The Pros & Cons of a Bright vs. Dark Home Office

The Pros & Cons of a Bright vs. Dark Home Office

Joelle Alcaidinho
Jun 23, 2011

Perusing photos of great looking home offices is one of our favorite pastimes. It's easy to get inspired and dream about what our next home office will be like. Personally we tend to be drawn to bright light filled spaces, but that is not to say that the darker home office does not hold any appeal, especially when faced with what we like to dub, "the afternoon squintathon."

Bright and dark home offices both have their pluses and minuses and often the choice of which workspace works best is really a personal one. I generally prefer a brighter space filled with natural light because it makes it easier for me to accurately see work (I design knitwear) that is not on my screens. I also find that working in a natural light filled space improves my mood, which is always a plus (just ask my significant other). In this post we've compiled a few tips and resources to help you improve your productivity specific to the light level in your office.

For the bright home office:

Recently we took a look at some tips for those working in a bright home office. Some of these tips included, using shade and knowing the angles of your workspace. Another tip that we'd like to add for those in bright offices is considering an anti-glare shield on your screen. We recently added one of these to our office arsenal and it has made a world of difference.

With the season of hot weather being upon us in the Northeast, we've also added a small fan to our home office. This has helped combat the increased heat when the sun shines directly onto our workspace. To add extra cool I place a glass of ice water in front of the fan (which I also drink from throughout the workday). The cool breeze has been a nice boon in the hot bright space and has definitely had an impact on fighting the heat induced productivity dip.

For the dark home office:

In a darker space lighting is a large concern. Lighting makes a huge difference in productivity, mood, and health. Important lighting elements to consider are, overhead, corrective, and task.

Overhead: Not the best way to depend on light, especially since many of these options are not easily alterable if you are renting. Improve the overhead fixture by changing the bulb or shade to improve the light in your home office.

Corrective: Having worked in a few dark offices before we know that it is all too common that the brightest light in the room is emanating from the computer screen. While this might not seem troubling to you, personally this amount of eye strain is a huge migraine trigger and makes me one unhappy little worker. Combat eye strain by adding corrective light behind your device screens, your eyes (and possibly head) will thank you.

Task: Desk lamps are often the first thing we think of when task lighting comes to mind. with the large array of stylish and practical options out there it is easy to find one that suits the aesthetic and practical needs of your work space.

Other items to consider in the darker home office is the need for organization. Just like in all offices, being able to find what you need, when you need it, is crucial and it can be difficult to find items in the dark. We often find that items that are in the dark are often forgotten which has led us to neglect paperwork that was stacked there. Keep items/files that are often used in a space with more light to make them easier to locate when needed.

Which workspace do you prefer, are you a fan of the bright or dark home office? What are your light specific home office tips?

(Lead Image: Flickr member Linus Ekenstam licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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