Many factors go into creating a functional and attractive home office design. While the layout, color palette, furniture, and storage are all important factors, there is one key element that ties it all together: lighting. And if there was ever any doubt, just pay a visit to any corporate office and enjoy the harsh light of the fluorescent bulbs. Without good lighting, you'll be hard-pressed to be productive in the WFH setup that you've been toiling over for months. And that just won't do.
When it comes to designing a lighting plan for your workspace, we all know that it takes more than natural light from a nearby window to get the job done. But before you begin shopping for desk lamps and chandeliers, ask yourself a few key questions: What type of lighting is already in your space? Do you tend to work at night? What kind of work do you do? The answers to all of these questions will help inform the type of lighting you need — ambient, task, or accent.
While ambient lighting is geared toward general illumination, task lighting is more intense for "tasks" like reading and drawing. Accent lighting, on the other hand, is focused to direct light at a specific area or item, such as artwork. Once that's squared away, you can start thinking about the style. From modern to boho to farmhouse to industrial, there are a plethora of lighting options to choose from that will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your office decor, no matter your aesthetic.
So, if you're ready to dive in a little deeper, we've taken the liberty of putting together this handy office lighting primer that's bursting with bright ideas. Trust us, your eyes will thank you.
Home Office Lighting Types
Now that you've had a chance to ponder whether you need ambient, task, accent lighting, or a combination of the three, it's time to narrow down what type of fixture would best suit your needs and your office space. Before beginning your search, look around your space: Where are the electrical outlets? How high is your ceiling? Will you be able to hardwire any fixtures or do they all need to be plug-ins? Pro tip: Pictures online can be deceiving, so before you buy anything make sure you double-check the dimensions of the fixture to ensure that it will fit.
- Floor lamp: Another example of task lights are floor lamps. These fixtures are a great way to free up valuable desk space while still providing adequate lighting.
- Wall sconce: For accent lighting consider a pair of wall lights. Choose from uplight, downlight, or a combination of the two to add visual interest and extra illumination to your workstation.
- Pendant light: If you don't have any room on the floor or desk for a lamp, opt for a pendant for task lighting instead. Just make sure you have a high enough ceiling to accommodate the drop.
- Flush mount or semi-flush mount ceiling light: Alternatively, flush mount or semi-flush mount fixtures are great for overhead lighting, especially if you have a low ceiling and are in need of ambient light.
- Chandelier: However, if your ceiling allows, why not go big with a chandelier? It will give you the overhead ambient lighting that you need while adding quite the design moment to your space. Consider making it dimmable for added ambiance and flexibility.
Home Office Lighting Style
While lighting is key to the functionality of an office, it also adds enormous aesthetic value to a space. Think of it like the jewelry of a design scheme or the icing on the cake, whichever you prefer — it's the finishing touch every room needs. To ensure that your lighting ideas blend in seamlessly with the rest of your office decor, you'll want to look for fixtures that match the aesthetic of your workspace. Look for signature characteristics, silhouettes, and finishes to complete the look of your WFH setup.
- Modern: If you're looking for a fixture to go with your modern office design, search for options with clean lines, minimal features, and geometric shapes that nod to the past.
- Contemporary: Similar to modern style, contemporary style tends to showcase clean lines and minimal designs, too. But instead of the past, this aesthetic leans more towards what's current and now. Look for fixtures showcasing simple silhouettes and curves with little to no ornamentation, paired with trendy colors and finishes.
- Boho: Dreaming of a woven rattan pendant or a fringe tassel chandelier? Who isn't, right? Well, then boho lighting might just be what the doctor ordered. Look for natural materials, earthy colors, and woven textures.
- Farmhouse: Love all things shiplap? Opt for farmhouse lighting. Fixtures flaunting weathered wood, industrial metal finishes, and vintage details will make all of your country cottage dreams come true.
- Industrial: It just doesn't get any edgier than industrial lighting. Shop for options using mixed raw materials, Edison bulbs, cage detailing, and designs reminiscent of old factories.
- Minimalist: Free of fussy details and busy ornamentation, minimalist light fixtures are as clean and simple as it gets.
- Midcentury Modern: Give your mid-mod workspace additional flair with a globe-style pendant or a sputnik-inspired chandelier.
- Traditional: If your home office leans more traditional, look for a timeless design boasting fabric shades, intricate details, neutral colors, and classic metal finishes, such as chrome or oil-rubbed bronze.
- Coastal: Incorporate vacay vibes in your office design with coastal lighting. Look for fixtures with cool colors, beads, shells, and woven textures.
Where to Shop for Home Office Light Fixtures
You've done all of your homework, and now it's time for the fun stuff: shopping. Scroll on for a few of our fave retailers for office lighting. They offer a wide variety of styles, finishes, and price points to choose from, so you'll be able to find exactly what you need and kiss eyestrain goodbye. And don't forget to invest in energy-efficient light bulbs, too.