The matter of protecting our eyesight is important. With more screen time becoming the new normal, it makes sense to wonder about the effects it has on our eyes. When it comes to the importance of proper lighting while on the computer, it is more about comfort than long-term consequences.
The main reason people are concerned about the importance of proper lighting while on the computer is because of eye strain. There are a lot of conflicting reports regarding what this strain can do to your overall eye health. The main worry is less about permanent eye damage, and more about the overall comfort. Many people spend the majority of their day staring at a computer screen for work so it is crucial to eliminate as much discomfort as possible. Side effects of improper lighting and computer use include headaches, burning and itchy eyes, and blurred or double vision. So, while the evidence of it causing any long-term damage is still under investigation, short term it can certainly cause some issues.
Here are a few tips for preventing or reducing discomfort while on the computer.
- Reduce glare. Glare is the biggest problem when working on a computer. When light hits the computer screen and causes a glare, the eye is naturally put under presser trying to accommodate for the more extreme brightness. It can also cause distractions while working. A few ways to reduce glare include choosing lighting solutions with reflectors and diffusers, positioning lighting so it doesn’t cast glare on the screen, and choosing a lower lumen output to make the glare not so bright. You can also position light so it is parallel to the line of sight while on the computer. This will help to eliminate glare.
- Choose the right color temperature. The matter of color temperature is important, but often overlooked. If you choose lighting that is too cool and almost bluish white, you create lighting that is similar to what is found with computer screen lighting. Opting for warmer temperatures may seem like the better choice because they are perceived as less harsh, but when you have competing color tones in a space it is actually harsher for your eyes than having one consistent tone throughout the rest of the room.
- Consider track lighting for general lighting. Track lighting is ideal because it allows you to have a more directional general lighting solution. You can easily adjust the heads of the fixture so the light beam bounces off of walls or non-reflective surfaces to help reduce glare.
- Use task lighting. Aside from proper general lighting, task lighting is always a great way to reduce eye strain while on the computer. Task lighting tends to be more focused such as a desk lamp. A major reason people experience eye strain is because they are working on a computer, which is a bright light, and the rest of the room is darker, and there are shadows on either sides of the screen. This causes the eyes to have to repeatedly adjust and refocus to the changing light levels. With task lighting, you can eliminate the shadows by providing more illumination for an easier time on your eyes.