How To Work From the Brightest Room in the House. Overhead/built in light
Two Great Lights To Change Your Home Office has a couple of funky choices. Dedicated task light
Clip-On Clamp Lamps Save Desktop Space, which has a ton of stylish, low-profile options. Ambient light
Using New Lights & Smart Ideas to Spruce Up Your Desk shows off a desk that uses rope lights to create an ambient glow, and anything with a shade that diffuses light is a good option. Don't forget to consider placement, and whether a low, desk height or high light will work best with your setup. Corrective Light
Using Simple Table Lamps As Ambient Lighting. Here's how it looks in practice, when all elements are combined. Start with overhead light
Our willing victim's desk is shown illuminated with only the room's overhead light, leaving the space drab and unappealing. Add dedicated task light
The task light helps bring things into focus, but the contrast of the bright lights and the darkness outside can bring on eyestrain very quickly. Add ambient/corrective light
The office is finished with a desktop lamp and an upright lamp with a shade (not pictured). The office is cozy, more comfortable and less stressful. Working at a desk or cubicle? Here are some quick tips to adapt the list above:
- If your desk isn't near a window, take time during the day to walk around outside, even if it means taking the elevator down to the parking garage and having a stroll.
- Fluorescent lights? We feel for you. (The one in our old office even made a constant ticking sound, argh.) There's not much you can do to combat them directly, but see if it's possible to have them turned off during the day, or add a shield to the fixture covering the bulbs. Fluorescent lights are a migraine trigger and we've seen several offices that simply forgo overhead lighting completely.
- The task and ambient lights will probably be the easiest to integrate into a public office environment. See if you can get a minimalist lamp or one that clips onto a surface, to save desk space. Ambient lights should sit low to the desk so they don't disturb people around you; the rectangular paper-covered lamps common today are an aesthetically-pleasing option.
- Some offices don't allow modifications to equipment or spaces (in the case of moving desks or shifts), but if you can, it's worth sticking an LED strip or puck behind your monitor. If you're not allowed, try to reposition the screen so there's no glare, or add a glare screen or hood to block light from hitting it. This will significantly reduce your eye strain.