The return-to-office mandates of the past few years have been met with mixed results. In 2024, an estimated 90% of employers will expect employees to return to the office, but not necessarily every day of the week.

Why? Many employees have expressed frustration with having to come back. For some, it’s the commute or the extra hours spent wasted on chit-chat. For others, it’s the environment they have to work in.

Before you bring your workers back to the office, create a more inviting environment. Commercial LED lighting choices can make a huge impact on how your office looks, feels, and impacts mood.

Not sure what we mean? Read on for the latest commercial LED lighting trends and why they’re sweeping the nation.

Sustainable Office Lights

If there’s one thing employers know, it’s that a return-to-office mandate comes with higher costs. While the cost of rent is likely your biggest expense, the cost of utilities is often a close second.

In the past, companies paid little attention to the energy consumed by lighting, often leaving office lights on 24/7 regardless of working hours. Now, there’s a bigger emphasis on sustainability both from a cost and environmental perspective. Modern LED options use substantially less electricity, especially when paired with added technology like smart timers.

If you haven’t made the switch to LED lighting, know that retrofitting is a simple option that we can often complete in a single day. In other words, you don’t need a full lighting renovation to go eco-friendly.

Stylish Recessed Lighting

When you picture recessed lighting in a commercial office space, you probably envision those unattractive rectangular panels fit with buzzing, bright incandescent bulbs. That said, recessed lighting is often the best option for smaller offices or offices with low ceilings. It’s both unobtrusive and effective.

With LED lights, you’re not tied to the outdated rectangular panel. Today, you can apply accent panels to create a more artsy or branded look. Accent panels come in many different colors and patterns, with some customizable options.

You can also purchase recessed LED lighting in a variety of shapes, from narrow rectangles to hexagons to circles. This is an affordable way to modernize your office while investing in better office lighting.

Faux Natural Lighting

Some employers expected that a return-to-office mandate would result in an inherent productivity boost. When that didn’t happen across the board, the answer became clear. Productivity has more to do with well-being than oversight.

If there’s one thing that outdated office lighting has a negative impact on, it’s well-being. This is in large part because of the way light ties into the circadian rhythm, or the body’s natural waking and sleeping cycle. We now know that to work with the circadian rhythm to promote both energy and restfulness, we should be exposed to brighter, cooler lights in the day, with gradual dimming and warming as evening approaches.

LED lights in the office can mimic natural lighting by changing with the sun. In other words, you can install LED lighting that starts out bright and cool and shifts slowly to create more cohesion with the changing natural light.

Smart LED Technology

If you’re not sure about investing in commercial LED lighting, it’s useful to understand the return on investment. As we mentioned earlier, LED lights that use less electricity can lower your utility bill. By investing a little more in smart LED technology, you can get even more out of LED light utilization.

For example, sensor-based lighting can cut down on unnecessary electricity usage even during working hours. This kind of smart technology is great for areas of the office that aren’t in use all day long, like the breakroom or restroom. Spatial monitoring technology turns the lights on when someone walks in and turns them off once they leave.

You can also use smart LED technology to have a little more fun with your office lighting. For example, rather than turning the lights off for a powerpoint presentation, you can lower them or change the color to a relaxing blue or power-invoking purple.

Free Form Lighting

LED light strips offer more flexibility and a newer, fresher way to add light to your office. Light streps bend and flex to fit any surface, allowing you to backlight TVs or artwork, accent signage, or even increase visibility in dark stairwells.

Another office trend that is taking hold is the homier approach. Rather than relying entirely on overhead lighting that can create a harsh glare, offices are combining different types of light fixtures, including:

  • Floor lamps
  • Hanging pendant lights
  • Sconces
  • Desk lamps
  • Chandeliers

By bringing in different sources of LED lights, you can also give employees a bit more choice. Being able to turn personal lights on or off can increase accommodations for employees with visual or cognitive differences. Plus, the varied light fixtures can create a more attractive and inviting environment.

Toning It Down

The overarching theme of commercial LED lighting trends is the move to tone things down. Exposure to bright white incandescent lighting can cause agitation, irritability, and sleep loss. Leaving lights on 24/7 as a supposed security measure can increase your carbon footprint and your utility bill.

LED lights offer office managers a wider range of options when it comes to brightness, tone, color, and control. You can use them to support your branding and your employee wellness initiatives. If you’re looking for experts in commercial lighting design to bring your new approach to life, Lightility can help.

Step Up Your Commercial LED Lighting With Lightility

As you prepare to implement a new return-to-office mandate in 2024, it’s time to make some improvements. Making the switch to commercial LED lighting is a win-win for both you and your employees, and can make that transition smoother.

Lightility is one of the country’s leading sustainable technology solution providers. We bring savings and environmental change in the form of LED lighting, solar power, and EV charging stations, earning the 2022 Most Efficient Project Award. Contact us today to partner on your commercial LED lighting upgrades and make a difference with us.