How Does Lighting Affect Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder in Workers?

Posted by Jack Zhang on

It’s about that time of year again. Daylight savings time has recently passed, the days are growing shorter, and night is falling earlier. This time of year can be trying for anyone. So trying, in fact, that Seasonal Affective Disorder affects over 3 million people every year.

Believe it or not, the light around us has a direct impact on our health. Not only can it cause depression, it can also negatively impact workplace productivity. According to the Mayo Clinic, Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) can cause symptoms similar to, and often including depression. Other symptoms may include lethargy, trouble maintaining focus, and more.

Just how important is light to maintaining a healthy workplace attitude? Did you know that 68% of employees complain about the lighting situation in their offices? Given that, the lighting scheme of your office or business can have a big impact on your employees.

Turn It Up

A lack of light is a common complaint among those 68% of employees. Conditions that are too dim, where not enough natural or bright light enters the workplace can contribute to a lack of productivity and exacerbate the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Woman Wearing Hooded Pullover Hoodie Facing Tablet Computer

Change The Warmth

Cold weather is no fun and can contribute to seasonal depression. However, the temperature of your lights matter as well. Cooler colors tend to increase focus and productivity while warmer colors promote a more relaxed atmosphere less conducive to working.

Grey Laptop on Black Wooden Desk

Got Rhythm?

Our biological clocks are in sync with the day/night cycle. Establishing a healthy sleep cycle can aid in both maintaining health as well as promoting a productive workday. With the ELA app, you can use the bio-clock feature to sync your smart lights with the natural rising and setting of the sun.

In practice, this helps your body adjust to changing levels of light throughout the day and may help to regulate your sleep cycle. Lack of sleep contributes greatly to lost productivity as well as workplace accidents. As many as 10% of American adults have symptoms of “daytime functional impairment” according to a study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study found that across a broad range of workplace activities, time to completion increased for sleep-deprived employees. Memory, motivation, decision-making, and attention all saw negative effects.

Overall, the average cost per employee in terms of loss of productivity neared $2,000 annually. In a company with dozens of employees, that adds up to a lot!

What To Do?

Whether you’re an employer or an employee; workplace productivity is something that should concern us all. Proper sleep patterns are the first step toward keeping your body and mind well-rested and ready for a productive day.

After that, increasing the amount of cool, bright light in the workspace can help maintain focus and boost productivity. Your smart LED ELA lights can help achieve both goals; at home as well as in the workplace. Smart lights can actually help you sleep better, work harder, and may help stave off the effects of seasonal affective disorder.


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