The power of light to change your world for good
Light Notes banner

Carrots and sticks

Citi’s move to dock bonuses from executives who don’t show up at the office at least three times per week hit the headlines – Citi to Track UK Office AttendanceBut they’re not alone. 50% of employers want their teams back in the office full time – ‘It’s just not worth it’: why employers still can’t get staff back to the officeBut according to Microsoft, 73% of employees say company expectations are not a good enough reason to go into the office – Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?One in three of us would rather quit than return to the daily commute, rising to three-quarters of millennials – RTO Trade-Offs.

So the financial ‘stick’ isn’t going to work, especially for the most skilled members of your team.

What about a carrot?

According to a large study by HB Reavis, 84% would come into the workplace more regularly if they felt they would be more productive there New research: Why a destination office is key to making flexibility a success

Can light and lighting help?

  1. Focus- Bright, cool light can reduce sleepiness, while dim cool light is most likely to make you feel glum, regardless of the time of day – Effects of Illuminance and Correlated Color Temperature on Daytime Cognitive Performance, Subjective Mood, and Alertness in Healthy Adults. Daylight is best of course: optimised daylight and views can boost cognitive function and decision making by up to 42%. This study found that one day made a difference, but results improved over the week – The Impact of Optimized Daylight and Views on the Sleep Duration and Cognitive Performance of Office Workers.
  2. Negotiate – dim, warm light tends to lead to more collaborative conflict resolution strategies – View it in a different light: Mediated and moderated effects of dim warm light on collaborative conflict resolutionuseful if you haven’t met up for a while.
  3. Sleep – optimised daylight and artificial lighting that mirrored the shifts of natural light led to earlier onset of melatonin release and temperature shifts, markers of darkness and preparation for sleep – Optimized office lighting advances melatonin phase and peripheral heat loss prior bedtime.
  4. Feel better about your colleagues – you’re more engaged in your job and believe your colleagues are more competent when you feel the lighting is pleasant – Linking Lighting Appraisals to Work Behaviors.
  5. Feel you’re more productive – employees perceive a link between the quality of the workplace and how productive they feel. The top three variables? Thermal comfort and perceived control over environmental features were key. Interestingly, access to the light switches made the biggest difference! The impacts of building characteristics, social psychological and cultural factors on indoor environment quality productivity belief



Common mistakes and simple tips for lighting video calls in the evening

Making video calls this eveningHere are three common mistakes and three simple tips so you can set up the lighting to be more confident and comfortable.

  1. Bright light above? You get an even spread of bright light, but the top of your head is the star of the show.
  2. A task light on one side isn’t great either- one side will be burnt out and the other in dark shade.
  3. Domestic lighting from behind you leaves your face in the shade.

The solution?

Two lights on either side – just make sure they’re the same colour and roughly the same brightness. Then add a diffused light in front of you. I’ve installed a strip light along the top of a shelving unit. That creates an even wash of light on my face and gives my eyes a comfortable balance of contrast. 


🌿 Happy International Greenpeace Day! 🌍

And on Fridaywe celebrate the brave men and women who made a stand for a more sustainable future and continue to do so against all the odds.

As lighting professionals, we have immense power, and personal responsibility, to make our world a better place for this precious next generation and the natural world around us.


Lighting isn’t just about illumination, it’s about darkness too. 30% of light after dark is wasted. That’s bad for the planet and, as the recent House of Lords Report shows, bad for us too. Our sector is built on shifting boxes. We have to be confident enough to offer quality over quantity.

Reuse and recycle

Sustainability isn’t just about what we use, it’s also about what we throw away. TM66 and the Ecodesign directive offer a valuable framework for lifecycle costings. But it’s a hassle and more expensive up-front. It’s tempting to look for loopholes – and there are plenty.  But our kids are relying on us to follow the spirit not just the letter of the law.


It’s easy to wring our hands: wildfires and floods are disasters of our own making. But we can all take a moment to celebrate the beauty of the world around us: behind each leaf that falls, the buds of next spring are already starting to form.


Time to get back to school too?

Now the kids are settling into the new term, doesn’t your brain deserve some tlc too?

Hobbies and clubs reduce depression in older adults – Engagement in leisure activities and depression in older adults in the United States: Longitudinal evidence from the Health and Retirement Studylifelong learning boosts brain plasticity – Neural plasticity of development and learning, physical and mental health emotional resilience and social connection – Impacts of lifelong learning upon emotional resilience, psychological and mental health: fieldwork evidence. It’s great for your career too, even when the topic isn’t directly related to your job, simply because it cultivates the qualities you need to thrive: self-reflection, curiosity, flexibility and the willingness to make an effort and see the world from a fresh perspective.

I’m learning a new video editing software, re-learning how to swim and starting a project on quasiperiodic symmetry with an X-ray Crystallographer, which is keeping me out of trouble.

But if you need any inspiration, just type Lighting into Skillshare – over 15 pages of fascinating classes by incredibly talented people, some completely free! 

Get in touch!