8 Tips for Eye-Friendly Lighting
- Lower the Lights
Offices often have harsh lighting. This ensures everyone stays awake and alert, yet it can stress our bodies in other ways. Look, you know if lower light will make you sleepy or not. If you control the lighting where you're at, try dimming it a bit. Chances are you won't get more tired, but you may be able to focus more if your eyes aren't hurting by the end of the day.
- Glare Reduction
There are a few ways you can achieve this. If your screen is reflecting a window or light, that glare off the screen is going to hurt your eyes pretty quickly. You can move the screen to change what it reflects, close the blinds over that window or turn off that bright light, and/or invest in an anti-reflective screen.
- Reduce Blue Light
Most modern operating systems and many screens offer options to reduce blue light. This may be listed in your settings as “Blue Light Filter”, “Night Light”, or something similar. Blue light is stressful to our eyes, so reducing it can make looking at a screen much easier. Use the monitor’s setting to scale down the blue light.
As an added bonus, it also helps you get better sleep if you use a blue light filter when using a screen late at night. Blue light tells our minds that it's midday.
- Computer Glasses
Computer glasses are becoming more popular. They aren't necessarily for those who need glasses to see better, but they can incorporate a range of solutions that help reduce eye stress if you have to look at screens for hours on end. These glasses often use anti-reflective coating, anti-glare treatment, and blue light blocking to give you a way to reduce stress on your eyes just by slipping them on.
- Light up the Dark
These solutions all deal with screens. What if you're not using them? Doing tasks in low-light conditions can also strain your eyes. For these, increase the lighting in your home. It isn't just bright light that can stress your eyes. Trying to focus in low light does this in a different way. Don't work or read in badly lit environments. You don't need the brightest light in the house; just make sure the area is nice and evenly lit.
- Light Improves Performance
For those who have vision problems or who are older, lighting is even more important. A senior typically needs nearly twice the light as someone half their age. Someone with vision issues like macular degeneration or glaucoma will generally feel much more comfortable in a better lit area, where someone without these issues may not mind a more dimly lit room as much.
- Lighting for Different Tasks
The lighting that's right for reading on a Kindle or your phone is going to be different from the lighting that's right to read from a physical book. The lighting that's right to have a half-hour Zoom meeting is going to be different from the lighting that's right to work on a computer for an 8-hour day. The lighting that's right to do the very same task at midday vs. 8 p.m. is often going to be different.
In a world that mixes what's on screens with what's physically in front of us, the lighting that is most comfortable will be different depending on what you're doing. Remember to adjust the lighting as you shift activities and times of the day to keep your eyes relaxed and comfortable.
- Find Your Perfect Set-up
One thing this means is that the perfect lighting set-up won't be the same for all people. A solution that works well for one person may not be as effective for another. Find what works for you. Rather than stumbling around in the dark about how to do this, talk to your optometrist. They know your eyes and can make the most accurate suggestions for what will work to make you comfortable.
One person might need more light because of the work they do. Another might need more even light. The next person might need to adjust their working space. One person may simply need to take more regular breaks to look away. Get your regularly scheduled eye exam, and discuss with your optometrist how to best reduce your eye strain issues. Contact your trusted eye care professionals in Asheville - Asheville Vision Associates.