Factors affecting lighting decisions of an office renovation project

Light plays an important role in our everyday life, it has a major impact on our health, mood, energy level, and productivity. Poor lighting due to too much or too little light can lead to eye strain, dizziness, and migraine, and it can even affect our circadian rhythm which in turn affects our sleep. In a study conducted by View Inc. it revealed that 1 in 3 stated that access to comfortable light (intensity and colour) as important for their daily health and 33% of the respondents would like to personalize their overhead lighting, desk lighting, and the levels of natural light coming in. Therefore, it is vital that companies pay attention to the lighting in the office, especially before the office renovation project. In this article, we will be sharing some factors that companies should consider.

Access to Natural Light

According to research conducted by Cornell University, employees who were exposed to natural light in the office reported an 84 percent drop in eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. This means that when designing an office space, it is best to use places with windows for the common areas and not private offices so that more people can benefit from the natural light. However, we also have to be aware that natural light could cause problems as well. There are certain times of the day when the light is too intense and the sunlight hits directly on the computer screen causing screen glare. Therefore, the position of desks is an important aspect to consider in the design phase. A good solution to prevent too much or too little natural light from coming into the office is the use of smart glass. The smart glass allows users to control light, heat, and glare manually or automatically in their rooms. It can change from clear to dark in a matter of seconds.

Supplement with Artificial light

Offices that do not have the luxury of bright natural light have to consider how to implement artificial light that is beneficial to the employees. There are several factors to consider when it comes to artificial lighting. One such factor is the lighting temperature; the temperature can affect productivity in the office. For example, cool/blueish light improves alertness and productivity, so it’s a good choice for brainstorming rooms; white light is welcoming and works well in conference rooms; warm light on the other hand creates a relaxed atmosphere and therefore is best used for intimate settings like break rooms. However, though blue light improves productivity, there is research to show that blue light affects sleep if a person is exposed to it late in the day. Another factor to consider is fluorescent light and LED light. Though not as common now, some older offices are still using fluorescent light, which is not recommended as many studies have shown the negative effect fluorescent light has on employees’ well-being, including eyestrain.

Allow employees to control and customise

In most companies, the light that they offer to the whole general office is the same. However, each employee has different light requirements. For example, in general, an older employee would require more and brighter light than their younger counterpart. Also, the amount of natural light coming into the office is affected by the time of the day and the weather outside. Therefore, the amount of artificial light that an employee needs will fluctuate, and having it would be beneficial for the employee to adjust it to reduce eye strain from either too much or too little light.


Cost is a factor that most companies will consider when deciding on the lighting conditions in the office. For example, it is cheaper to install blinds to adjust the amount of light coming into the office as compared to installing smart windows. Prices of LED lights used to be a deterring factor even though LED lights are better for the eyes and have long-term cost savings. However, in recent years, the price of LED lights has dropped quite significantly, and companies can see that the benefits outweigh the initial savings. Companies that are still using fluorescent tubes, should replace flickering tubes as soon as possible to reduce the negative impact it has on their employees’ eyes.


Good lighting in the workplace leads to a happier and healthier workforce, this, in turn, leads to a more productive workplace. Companies not having good lighting could also lose talents to their competitors since good lighting directly affects an employee’s wellbeing. Companies can implement those factors at any time and not just when they are about to do a major office renovation or revamp.

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