The benefits of natural light for the office are well documented. The right balance of light improves mood, eases stress, increases productivity, and is good for the long-term health of the team, especially when it comes to how light manages the circadian rhythm that rules over sleep. However, some spaces simply do not have access to enough natural light. Is it possible to mimic it? Here, we’re going to look at a few options you might use.
Choose your lights carefully
If you want to mimic natural daylight, you can’t be using standard halogen bulbs. Certain kinds of LED lights, often called day lights, sun lights, and so on, can help get precisely the colour temperature and brightness of natural light. Positioning them well is just as important. We’ve found that placing them as skylights recessed into the ceiling can be highly effective.
Fit more than one kind of light
However, one of the crucial aspects of lighting that we work hard with clients to implement is that you shouldn’t rely on one source of light alone. Natural light has the ability to fill out a space much better than artificial sources. As such, we recommend the use of accent lighting to better balance the distribution of light throughout the office. This is especially important for tech heavy offices with lots of monitors, as a better lit environment helps the team avoid issues like eyestrain.
Let the light flow freely
Just like airflow is important for the health of your team, the flow of light is important for their mood, motivation, and productivity. As such, it’s wise to try and cut out things like solid, opaque partitions between different workspaces. Instead, we recommend looking at glass partitions which make the office feel a lot less claustrophobic, allow light to flow through unimpeded, but still offer the kind of sound insulation that a busy workspace needs.
Use materials that bounce the light around
Light isn’t just distributed through certain materials, it can also be reflected and refracted off other materials to help it fill the office better. Mirrors are obviously a good choice for this, as are metallic and chromatic finishes and materials. But bright colours, such as whites, blues, and pastel greens help as well. A nice natural blue creates a more natural daytime feeling in the office with the right lighting fixtures, too.
Add a touch of warmth
Natural daylight isn’t just bright, it’s also warm. You can’t create that same kind of warmth through light fixtures alone, so we recommend creating that atmosphere through fun, cheerful furnishings. Don’t let the environment look too sterile, incorporate wall art, add some knick-knacks. You might even want to consider giving it a more natural feeling with something truly organic like a fish tank (if you don’t mind feeding the fish.)
The technology that accurately mimics natural sunlight is advancing slowly, but it is advancing. Balancing that improving technology with a few clever office interior tricks can help you get as close to replicating natural daylight as possible.