Garden office lighting
Your choice of lighting will play a significant part in the usability of your garden office so don't just dismiss it from your list of design choices.
Many modern garden offices are designed to maximise natural light. The problem is that natural light is affected by the time of year and time of day, so you need a good artificial source too.
Generally, garden offices come equipped with an ambient light source. That generally lights the room. The most common options are recessed downlighters, spotlights, track lighting or if you are going for a more industrial look fluorescent tubes.
A garden office comes with ambient lighting as standard but you might also need to consider task lighting.
Ambient light systems like this will light the room well, and you can control the type of light produced with your choice of bulb. As you are planning to use your new building as an office space, you will want to consider some task lighting too.
Task lighting is specific to an area in the room, designed for the task in hand. This may be as simple as adding a free-standing light to your desk, or a floor light beside the chair where you will sit and read.
Of course, task lighting is something you can add to your garden office at a later date, but your supplier will be able to help you too. If you plan to add a desk light, your supplier could ensure there is a socket in the right place to plug it in. They may also have specific lights systems for the workstation area of the room - we have seen suppliers add track lighting over the desk area which works independently to the rest of the lighting.
The structure of your garden office may dictate your lighting choice
The most popular garden office lighting choice is recessed downlights. However, with some garden office structures, it is not possible to fit this style of lighting because there is no room to recess the light fittings and cables.
This is commonly a problem on garden office designs which use prefabricated roof panelling systems. Where the internal lining, insulation and external covering are one unit. Rather than a build up of layers as you find in timber frame roof systems.
In these instances, surface mounted spotlights or track lighting is suggested.
Think about external lighting too
The interior of your garden office isn't the only place to think about lighting. Exterior lights can not only be very useful when accessing the office on dark nights, but can play a part in the design aesthetics of your building, particularly when viewed from the house.
There are lots of different exterior lighting systems available from floodlights fitted with movement sensors, to downlights and coloured LED lights. Each one creating a different pattern of light.
Control the lights remotely
Many garden office suppliers offer the option for you to control your garden office lighting remotely, this can be as simple as a key fob which allows you to switch the lights on and off from within your house. To more sophisticated systems which will enable you to control which lights and the colour of those lights from your smartphone. With some systems, you can control the lights with your voice via a home automation system such as Google Home.
Common garden office light fittings
Recessed downlights are the most common style of garden office lighting. They come in several fitting styles: fixed, eyeball, gimbal and wall washer. With fixed downlights, the light is directed downwards. Gimbal downlights can be rotated to direct the light. Eyeball lights can also be moved to direct the light, but through a greater range than gimbals allow. Wall washer lights although fitted in the ceiling are designed to direct light at the walls.
Downlights are fitted with LED bulbs, and some systems can have a dimmer switch attached so you can dim the lights.
Spotlights usually are surface mounted and can be fitted singularly or in groups on plates or tracks. Spotlights typically have a swivel fitting which allows you to direct the light where you want it, which could be useful to direct the light over the desk area.
In more industrial garden office designs fluorescent tube lights are often specified. We are talking about the type of light you might have had in your kitchen in the 1980's, and that you find in commercial buildings. The simplicity of the design is considered chic! Fluorescent light is good for a work environment, as it is very clear light.
Task lighting is maybe something you will consider once you have moved into your office, but additional lighting where you will work, and in areas where you may read such as by an armchair should be part of your garden office design process. There are some excellent task lighting solutions out there; you could make a real design mark on your garden office space!
How many lights will you need?
It's difficult to give you an exact figure because we don't know the size of your garden office. There is a rule of thumb for specifying downlighters. Generally, the downlights should be about 1m from the walls, and then evenly spaced between 1.3m and 1.7m apart.