How to Block Overhead Light in a Cubicle

Are you constantly battling with the bright overhead lights in your cubicle? You’re not alone! Many people find it difficult to concentrate when exposed to too much overhead light in the workplace.

If your workspace is located in an open office cubicle, dazzling overhead light can cause major distractions — leading to eyestrain and headaches as well as decreased productivity. Beyond flipping off the lights when possible, you may need to employ a more sophisticated approach for blocking out unwanted illumination.

How to Block Overhead Light in a Cubicle

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to create your own personal sanctuary from attic lighting: everything from lightweight blinds or shades that hang on and spruce up walls, sound-absorbing panels crafted with soft colors that cover ceilings or pegboards swapped in place of plain drywall. Read on to learn more how to block overhead light in a cubicle.

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials for blocking overhead lights in your cubicle. You will need the following:

  • Light-blocking curtains or blinds
  • Sound absorbing panels
  • Pegboard

Once you have the materials, you can move on to the next step.

10 Easy Steps on How to Block Overhead Light in a Cubicle

Step 1. Hang Lightweight Blinds or Shades:

Portable curtains also can be used to create a barrier against bright overhead lights in the workplace. Hang lightweight blinds or shades from the ceiling and enjoy improved privacy in your cubicle while reducing unwanted illumination. If you choose this option, make sure the curtains are wide enough to cover the entire ceiling — and be sure they’re not too heavy for your cubicle’s structure to support.

Step 2. Install Sound Absorbing Panels:

Covering your walls and ceilings with sound absorbing panels can make a big difference in blocking out bright overhead lights and providing you with a quieter working environment. Choose soft colors for the panels to match the decor in your cubicle. Try to use panels that are fire retardant.

Step 3. Replace Drywall With Pegboard:

Instead of plain drywall, swap it out for pegboard to create a more visually interesting backdrop while also blocking out overhead light at the same time. You can even hang items such as photos or artwork on it! This will also provide you with a place to hang any organizational items that you need for your workspace.

Swap It Out for Pegboard

Step 4. Utilize Mirrors:

Another simple and effective way to avoid bright overhead lights in your cubicle is to use mirrors. Place a mirror on the back wall of your cubicle to create a reflective surface that can help deflect some of the unwanted illuminations. Be careful not to put the mirror too close to any of your electrical cords or outlets.

Step 5. Install Desk Lamps:

Desk lamps are an ideal way to reduce glare and brightness coming from overhead lights in your workspace. They also will create focused ambient lighting so you won’t have any trouble seeing when you need to work on a project or type something up on the computer. If you’re trying to save on energy costs, opt for a LED desk lamp.

Step 6. Invest In Darker Window Treatments:

Dark window treatments such as curtains, blinds, or shades can help to reduce the amount of light coming in from outside while still providing you with privacy. You can also add blackout liners to your window treatments for extra protection against bright sunlight. Moreover, opt for adhesive-backed blackout film if you can’t install traditional window treatments in your cubicle.

Step 7. Swap Out Bulbs:

If the overhead lights are too bright for your liking, try swapping out the bulbs for ones that have a lower wattage and dimmer glow. This way, you can turn on the lights for certain tasks without feeling overwhelmed by a bright beam. Try using CFL or LED bulbs to reduce energy costs and save on your electric bill!

Step 8. Install Ceiling Fans:

Ceiling fans can help circulate air in your cubicle while also masking some of the unwanted overhead illuminations. Plus, they’ll keep you cool on hot days when office temperatures rise! Keep in mind when shopping for ceiling fans you’ll want ones that are UL listed and Energy Star approved.

Step 9. Hang Artwork:

Putting up artwork is a great way to add a personal touch to your workspace — and if it’s framed in a dark color or heavy material, it can also help to absorb some of the bright overhead light. It will also provide a focal point, making concentrating on the task at hand easier. Another great idea is to hang curtains or fabric panels with patterns on them for a stylish look that also reduces glare.

Hang Curtains or Fabric Panels

Step 10. Set Up Privacy Walls:

Privacy walls are an effective way to keep out unwanted visual distractions from the outside world — and they can do double duty by blocking out much of the glaring overhead light as well. Remember, when it comes to blocking out light, the thicker the material is, the better.

Keep in mind that privacy walls can come with a hefty price tag, so check with your employer to see if they offer any kind of financial assistance for these types of purchases.

By following these easy steps, you should be able to block out the overhead light in your cubicle workspace effectively. So don’t wait – get started blocking those pesky rays today!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Cover the window with a sheer curtain to block out direct sunlight.
  2. Hang a piece of fabric or paper on the ceiling in your cubicle to create a barrier from incoming light.
  3. Install an adjustable blind that can be tilted open or closed depending on how much light you want filtered in
  4. Place a desk lamp near your workstation to help provide more light without needing overhead lighting.
  5. Use ambient lights strategically around the workspace and keep curtains drawn, if possible, when you need total darkness for work tasks. This will allow natural light to come through during daytime hours but not be overwhelmingly bright at night or on overcast days.

Lastly, remember to take regular breaks and enjoy some outdoor activities like going for a walk or jogging, when possible. This will help keep you energized throughout the day and reduce eye strain from staring at a computer screen for long periods of time. With these tips, you can easily block out overhead lights in your cubicle and get to work with ease!

Use Ambient Lights Strategically

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid putting up heavy curtains that block out all natural light. This can make your workspace feel dark and uninviting.
  2. Don’t use bright desk lamps that have too much glare or create a harsh light environment.
  3. Be careful of reflective materials such as mirrors, which can cause unwanted glares and reflections in your space.
  4. Don’t forget to check the temperature of your workspace. Overly hot or cold environments can cause discomfort and distraction when trying to work.
  5. Don’t keep curtains drawn all day; an overly dark workspace can be draining and unproductive. Instead, open them periodically throughout the day for natural light and fresh air!

With these tips, you’ll be able to block out overhead lights in your cubicle and create a comfortable working environment that will help boost productivity levels.

Is Overhead Lighting Bad for Your Eyes?

Overhead lighting can be harsh and cause eye strain and fatigue if used for an extended period. Invest in a desk lamp that helps provide softer, more comfortable light for your workspace. You should also make sure to take regular breaks from computers or bright screens to rest your eyes and look away from the source of light every now and then.

By following these tips, you’ll easily block out overhead lights in your cubicle and create a productive workspace!

Although it may seem daunting at first, you’ll soon find that blocking out overhead lights in your cubicle will become easier over time as you come up with more handy tricks! With the right tools, materials, and ideas, you’ll be able to create a comfortable and productive workspace that will help improve your productivity!


The good news is that you now have a variety of different solutions at your disposal to help block out unwanted overhead lights in your cubicle. From hanging fabric panels and swapping out industrial lighting to more creative solutions such as crafting art with paper, the options are plenty, and you’re sure to find an effective way that fits your style and budget.

Remember, how to block overhead light in a cubicle is a very important step toward creating an ideal office environment where you can work efficiently and comfortably. Make sure to take it into account when setting up or rearranging your cubicle workspace.

And why not get creative and craft a custom-made item for yourself? Even if it’s something as simple as cutting stencils on construction paper or letter patterning with fabric –– it’ll add a touch of personal flair while effectively blocking overhead light!

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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