How Office Lighting Affects Your Employees Circadian Rhythm


If you want to guarantee that your employees will do their work well and will have a boosted morale, you need to make sure that they are in an excellent working environment. Remember, most of your employee’s time is spent in the office, so you need to be considerate of their overall health and well-being. Yes, you cannot address all their needs, but one of the aspects you should focus on is their circadian rhythm. 

What’s circadian rhythm? 

It’s a biological, mental, and behavioural course that follows a 24-hour cycle. They’re like an alarm clock that signals your pineal gland to produce hormones to help you function throughout the day. These hormones control your digestive system, body temperature, sleep and wake cycle, and productiveness and alertness.  

How does office lighting affect the circadian rhythm?

While the brain controls the circadian rhythm, external factors also have a significant influence on them. So, when your eyes see that your surroundings are dark, it will signal your pineal gland to produce melatonin (hormone for sleep), so you’ll slowly feel tired and fall asleep. 

Lighting is the signal that cues your brain to sleep or not to sleep. So, if you have bright lights in the office, even in the evening, the pineal gland will not produce melatonin resulting in difficulty falling asleep. If your employees always experience this, no doubt, they will have a hard time focusing and being productive the following days.

Having a disturbed circadian rhythm can pose various problems, including diabetes, obesity, sleeping disorder, depression, cardiovascular disease, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and cancer.

So, how can you combat these problems? Start by improving your lighting plan.

How to regulate the circadian rhythm while in the office?

So, how do you start tweaking your lighting plan? First and foremost, replace all your fluorescent lights with LED lighting. It can be LED panel lights, LED tube lights, or LED batten lights. Whatever your choice is, as long as its LEDs, you’re in good hands. 

Now that’s settled, here are some tips to enhance your lighting situation:

Decrease Your Overhead Lights

If you’re thinking the more lights, the better, that’s not always the case. Too much light exposure will result in a disability glare, making it harder for you to see things. Not only will your circadian rhythm be significantly disturbed, but your eyes also will be strained. 

Ensure that you level your lights’ brightness around your office and keep them at a standard number of fixtures. Also, it’s best to have dimmable LED lights so you can dim your lights as the day comes to an end. With this, your employees can also ease into the day and relax after a day’s work.

Lessen the Exposure to Blue Light

The number one disrupter of the circadian rhythm is blue lights. Fluorescent lights produce so much of this that it’s not good for the body. Too much exposure to blue light will damage your eyes and will disrupt your sleep cycle. So, it’s essential for you to switch to LED lighting if you really want to make sure that your employees are in tip-top shape whenever they work. 

While LEDs also emit blue lights, they’re not as bad as fluorescent light. Plus, some LEDs do not produce any blue light at all. So, they’re really your best bet!

Increase the Amount of Natural Light

Nothing beats natural! No matter how better artificial lighting is, natural light is always the healthiest option. Increase the windows in your office so more sunlight can come in. You’ll see that this improvement will not only keep your employees healthy, but their mood and productivity will increase as well. 

Staring at the four walls of your workplace can box creativity and block positivity. Also, naturally transitioning from morning to the evening will help regulate the circadian rhythm properly. Just don’t blare out the lights during the evening, or it will defeat the natural shift. If having windows is nearly impossible then use dimmable natural white lights and adjust it to mimic the conversion of day to night.