Working from home? The new normal means our home offices will be our workspaces for a while. To make your home office space more purposeful, functional and enjoyable to work in, one of the easiest things you can do is add or upgrade the lighting. Consider changing out the overhead fixture in your home office space, and add task lighting or ambient lighting. Here’s what I did to my home office:
Home office upgrade: add smart lighting & purposeful fixtures
The overhead light in my home office was a standard fixture that was probably left over from the original builders. It was likely cheap, and something I rarely thought about. It provided a dim overhead glow and that was about it.
Add an overhead light that makes you happy
When I started thinking about improving the lighting, I knew the dull, two-bulb fixture had to go. Knowing I wanted some thing with a lot of style, plus a fixture that was both super bright for for winter months of early morning work, but also dimmable, I started searching for a better fixture. I opted for a fabulous 10 bulb starburst style fixture from Wayfair. At full brightness, it lights up the room wonderfully and gives me just the right light to work in.
Installing your own overhead light fixture for your home office is easy, and I’m proud to say I did it myself. The wiring is simple, you just need to take a few safety precautions, like making sure the breaker to your room is off.
My overhead light is now sculptural and feels like a piece of art in the room. It’s one of the first things I see when I walk in, and it makes me happy.
Does the stark overhead bulb in your home office inspire you, or discourage you? If it doesn’t spark joy, consider and upgrade. This is the best $300 I’ve spent in a long time.
Choose Smart & colourful lighting
As a technology writer, one of my favourite smart home gadgets is smart colour-changing lighting. Being able to adjust the colour can offset the winter blues, or make the summer heat seem less intense. Plus, painting with digital light adds a completely new dimension to the overall atmosphere of the room. My favourite smart lighting brand is Philips Hue, and you can see the review of their starter kit here. If I need to focus, I can ask Google Assistant to put on daylight coloured task lighting. If I want to relax, a lavender hue lets me think. When it’s cold outside, I can invoke the Google assistant to create a flickering light effect akin to a nice warm fire—without the hazards!
Don’t forget to add that digital assistant. I have both Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices in my home and love them both. Read reviews of Google Nest Hub versus Hub Max here or the Amazon Echo Show 5 here.
Add a desk lamp
A desk lamp is key to keeping your focus on the work at hand and to preventing eye strain. A good lamp for your immediate work area goes a long way. I really wanted a Dyson Lightcycle, but opted instead for a lovely marble and copper desk lamp, with a smart Philips Hue bulb in it. Now I can control the light with my voice, thanks to my connection with Google Home too! I can turn them on when I walk into the office in the morning by just asking Google. Similarly I can set them up so that they will automatically turn off at the end of the day.
Get ambient light
I have a Philips Hue Go lamp under a table for an ambient glow. This light is usually set to a warm colour and it paints the corner of the room in a beautiful colourful brightness.
Overall a few lighting upgrades and the addition of smart home devices can make your office more functional.
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