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How to Light a Home Office

When it comes to setting up and organizing a workspace in your home, making sure you have the proper lighting fixtures is just as important as choosing a desk and chair. It’s probably even more crucial, as inadequate lighting can contribute to eyestrain and headaches. Proper lighting can also enhance productivity, not to mention your energy level and mood. Here are some ideas on how to select pleasant and functional home office lighting by using a layered lighting approach.


Highlight certain areas of the room


Enhance a room by using a combination of ambient, task, and accent fixtures. Ambient lighting (like recessed or ceiling-mounted fixtures, sconces, and up lights) helps to establish an overall level of lighting in the room. Task lights (such as desk lamps or a floor lamp next to a chair) are specifically used for working at a computer, writing, or reading. And accent fixtures (like a small, recessed wall-washing can, monopoint, or up light from the floor) are great for highlighting art or architectural features.

12 How to Light a Home Office


Make a strong visual statement


When layering lighting, it’s a good idea to have a single fixture, such as a pendant. The rest of the lighting—whether recessed or accent lighting—should work around the perimeter of the room to highlight certain features and objects.


Keep color temperature in mind


Light sources should be a consistent color temperature to create balance. Be sure that the color temperature is at a warm Kelvin, similar to incandescent (2700K – 3000K), which is ideal for home offices. Investing in a dimming system is energy-efficient and allows you to easily control light levels. For more on color temperature, visit this guide.


Achieve general ambient lighting


Obtain a beautiful, soft glow by using a large pendant fixture with a diffused light source. Pendants also can add a dramatic element to the room. When hanging a pendant, be sure to situate it in the center of the room, at least 6 feet above the finished floor. Wall sconces and up lights are also ideal for balancing ambient light by bouncing light off ceilings and walls.

GEN HenleyB How to Light a Home Office


Avoid eye fatigue


A dim or improperly lit office can make you drowsy. Your eyes also can get fatigued if there is poor light when you’re looking at a computer screen. Avoid this by layering in corrective light, such as a task light behind the computer screen.


What about task lighting?


Choose simple and clean desk and floor lamps that can be easily configured into different shapes. LEDs also are ideal for avoiding heat while working or reading. Be sure the base of your task lamp is stable and doesn’t take up too much surface area.

IRCK 056 ROM 2 How to Light a Home Office


Add a decorative touch


Down lights are great for highlighting artwork or wall washing. In a room with 8-foot ceilings, install the lights 24 inches to 30 inches in from the wall. When ceiling conditions don’t allow for a recessed fixture, a monopoint is an excellent alternative. These low-voltage options emit a tight, crisp beam.


Contact our lighting specialists for advice on how to achieve the best lighting design for your home office. Send an email to or give us a call at 888.602.7011.