The Most Eco-Friendly Lighting Options for Your Office

Lightbulb - Day 8A well-lit office is a necessity if you want workers to actually get some work done instead of taking naps on their desks. And yet, the electricity drawn by traditional incandescent bulbs could be a major source of waste (and expense) in your office. This is an especially glaring point (no pun intended) for any business that is attempting to cut its carbon footprint and operate more efficiently. Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. It just so happens that there are all kinds of options, at varying price points and levels of efficiency, for the business owner looking to make a simple change that could have a big impact on the environment and the budget. Here are a few possibilities you might want to consider when it comes to creating the well-lit environment you need in your office while doing away with energy-sucking bulbs.

The first option that many businesses consider is fluorescent lighting. But there are a few problems you might want to consider before you make the switch. Although fluorescent bulbs are considered to be about five times more efficient than incandescent bulbs in terms of the amount of illumination you get for the draw, they are generally more expensive to begin with, perhaps negating some of the potential savings. In addition, they tend to produce a harsh and cool light that is commonly described as “sickly” and has been known to cause migraines in some workers. So this might not be the best option.

But what about compact fluorescent bulbs (or CFLs)? Aren’t they also fluorescent? You can consider these to be an updated version of the fluorescent lights of old, and they are better in every way. They are slightly more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they work in regular fixtures, they are estimated to last ten times longer, and they use about a third of the energy to produce the same wattage of light, so they pay for themselves many times over. In addition, designers have found ways to recreate the yellow, or warm, glow that most people prefer from incandescent bulbs. This makes them perhaps the best eco-friendly lighting alternative currently on the market.

Of course, there are also LED lighting options, and these have their benefits, as well. Unfortunately, they do require specific fixtures and they tend to be a little more pricy than other options. But they tend to show true colors, even on monitors, and they are the most efficient type of bulb currently available. Because of these pluses and minuses, they may not be so great for overhead lighting, but they do make for excellent desk lamps.

Taking all of these options into mind you can likely cobble together a plan for office illumination that will meet both your budgetary and environmental goals. But one final possibility you might not have considered is the use of natural light. Even if you outfit your office through carpet deals and discount furniture you might not have a huge amount of money left over to spend on lighting. But if you have a fair amount of windows in your office space you could go with an open concept that utilizes glass-walled offices and does away with cubicle walls in an effort to let the sunshine in. By this method you could significantly reduce your energy draw, at least during the day, making for a well-lit office that creates a much smaller carbon footprint.