Are there any benefits to artificial light?
The answer is yes!
From giving you extra work time to improving productivity to adding to the ambiance of your workspace, artificial light can give you many benefits.
We’re going to get into each one in turn.
1. Artificial Light Gives You Extra Work Time
No, we’re not suggesting that you work your nose off 24/7 with zero breaks. However, when winter rolls around, daylight hours dramatically decrease which slows your productivity and makes meeting deadlines difficult.
This is where artificial light comes in.
Nowadays, most bulbs can actually simulate natural light or have a similar effect at least. Therefore, allowing us to work a full day without difficulty.
On the flip side of this, we need to think about those of you out there who prefer working at night. Obviously, this is largely impossible without artificial light so it can help all you night owls make the most of your productive time in the office.
Side note: We just want to quickly say that it’s far better for your circadian rhythms to work during the day! Otherwise, you will almost definitely start to incur the detrimental health effects of lack of sleep. Although, that might not always be possible for you (it’s not always possible for us either so no worries!).
2. Artificial Light Can Change The Mood Of Your Office
Aside from increasing productivity and elevating your mood, the artificial lighting in your office can change the overall ambiance of the space. It all depends on the light’s color.
Interestingly, the light temperature is measured in Kelvin (denoted by the letter K). In other words, it’s the numerical measurement of the color displayed by an object when it’s heated. The lower the Kelvin, the warmer the color. Therefore, the higher the Kelvin, the cooler the color.
The color temperatures are as follows:
- Lower color temperatures (anything up to 3,000 Kelvin) — these are warm colors that tend to range from red to yellow to cream
- Middle color temperatures (anything between 3,100 Kelvin to 4,600 Kelvin — these display a cool white color
- Higher color temperatures (anything over 4,600 Kelvin) — these are cool (otherwise called “daylight”) colors that are blue to blue-ish white
We know that it might be necessary to visualize all of these colors in real-life applications, so here’s a little rundown for comparison:
- Bonfires emit over 2,000 Kelvin. Thus, it’s a warm color.
- When the sun is setting, that emits around 4,000 Kelvin. This is generally a cool white color.
- When it’s a sunny day, you’ll experience between 5,000 Kelvin to 5,500 Kelvin. This is a cool color (most of the time).
- When it’s an overcast cold day, the light might be over 7,000 Kelvin. This is a cool color too.
To reap the most benefits of this artificial light in your office, take a look at the last section. We don’t mind if you skip, we promise!
3. Artificial Light Can Increase Your Safety
Okay, this mainly relates to outdoor lighting. However, the same kind of theory can be transferred to artificial lighting in your office.
Ensuring your workspace is properly lit (regardless of whether it is dark outside), will minimize the likelihood of falling over. Not to mention that it can help the security of your building. We’ve probably all done the “keeping the hallway light on” thing when we go on holiday — and this can translate to your office too.
4. Artificial Light Can Allow You to Grow Different Plants In Your Office
Working in a home office that doesn’t have any windows can be disheartening. Why? Because there’s nothing to look at or nature to see! We seriously relate to this but some plants thrive on fluorescent light — i.e. your new best friends!
Obviously, plants need sunlight to photosynthesize and stay healthy. However, they are surprisingly adaptable and forgiving (some species anyway!). As long as you buy a tried and tested indoor plant, it is bound to be a friend for life. Oh, and it will probably clean your air too (and who doesn’t want that?).
Until we started researching, we didn’t realize that there were quite so many species that will thrive in artificially lit conditions. But, there are! So, we’ll take a look at a few of them here.
The Best Indoor Plants For Artificially Lit Offices
Arguably, the snake plant is the most tolerant species out there. The care is super simple, yet they are extremely beautiful. Their tall, often gold-flecked leaves are unlike anything you’ll see on other species.
Even if your office’s artificial bulbs aren’t very bright, a snake plant is bound to thrive. They can even be left alone for weeks on end and still keep up their fresh appearances. We love them for exactly this reason!
Amazingly, there are roughly 70 different species of snake plants out there. The most common one is the Sansevieria trifasciate (i.e. mother-in-law’s tongue). But, for something a bit quirky, you should try to find one of the following:
- Sansevieria (Golden Hahnii) — these guys have short leaves and yellow borders.
- Sansevieria cylindrical (Cylindrical Snake Plant) — as you might have guessed, these have horizontal stripes on their twisted leaves.
- Sansevieria trifasciata (Twist) — yep, they have twisted leaves.
- Sansevieria desertii (Rhino Grass) — this type has red-ish leaves.
- Sansevieria trifasciata (White Snake Plant) — this one has narrow leaves and vertical stripes.
Cast Iron Plants
Cast Iron plants, scientifically known as Aspidistra elatior, are super hardy and durable. If you don’t have much time (we know it’s tricky to find a spare minute to do anything when you’re working from home or a busy office environment) to care for a plant, this is the one for you.
When it blooms, you’ll notice small purple flowers near the soil. They’re hard to see though, so don’t worry if you miss them. They’ll likely come back next year!
These flowers are scientifically known as Spathiphyllum but usually, they’re just called peace lilies or closet plants. They’re one of the most popular plant species for those working in offices (i.e. all of us here!).
However, we should mention that their care isn’t as easy as the ones we’ve been chatting about so far. They are fab at cleaning the air though so you might want to bite the bullet and go for it!
If you’re already a plant fanatic, you most likely have one of these already. They’re wonderfully easy to care for and they can produce colorful, tropical-esque blooms that are bound to inject a bit of happiness into any office.
Philodendrons are one of the most adaptable and easy-to-read plants — even if you have never looked after houseplants before!
If you can, they do like a bit of outdoor sunshine. But, they will happily stay inside with no complaints if you can’t take it outside every once in a while.
Whether your office suffers from poor lighting, dry air, or is constantly in a state of drought, the Chinese evergreen is going to not only survive but thrive. For novice plant lovers (like some of us!), this is a real blessing since it can make us look like experts.
Otherwise known as Chlorophytum comosum, this plant can grow in pretty much any environment. Generally, you’ll only have to worry about the tips of the fronds turning brown and not much else! This can be really useful when you’re working in an office that leaves little time to indulge in plant care.
Honestly, you’ll find it hard to destroy this houseplant. It might as well be classed as indestructible since it can take months of neglect and poor light. Yep, it’ll still look perfect afterward!
What Type of Lighting Should You Use In Your Office?
While we are huge advocates of natural light in workspaces, this is not always possible. When this is the case, the smart use of artificial light can help you.
Here is the breakdown of when to use which light:
- Warm light (2,000 Kelvin to 4000 Kelvin) — it should be used in break rooms and other intimate settings to bring a sense of relaxation and pure comfort.
- Medium light (4,100 Kelvin to 5,000 Kelvin) — it should be used in conference rooms. Why? Because it will welcome everyone but it’s still promoting alertness.
- Cold light (5,100 Kelvin to 7,000 Kelvin and over) — it should be used in brainstorming rooms. It improves your mood, productivity levels, and alertness. Not to mention that it lowers fatigue and melatonin levels.
Ideally, you will change the lighting based on the activities you’re doing or the time of day it is. But this isn’t always possible (especially if you only have one type of bulb). Our suggestion is to get a SAD lamp and a warmer lamp to create the perfect office space.