Are you in the process of developing plans for a new garden office? That’s a very exciting time! You have the opportunity to choose everything from the shape and design of the new office, along with planning the décor and more. However, have you stopped to consider the type of lighting you’ll need in the garden office?
The type and level of lighting needed to get work done varies. It comes down to the type of work you’re doing, whether you’re working on electronic devices (or not), and more. So, it’s imperative to give plenty of thought to the type of lighting you’ll want/need, as well as the amount of natural like the garden office will receive each day throughout the year.
The goal is to find the optimal amount of light for work, without the garden office being flooded with sunlight, making it impossible to get things done.
Types of Daylight
When thinking about natural light, many of us forget that there are really different types of natural light. Each type must be considered when building a home or even a garden office. Light will have a direct bearing on the work you do, whether you’re an artist or an accountant. Lighting is an important aspect of health, too. Here are the main types of natural light:
- Direct light: is high intensity and constant. When allowed to enter a space undiffused, direct light can cause high amounts of glare, which can be painful. In addition, many people forget that direct lighting also creates very deep, dark shadows and corners.
- Diffused light: this type of light is scattered through clouds and the atmosphere. The result is a softer light that is more diffuse than direct light. The same effect can be used in a garden office with the use of a skylight or roof window, which will allow non-glary light into the space, and distribute the light more evenly.
- Reflected light: this is light that’s reflected from the ground, trees, plants, nearby buildings, and more. The amount of reflected light is determined by the type of surroundings. For instance, if a white building is nearby the garden office, then expect large amounts of reflected light, which can cause glare. Plants, on the other hand, can reflect light that’s more diffused.
When considering the position and direction of a garden office, these aspects must all be considered. This is especially the case if you need a specific type of lighting for your work. The goal is to have adequate light levels that are comfortable, without causing eye strain, headaches or other issues.
Quality of Natural Light Changes During the Year
Keep in mind that the quality and amount of natural light changes depending on the season. For instance, in winter when natural light is dimmer, it’s necessary to rely on electric lights each day. However, in the summer, natural light abounds for many hours each day.
So, you’ll need to account for how this may affect your work area in the garden office. Too much light could make it difficult to see computer monitors, for instance. Or the glare of natural light and light emitted from electronic devices may cause headaches and eye strain. These are important considerations.
Orientation of Garden Office & Positioning of Windows
Chances are you already some idea on where to place the office in the garden. However, have you thought about how the garden office will oriented in regard to the type and level of light it will receive?
Taking advantage of natural light means considering the addition of windows on the south, east and west facing sides of the garden office. With windows on these sides, your office will be flooded with the most amount of light as the sun moves through the day.
However, for sites that don’t allow for windows on these three sides, you may want to consider adding windows on the east side of the garden office, and possibly windows on the west side, as well. This way you’ll be able to take advantage of the morning sun, while enjoying a large amount of natural light in the afternoon from the west.
Choosing the Size and Number of Windows
Next, you’ll need to consider the size and number of windows in your new garden office. These also play an important role in the amount and type of light that comes into the space. And don’t forget that doors, too, play their part in the garden office’s lighting.
What comes to mind when you think of a garden office? Does the building have floor to ceiling windows and doors? If so, you’re not alone. One of the most popular features of a garden office are the long, tall windows and doors that open to let natural light flood into the room.
While it is possible to use casement windows, like those used in houses, they’re not as common in garden offices. Most people prefer the long, narrow windows (also referred to as lozenge windows) in their garden office. However, it’s very important to consider how much light they let into the space. For instance, you may want to consider using these windows with large areas of glazing. Not only will you have more control of the natural light, but glazing will also improve the comfort of the garden office and make it more energy efficient.
Shady Elements in the Garden
When it comes to the position of your garden office, you’ll want to think about what elements in the garden will cast shade on the office space. These elements will block natural light, which may be what you find desirable or not.
Will the garden office be situated near trees? Will the trees cast shade on your new office? Next, consider the types of trees. Will your office be placed near deciduous or evergreen trees? If your garden office is close to, or slightly under an evergreen tree, then the tree will cast its shadow on the office most of the year. This may not be what you’d prefer in winter, when there’s not as much natural light.
On the other hand, placing your garden office near deciduous trees can be advantageous. The reason is the shade will keep the office cooler in the summer, when natural light is plentiful. Then in the winter, the tree will have lost its leaves, and then will allow in the precious light of winter.
Summing It Up
When you have the right levels of light, you’ll feel better, be healthier, and you’ll find that productivity improves. This is why the size, placement and shape of windows is important when planning your garden office. Letting in natural light is healthy, but too or too little can affect your work performance.