How much difference does lighting make?

Lighting is the essential but often disregarded aspect of interior design.  While it’s often seen as a utility or a necessary commodity – it can become a design feature in itself, and has a huge impact on productivity and staff motivation.

Every different area in an office needs careful lighting consideration.  Whether it be pendant lighting over a bar or kitchen area, carefully considered light levels in an office space, or access to natural light through windows or roof-lights.

This post is a round up of our favourite workplace lighting ideas:

Open to the elements

We’re seeing a lot of slick conversions from industrial buildings to office spaces.  By contrasting the original features of a building with a minimalist interior, the look is enduring in style.  One of the beauties that comes with these conversions is the amount of large crittal-style windows that are either part of the original build, or can be imitated to suit the style.

In HUMAN SPACES study: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace, natural light is stated as being the most wanted element in an office (44%), with a devastating 47% saying their current offices have no natural light at all.

If your office isn’t based on an industrial building, consider the inclusion of roof-lights or large windows in your design – access to the great outdoors makes a world of difference.

Feature pendants

A single pendant light, or dramatic chandelier, has the power to turn your office from basic utility, to a jaw-dropping interior.  Including something so unexpected in a workplace design creates a sense of luxury, and a makes the space feel more residential.

We love this featured reception area; consistent spotlights make an even light throughout the room, whilst the statement circular pendants draw attention to the beautiful reception desk.  You can use pendant lighting in a similar way to highlight an area in the workplace – over a boardroom table, reception desk or seating area.

Create an atmosphere

Perfectly lending itself to executive suites or quiet concentration zones, including mood lighting can add a depth and interest to your interior.  Dimmable area lights, and recessed or alcove lighting will make the space feel relaxing and luxurious.

A fascinating feature is made of the ‘5th wall’ in this office lounge.  Drawing the eyes upward, the ceiling is an often neglected but powerful area of a room’s design.   Here, intricate wooden cut-outs are highlighted with LED strip lighting, whilst the illuminated angular recesses add an intrigue to the open-plan interior.

Light control

These film studio-style lights are a refreshing alternative to standard non-descript spotlights.  With their ability to be angled in any direction, you could highlight pathways or zones throughout an open plan space.

This whole office area is masterful in it’s use of lighting.  The separate meeting rooms are distinguished by the wood-clad walls and feature pendants, with the back-up of controllable spotlights as well.  A slick and inspiring design!

Edison style

The iconic Edison lightbulbs or bare bulbs can work well as pendant lighting, as shown in this creative breakout area.  Strategically positioned above bleacher seating, the low-hanging pendants provide task lighting for reading and collaborating.  We also love how the same bulbs are used snaking back through the room, unifying the whole scheme.

It is important to consider the tasks that will require the most light, and include these in interior plans.  Will eating areas or food prep zones require illuminating with hanging pendants?  Will seating or library areas need angled reading lights?  Each ‘necessity’ can become a design feature with some thought and creativity – and you’ll create a perfectly practical illuminated space to work in!


Do you need advice on strategic workplace lighting for your design? Drop us a line on our contact page, and we’ll be right back in touch.


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