Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel aliquet nec eget arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus vitae.

What Is The Psychology Behind Office Lobby Lighting - How Does It Affect The Guest’s Experience

#18 – What is the Psychology behind Office Lobby Lighting?

What is the Psychology behind Office Lobby Lighting?

Office lobbies are the first point of contact between a company and its visitors, clients, and customers. The design and aesthetics of the office lobby can alter the first impression that visitors have of the company. One crucial aspect of office lighting design that often goes overlooked is lighting. The lighting in the office lobby creates the right atmosphere and influences the mood and behavior of the guests.


Lighting also affects the texture, shade, and ambiance of any space. It can communicate the vibe of your company, making it an essential part of your brand signature. Top business brands understand the significance of lighting and how its tone, warmth, and brightness can evoke particular thoughts and emotions in your guests. This blog post will discuss the psychology behind office lobby lighting and its effect on  guests.

What is the Main Goal of Office Lighting Design?

The main goal of office lighting design on guests’ psychology is to create a positive and memorable experience that influences their perception of the organization. Whether natural or artificial lighting, every source can transform the mood you want a space to have.

Lighting can influence mood and emotion, with studies showing that lighting conditions can affect everything from cognitive performance to perceived comfort levels. By carefully selecting and positioning lighting fixtures, organizations can create an environment that promotes positive feelings and attitudes among guests.

For example, warm, soft lighting can create a sense of relaxation and comfort, while brighter, more astounding lighting can promote alertness and focus. In addition, lighting can strategically draw attention to specific areas or features within a space, emphasizing the organization’s brand or values. Therefore, lighting fixture should not be chosen purely for aesthetic purposes. Aside from LED lighting for improved sustainability and energy efficiency, they should maximize task lighting and accent lighting to create the perfect mood for a particular space.


Baseline Holiday Inn Golden Mile - Hong Kong
Source: Baseline Project


How to Create Different Moods in an Office Lobby

The primary goal of office lobby lighting design is to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for visitors. It should be functional and aesthetically pleasing, as it directly reflects the image of your business. It sets the tone for the rest of the office and can significantly determine the company’s overall impression.

Lighting design is considered an essential part of the overall lobby architecture. One of the vital aspects of lighting design is to separate the different spaces in the lobby, creating distinct areas for circulation, reception desk, company logo, and waiting area.


Circulation is the area where visitors first enter the office. It is the area that connects different parts of the lobby, and it should have a balance of light that doesn’t create distraction or confusion. This area should have a brighter light level than the other spaces to ensure visitors can see where they’re going.

Designing the circulation area is the perfect opportunity to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. You can create this atmosphere by adding comfortable seating, artwork, and plants. Make sure the lighting is soft and warm, with a moderate temperature. The circulation area should be spacious and airy, with a clear path to the reception desk.

Reception desk

The reception desk is an essential space in the office lobby. It’s where the first point of contact occurs between the visitors and the company, so it should be illuminated so that the desk remains the focal point of the lobby. In addition, make sure the company logo is displayed prominently behind the reception desk. It gives visitors a sense of brand identity and helps create a professional atmosphere.

Company logo

The company logo is essential to creating a welcoming and professional atmosphere in the lobby area. It is the centerpiece of any office lobby and must be highlighted appropriately with lighting. It should illuminate with specific intensity and color temperature that suits the brand image of your business. Highlighting the logo can make it more noticeable and give a lasting impression of your brand.

The logo should be visible from the moment visitors enter the office. It can be on the wall, at the reception desk, or on the floor. In addition, the colors used in the logo should reflect the lobby’s decor to help create a cohesive look and feel.

Waiting area

The waiting area should be comfortable and spacious, with various seating options. In addition, it should have a warm, inviting environment with a subdued lighting level. This type of lighting helps visitors relax and feel less stressed while waiting for their appointments. Moreover, it is advisable to use indirect lighting, which provides a reasonable degree of ambient light without creating harsh shadows.


Office lobby with cool furniture and lighting fixtures
Source: Unsplash

Lighting, Color Temperature, and Mood

Creating a comfortable and engaging workplace has become a top priority for business owners to keep their employees productive and clients happy. Therefore, one of the critical factors that every business should consider for their office lobby design is color temperature. The color temperature of the lighting in the office lobby plays a significant role in setting the ambiance and shaping the guests’ experience. 

Understanding Color Temperature

Color temperature refers to the hue of light measured on a scale from warm to cool. It is estimated in Kelvins (K) and ranges from warm to cool. Warm light typically falls in the range of 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin, while cool light can range from 4,000 to 5,500 Kelvin. In an office lobby, using either warm or cool light can change the overall mood of the environment. 

Warm colors have a lower Kelvin value, indicating a yellow-orange or red hue. They create a cozy, intimate atmosphere, often used in relaxation and rest areas. Cool colors, on the other hand, have a higher Kelvin value, indicating a blue or white hue. They create an energetic and focused atmosphere often used in work areas. In an office lobby, it is vital to balance warm and cool colors for the best results.

Importance of Warm Light

Warm light is often associated with comfort, relaxation, and a cozy atmosphere. For example, walking into a room with a warm glow from lampshades can create a sense of being at home. In an office lobby, warm lighting can help calm visitors, making them feel more at ease and welcome. Additionally, warm light can make employees feel more comfortable in their work environment.

Benefits of Cool Light

Cool light can create a more sterile atmosphere, often in medical offices and hospitals. When used sparingly, however, cool light can contribute to a clean and modern feel in an office lobby. It can also be beneficial in spaces where employees must concentrate, as cool light increases focus and alertness. It’s essential to balance warm and cool light not to create an overly clinical atmosphere.

The Impact of Color Temperature on Branding

The color temperature of light can also affect the perception of a company’s branding. For example, if an office lobby features warm light, it can give off a feeling of approachability and customer care. On the other hand, cool light can evoke a sense of efficiency and high-tech innovation. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the role of color temperature in a company’s overall tone and messaging.

Choosing the Right Color Temperature for Your Office Lobby

When designing the lighting of an office lobby, it’s essential to consider the role of color temperature and how it can impact the mood of guests and employees. A professional lighting consultant can help identify the correct color temperature to meet your needs. It’s also essential to consider your brand image and messaging when making lighting choices.

Directional Lighting and Mood

Directional lighting refers to lighting that is aimed in a specific direction. This type of lighting can be used to highlight specific areas of the office lobby, such as artwork or signage.

Here’s how layers of lighting in the lobby are applied:


Ambient lighting is typically the first lighting layer implemented in office lobby design, as it sets the base lighting level and creates a soothing and inviting atmosphere. After that, using decorative lighting fixtures such as wall sconces or pendant lights is achievable. 

But too much ambient light might give the impression that everything is homogeneous and flat. As a result, the environment may seem repetitive and uninspiring, which may cause visitors to get disinterested or bored. Plus, too bright or too much contrast lighting can create an uncomfortable and stressful environment, leading to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. It is where glare prevention plays a crucial role in providing the right level of ambient lighting.

Glare is the discomfort caused by a bright light source. An exposed visitor’s eyes to bright light in the lobby can be irritating and disorienting. Glare prevention ensures that the level of brightness and contrast in the lobby is balanced, creating a more comfortable visual environment for employees and visitors. In addition, minimizing the amount of glare in the space can improve the overall ambiance and promote a positive mood.


The second layer is accent lighting, which draws attention to specific areas such as artworks, bookshelves, and displays. Accent lighting adds visual interest and highlights the unique features of the space. This lighting layer adds depth to the design and enhances guest engagement.


The third lighting layer is task lighting – which is essential in areas such as the reception counter and the waiting area. Again, the tone of voice is critical in creating a positive first impression, and task lighting can convey a sense of seriousness, professionalism, and empathy when possible.

By layering these types of lighting, you can create an unforgettable impression on your guests and elevate the overall aesthetic of the lobby.

Directional lighting can create a sense of drama and focus. By highlighting specific areas of the office lobby, it will draw the guests’ attention to important features of the space. This type of lighting can also create a sense of depth and dimension, making the room feel even more expansive.

Beware of too much directional lighting, though, as it can create a harsh and uninviting environment. In addition, the visitors may experience discomfort and self-consciousness as if all the attention in the room focuses on them.

The Psychology of Color in Office Lighting Design

Color psychology investigates how colors influence individuals’ perception of their environment. Different colors can evoke other emotions and feelings in people, and these emotions can sway their behavior

Red is a color that is often associated with passion, energy, and excitement. In an office lobby, red lighting can create a sense of urgency and excitement, which can be helpful in environments where quick decisions are needed.

Blue is a color that is often associated with calmness, trust, and professionalism. In an office lobby, blue lighting can create a sense of calm and professionalism, which can be helpful in environments where clients or customers may be feeling anxious or nervous.

Green is a color often associated with nature, growth, and harmony. In an office lobby, green lighting can create a sense of tranquility and relaxation, which can be helpful in environments where guests may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Yellow is a color that is often associated with happiness, optimism, and warmth. In an office lobby, yellow lighting can create a sense of joy and positivity, which can be helpful in environments where guests may be feeling down or negative.

Properly designed lighting in the office can help the well-being of employees working 8 hours or more. It can improve mood, increase productivity, reduce stress, and provide visual comfort. Combining warm colors like yellow and orange can create a sense of comfort and relaxation, while cool colors like green and blue light can have a calming effect and promote focus.


Lutron Meeting Room cove light Azuna Kemps
Source: Baseline Project

Choosing the Right Office Lobby Lighting

In conclusion, understanding the psychology of color can be a powerful tool in creating the right atmosphere in an office lobby. From ceiling lights to desk lamps, everything contributes to the mood you want in your office environment. By using the right colors in office lighting design, companies can create an atmosphere that is welcoming, comfortable, and conducive to positive behavior and emotions.

Are you interested in enhancing your office lighting design for your guests and employees? Baseline can help!

Baseline Lighting Design Studio crafts breathtaking lighting experiences in luxury retail and high-end hospitality spaces. Our experts use their expertise to devise a strategic design that will amplify your brand image, setting, and merchandise. Understanding the power of atmosphere created through illumination, we craft our designs with experience augmentation at the front of the mind – from concept ideation to implementation for ultimate authorship control. In addition to this holistic approach, we can customize decorative lights crafted as an additional element to enrich any interior landscape!

To learn more about using the psychology of color and lighting concepts to create a welcoming and inviting office lobby, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our lighting experts.