Many of us have started to permanently work from home, or at least have shifted to a hybrid/flexible working environment. Either way, we have been forced to turn a corner of our home into a useable workspace.
Furniture, a laptop, a camera, a microphone, and perhaps an extra monitor or two are all worth investing in, but lighting considerations should not be dismissed out of hand. You may want to show off your background (or yourself) in the best light possible on your next conference call and the right ambiance can help when you need to concentrate, read, or stare at a screen for long periods of time.
Custom lighting can prevent eye strain and smart lighting options can be used to inject color and personality into a room you will now be spending a lot more time in.
To view our top picks for home office lighting, check out the list below.
Philips Hue White LED Smart Button Starter Kit
Best home office lighting
The Philips Hue lighting range is a well-known Internet of Things (IoT) alternative to standard bulbs, which may produce harsh light and have little flexibility.
Smart, connected bulbs allow us to take advantage of lighting spectrums and tailor light levels depending on our brightness preferences, all while being controlled via standard switches, mobile apps, or voice assistants including Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
This Philips Hue starter kit includes everything you need to start smart lighting in your office space: three smart bulbs, a Hue hub, and a smart button. With the Philips Hue App, you can set custom routines to help you feel energized and productive in the morning in the morning and change to a dimmer setting once the workday is over.
A more affordable option are Wyze Bulbs, 800 lumens products that can be used without the need for a smart home hub. Whether or not you prefer crisp, white light in your home office or warmer tones, these bulbs could be a suitable option as they provide a temperature range of 2,700k - 6,500k.
In the same manner as the Philips Hue bulbs previously mentioned, the basic Wyze Bulb only offers the color white, but as an added bonus, you can use an accompanying mobile app to set a timer to turn lights on and off while you are not at home. You can pick up a single bulb for $7.99 or a four-pack for $29.99.
Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp
Best for artificial sunlight
For those hard months of the year where the sun sets before 5 p.m., this sunlight therapy lamp can help you get some artificial sunshine while working from home. This therapy light provides the recommended 10,000 lumens of brightness (the same amount of light as a sunny day) to help the winter blues, regulate sleep, improve focus, and boost energy.
You can customize the brightness with three different levels and angel it at the perfect tilt so it hits your face like a ray of sunshine. This help would be especially useful if your current office space doesn't have any windows to allow natural sunlight in.
A modern, sleek, and wall-based lighting solution for home offices is the Nanoleaf Canvas, panels that can be mounted to a wall using adhesive fixtures.
Nanoleaf's panels are controllable via an app and can be set to a variety of colors and warmth levels. You can also choose themes -- such as for concentration, a sunset, or seasonal colors -- and you can also pick the speed of color transitions.
The square panels could be set on a wall as an office backdrop, for example, or installed behind a monitor for custom lighting while watching films or gaming.
Lume Cube Edge
Best lighting for virtual meetings
If you're working from home, you're probably having a lot of Zoom meetings, and this office light can help shine a better light on you. The Edge light is specifically designed to enhance your appearance on video calls or even live broadcasts.
The light has five rotating pivot points so you can maneuver it to your liking, as well as two USB port so you can charge devices. An adjustable clamp allows it to fit on nearly any desk setup you may have.
What is the best home office lighting?
The best home office lighting is the Philips Hue White LED Smart Button Starter Kit because it includes great features, and offers a lot of adjustability at an affordable price point.
How did we choose these office lighting options?
While deciding the best options for lighting in home offices today, ZDNet explored a variety of options ranging from traditional, basic, and affordable lighting to more modern options that take advantage of the emergence of IoT, mobility, and intelligent devices.
Why is the right office lighting important?
Choosing the correct forms of lighting can not only increase our comfort but may also help prevent eye strain and improve our concentration, thereby making it slightly easier to work from home -- a place often full of distractions. Today's smart, connected lighting solutions go beyond the harsh, yellow-white light that was the only option on the table and are certainly worth exploring to improve your office, and perhaps, the rest of your home, too.
Are there alternative home office lighting options worth considering?
Here are a few other lighting options to look into: