Claudia Jacobs – Home Office Lighting Tips - Daily Hudson Valley News

Claudia Jacobs – Home Office Lighting Tips

Sep 30th, 2014 | By | Category: Lifestyle

When it comes to lighting a home office, it’s important to create a comfortable environment that is free of harsh contrasts and distracting glare. Your physical comfort has a lot to do with the lighting in your office. If you don’t feel good in a space, you won’t work as productively.

Lighting can have a big effect on your productivity and fatigue levels. If you don’t like your workspace, it will be difficult to be productive. Lighting problems, like glare, dim light or too much bright light, can put extra strain on your eyes and leave you feeling exhausted.

Create layers of light

Lighting is classified by intended use as general or ambient, accent, or task lighting. Task lighting is functional and perfect for reading, writing and inspection. Accent lighting is decorative and can highlight artwork. Ambient is general illumination.

If you do a lot of computer work and the area around your monitor is not well lit, there will be a contrast between the bright computer screen and the darkness of the room, which creates eye strain. Washing the wall behind your computer with a recessed wall washer, a light fixture would project light down the wall.

The horizontal surfaces in your home office can contribute to glare if they are highly reflective. Matte finishes are generally best for work surfaces because of low glare.

The color and atmosphere of the walls and furniture in your home office will determine what kind of lighting options you need. White or light-colored walls and furniture will help the room will feel bright and airy, so you’ll need lower intensity light and fewer lighting options. Dark colors absorb light. An office decorated with dark colors like burgundy, browns and dark furnishings will need more lighting than an office with white or light walls and furniture. You’ll need more lighting options with dark walls and furniture. Light a dark office about 20 percent brighter than if the walls and furniture were light in color.

If you receive clients in your home office, your space should look professional and express your personal style. The lighting fixtures you select can reflect the style of your décor. The type of business may determine the look; financial/traditional, creative/eclectic.

Window treatments are important for an office with bright natural daylight and multiple windows. Consider shading and interior lighting options to adjust for sunny and overcast days. Dimmers can help.

Variations in the color of lighting can also create an attractive effect. Different types of bulbs provide different shades and colors of light. An incandescent lamp has a lot of yellow in it. A halogen lamp has more bluish white to it. By mixing different types of bulbs you’ll achieve an effect that is more pleasing to the eye. Halogen bulbs are great for reading and last twice as long as regular bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs work for indirect lighting and last ten times as long. Incandescent bulbs work for everyday lighting and dimming.

LIGHTING TIP: If you are right handed, place your desk lamp the left side of the desk so you don’t cast shadows across our paper. If you are left handed do the reverse.


Have a decorating question? Send it to Claudia.

Claudia Jacobs DesignsClaudia Jacobs is a decorator, professional stager, columnist, mom, friend & not in that order. Living life with joy & owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Goshen, NY. Voted 2011 RESA Professional Stager of the Year in the Northeast. Claudia can be seen each Tuesday on Hudson Valley Insider. Visit or call 845-294-8993. Send questions and photos to Follow her on Facebook & Twitter.


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