Light plays a crucial role in our lives. Daily sun exposure energizes us, improves our mood, and makes us healthier. The lighting technology we choose for our businesses can have similar effects. However, it can also contribute to poor work conditions and a failing business environment.
Let’s talk about lighting’s influence on small businesses and how you can choose the right technology for your company.
Light as a Functional Business Tool
Proper lighting assists with two essential business functions: employee productivity and energy efficiency.
LED lights work best because they consume less energy and have longer lives than other light bulbs, making them more efficient and cost-effective.
As a general rule, LED light sources with cool temperatures that shine softly over the office space will bode better for employees than bright, hot, overbearing fluorescent lights.
However, the recommended lighting “temperature” to maximize productivity varies by task.
We measure light temperature through Kelvin (K), which is the standard symbol for thermodynamics. Use this guide as a reference:
- 3,000K or less: Warm lights with red to yellow tones.
- 3,100 to 4,600K: Medium lights with pale yellow to white tones.
- 4,600K or more: Cool lights with blue-white tones, also known as “daylight colors.”
Warm lights create a relaxing atmosphere, which benefits break rooms and other intimate social settings.
The middle range isn’t quite as relaxing, but it has a welcoming mood and promotes alertness. This combination works best in conference rooms, lobbies, and other open areas.
The coldest lights lower melatonin and thus boost productivity, which makes them the best options for employees’ individual workspaces.
Fixtures and Bulbs: An Investment in Your Employees
Small businesses should incorporate all light varieties and fixtures into rooms throughout the office to get the most out of each setting.
This widespread change won’t be easy and will cost more than a standard lighting setup, but the long-term return on investment will pay off.
You can also offset LEDs’ high buying price with a free light source that businesses often forget about: natural light.
Natural lighting falls into the cool category. Natural light boosts serotonin, which gives you more energy and keeps you focused. Moderate exposure also has numerous benefits to your physical health. It’s a perfect solution for your business’s main workspace.
Open up your windows and let the sunlight shine through. Angle the office furniture to get sufficient exposure.
If possible, you could also renovate your building to have wider, longer windows and mix in a few skylights. Any way to maximize natural light in your workspace is a worthwhile endeavor.
Lighting as a Design Tool for Small Businesses
An LED-sunlight combination won’t just benefit your day-to-day business operations. It will also improve your office’s design, make your building more aesthetically pleasing and improve the client/customer experience. Proper lighting positively influences their behavior and helps make your interactions with them more productive.
When visitors enter your building, they should feel welcomed and get an immediate sense of the office’s ambiance. To establish the ambiance, you must layer your lighting effectively. There are four types of layering you can integrate:
- Diffused: Subtle lights that allow people to move around the space without restriction.
- This function creates a sense of comfort and well-being that guests will appreciate.
- Perimeter: Lights that shine vertically make the room appear more spacious and make occupants feel more aware of the scope of their surroundings.
- Task: These lights shine on a specific area, but they’re most effective when working in unison with diffused lighting to illuminate workspaces.
- Accent: Small fixtures that highlight shapes, textures, and colors throughout the building.
- Their dispersion is more concentrated and intense, cutting through the other layers to create visual contrast.
The feelings these layers create — comfort, awareness, and intensity — clash with each other. Still, this complexity establishes ambiance in a building. Employees and guests will notice the different layers and feel more immersed in the office setting.
To pull off all four layering techniques, install various light fixtures — lamps, pendants, recessed lighting, etc. — to add new dimensions to rooms. Use the different types of LED bulbs to illuminate your building with multiple sources of light dispersion. Highlight product samples, signs, artwork, and other design details throughout the building.
Make Your Small Business Shine With a Range of Technologies
Effective lighting is both a functional and aesthetic tool. It’s scientifically proven to boost employee productivity and improve the customer experience.
A greater reliance on LED and natural lighting will also take a significant chunk out of your energy bill. However, you must incorporate a variety of temperatures and design elements to make it work. Test all of the details we discussed to find the perfect lighting and make your small business shine!