There are countless decisions to make when you run a business. From selecting your accounting software and making hiring decisions to choosing an office location and pricing your services, it’s a never-ending stream of decision making. One decision that may not have been at the forefront of your mind is lighting, but it’s an important one!

Like so many decisions you make for your business, there are a variety of factors to consider as you evaluate lighting options. What type of lighting is best for your employees and customers? How do the options vary in terms of cost? Do you want a modern look or a more traditional look? What type of wiring is currently in place? 

Fortunately, with some research and guidance, you can avoid lighting overwhelm and costly missteps. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing lighting for your business. Your unique situation in each of these areas will steer your lighting decision. 

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Business Type

Are you lighting an employee office? A store that displays products? A factory? A restaurant? Each of these environments requires careful lighting considerations for employees and customers. 

For example, lighting an office with lights that are too bright can lead to employee eye discomfort. Style-wise, the lighting needs for a trendy bar are very different from those for a conservative law office. 

Options like recessed lighting, chandeliers, pendant lights, and industrial light fixtures each serve a different purpose and send a different message to your customers and employees. 

Space Configuration

The high ceilings in a warehouse require different lighting than do the lower ceilings in a medical office waiting room. 

Similarly, rooms that include windows and offer natural light have different light needs than rooms that rely solely on installed lighting. You’ll want to select lighting that optimizes the features of each area of your business space. 

The Role of Your Lighting

Do you need lighting for an entire room or lighting for employees to focus on tasks at their desks? How about lighting that activates in an emergency or lighting focused on improving safety conditions in an employee parking deck? 

You will want to select the lighting options that specialize in meeting each of these unique needs. 


One of the biggest factors when it comes to cost is the type of bulbs you use. Your bulb selection determines your upfront costs, maintenance costs, and energy costs. 

  • Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive to purchase, but use significant energy and don’t last as long as other options. 
  • Halogen bulbs use less energy than incandescent, but also have short lifespans and can be expensive to purchase.
  • Fluorescent bulbs are affordable, energy-efficient, and long lasting, but deliver a harsh, bright light that is not always desirable.
  • LED bulbs are expensive upfront, but last for years. They also deliver a variety of light colors and brightnesses. 

Most businesses will use a mix of bulbs to serve different purposes. The trick is to find a mix that balances your lighting desires with your budget and maintenance realities.

Additionally, older buildings may require rewiring to install modern lighting. You may also need to  make structural modifications to accommodate some lighting options. The costs involved with rewiring and structural changes vary depending on your individual needs. 

Avoid Costly Lighting Missteps 

On the surface, lighting may seem less significant than some of the other decisions you make for your business. 

However, when you dig a little deeper, you can see how it affects everything from employee productivity and safety to sales numbers and monthly expenses – all of which impact your bottom line.
Make the right lighting decisions for your business.  Contact Shockley Electric today to discuss your business lighting needs.