How to optimize workspace lighting?


To optimize workspace lighting for better productivity and focus, here are some recommendations based on advice from :

Morning (Phase One)

  • Bright overhead lights: Activate overhead lights early in the day to stimulate alertness. This is beneficial because light primarily enters through the lower half of the retina, influencing neurons that promote awakeness and cognitive functions like focus and detailed work 1.
  • Supplement with a desk light: If natural sunlight is not available, use artificial bright lights such as a desk lamp or overhead lighting to mimic early morning light, enhancing focus and productivity levels 2.

Afternoon (Phase Two)

  • Dim the lights: Around nine to sixteen hours after waking, reduce the intensity of overhead lighting. Instead, use forward-facing lights or lamps to initiate a shift towards an optimal state for creative tasks and abstract thinking. This transition supports serotonin production, beneficial for creative endeavors 3.

    Bright Lights, Alert Mind

    Andrew explains how bright overhead lights can stimulate heightened levels of focus and alertness by releasing neuromodulators like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. He emphasizes the importance of setting up a workspace with bright lights in the morning to facilitate focus and productivity during the first phase of the circadian cycle.

    Huberman Lab

    Optimizing Workspace for Productivity, Focus, & Creativity | Huberman Lab Podcast #57
  • Adjust based on personal sensitivity to light: Screen brightness and overall lighting should be tailored to individual comfort. Adjust the ambient light and screen settings to prevent eye strain, especially if sensitive to bright lights. Ideal adjustments include dimmer and more warmly colored lights towards the evening 3.

By structuring the lighting environment based on the time of day and personal light sensitivity, you can significantly enhance productivity and cognitive performance in your workspace.