What do you do when you work from home and the only space you have is dingy and poorly lit? Or when the existing window gives poor quality daylight?
You might be thinking LED striplighting at this point, or the largest angle-poise lamp you can find, but neither of these options is always conducive to a good working environment – particularly if you are working on detailed documentation, drafting plans or carrying out intricate hobby work such as crafting or model building.
Then there’s the effect poor lighting has on our mood. Who wants to sit in a floodlit space or a gloomy cave? And what of those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
If you are lucky enough to hit upon the right solution, it’s likely that it is not the most attractive one. How do you blend aesthetics and functionality, or design and practicality?
If you’re going to be spending the greater part of your day at your desk, then it makes sense to create as attractive an environment as possible.
Enter Needlite, a small Danish start-up who entered the Nordic market in autumn 2015 with a pretty unique lamp design – a pair of lean and rather elegant desk lamps which shed a comfortable white light across your workspace with true colour reproduction and zero screen reflection.
Needlite’s aim was to provide the user with an efficient work light but also provide the much needed daylight at the same time.
We are all aware of the lack of daylight during the winter months in Nordic countries but did you know that all over the industrialized world, people are spending an average of 23 hours indoors – and often in poor lighting – quite a staggering statistic!
We also know that a lack of light can have a severe impact on our performance: energy, mood, digestion, sleep and even our recovery from illness. Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, and seasonal depression, this is a condition where people who generally have normal mental health, start to exhibit signs of depression at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.
Did you know that you need sufficient light to sleep well? When night falls, the darkness tells our body to increase its melatonin production (known as the ‘sleep hormone’).
When the sun rises, the level of melatonin is suppressed and serotonin (one of the ‘happy hormones’) is produced. One of the functions of serotonin is to tell us that it’s time to get up and get active. Insufficient light during the day will knock this cycle out of kilter.
Note that Needlite are not claiming their invention is a cure for SAD, however, as a replacement for natural daylight, it is likely to help.
The Needlite has also been designed, they say, to encourage use by making it simple to operate and attractive to look at.
The dimensions are width 100 mm, depth 100 mm and height 457 mm – a decent size which makes the Needlite a design feature as well as a practical item. The lamps are easy to set up – simply set the lamps at each far corner of the desk, ideally about 40-50 cm from your computer screen each side.
The design is both simple and modern but best of all it has a touch control on the top of each light which gives off an adjustable, yet no glare daylight.
The Needlite comes with a 2 year warranty and is so stylish that they are featured in the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen!
There is also an iPhone app which controls the lamps and give the user feedback on light consumption and usage. It will even turn the Needlite off automatically when you leave your desk. You can also monitor your daily light exposure to make sure you are getting enough.
The app was an absolute boon to the Husband whose office is in our loft at the top of a rather rickety staircase. He can now use the Needlite to create enough light to work by in the evenings without the usual full glare which wakes the kids. It also means carrying a laptop and coffee at the same time is now a much safer procedure because he can turn the lights on remotely before he ascends.
One other benefit of interest to our niece who is setting up her own photography business is that the Needlite is highly suitable as a work light for photographers, art directors and other professionals working with pictures or graphics on screen who need to control the surrounding light in strength and colour. Needlite has the exact right colour temperature of 6,500 kelvin and is not reflecting in the screen or in the way when editing.
We found the Needlite to be a step above the traditional desk light. Retailing around the £350 mark, its ability to create a pleasant working environment whilst adding some style makes it well worth the investment.
We are looking forward to testing it further when the clocks go back and the loft gets even gloomier. For the time being, the Husband’s office is certainly a nicer, brighter place to work.