. There are several studies and documented facts stating that people exposed to natural light are happier, healthier and more productive to those who function only under artificial light.

Ten years ago, I was part of an elite team of individuals in a large corporation. Well, this small group consisted of ten incredible individuals (like super hero level….ha!) who were put in a tiny nook of the office (there was a good reason for this and I’ll just let you speculate…I’m sure you can figure something out…mainly think –incredible-super hero-fun-). The office lighting was dreadful in our space but there were plenty of windows, so we found an easy solution. We just pulled all the blinds up and let in that natural light; it was perfect! But not everyone liked it.

War Of The Floor

That was the start of the “WAR OF THE FLOOR”. Our team and management were fine. Other teams (jealous) and management (bitter) were not. We had the lights off. A manager would walk by and resentfully flip them back on. We would run behind him and flip them back off.

On. Off. On with a little duct tape for reinforcement…. Then off with muffled cursing and stomping. This wasn’t a one day, or even a one week “game”. This went on for months. It really was a game. Sometimes the lights stayed off a week at a time, sometimes only an hour. And most of us just let it go, but there were others. And it wasn’t going to end. It was a fight to the death.  Executives debated, studies were pulled and doctors advised. Human resources came in and the decision was made.

Lights….ON. Sadness and gloom ensued.

Artificial Lighting Drawbacks

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), eyestrain, and stress are also very real issues and cause people to need breaks and time away from work, leading to poor productivity. That was the first year I found myself suffering from SAD and purchased a light box. So, because of that, every day from 4:30-6:30pm I turn on the light box to extend my daylight hours. It really helped a great deal with fatigue and it’s been a nice mood booster!

Natural Lighting In The Home Office

My home office is next to a great big window and I have no need to turn on a light so I opt to let the daylight stream in. I certainly agree with not only the productivity piece but also the feeling of happiness and calm I get from having natural light. My home office in the guest room I used to use had one window and not much natural light. It felt like a dungeon and doomed to work my day in darkness; waiting for the guard to release me. I didn’t know if it was day or night quite honestly.

Being that we spend the majority of our day working in our home office, I wanted to create a space for myself that is inviting and enjoyable.

Is your space open and full of natural light or a dungeon with guards and darkness? Tell me about your space or better yet, send me a picture! And smile, because you are working at home. In beautiful, natural light. Happy day!

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