What's New
Health & Fitness
Legal & Financial
Home & Garden
Arts & Leisure
Forever Young
Just for Fun
Mind Expanders
Text Fun
About Us
Search the Site

Lighting a work area

It seems like I never see the screen very well. Some people tell me fluorescent lights are better, others say incandescent. Any advice for lighting my work area? Thanks.

Computer work is demanding on the eyes. Surfing the net too much can make your eyes tired and interfere with your quality while gaming.

You mention that you "never see the screen very well". Flawed eyesight can make it difficult to see a computer clearly. If you have not had an eye examination in the last two years, see an eye-care professional. Be sure to explain the distances and angles from your eyes to the computer monitor.

If the problem is not your eyesight then you can try several ergonomic strategies to overcome the situation you describe. When a computer workstation is not setup using "humanware" principles a "whitewash effect" can appear on your monitor.

Traditionally, offices have been brightly lit for working with paper, which is not necessarily a good environment for working with computers. An office with too much light can make it difficult to see the screen well.

Eyestrain can result which often reduces performance and increases errors. Also, computer users often adopt awkward postures in an attempt to avoid glare or other causes of visual discomfort

Determine if you are getting too much exterior light in your work area. If so, block windows using blinds, partitions, or window tint. Because daylight varies in intensity, adjustable lighting is especially helpful. A window that faces west often has problems in the afternoon.

Too much interior light can be adjusted by: reducing the number of bulbs in the fixture, using lenses in the fixture

Reflective light can be coming from behind or above you. Objects such as pictures may need to be repositioned to block the reflection. Painting the walls a dark color can reduce the reflectivity from the walls. Beware of monitor glare. A quality glare screen can alleviate this problem.

Fluorescent lights are often harsh and produce eyestrain. The light they produce lacks the full spectrum of colors your eyes expect from natural light. This can be corrected. One solution: use full spectrum tubes that slip over florescent bulbs, conditioning light to more closely approximate natural daylight.

It has been suggested that "normal" fluorescent flicker may cause eyestrain. To make your work area "eye friendly", mix in a significant amount of incandescent lighting with fluorescent lighting.

A good rule for lighting in your work area is to have an equal amount of brightness in your field of view.

Good luck,

Meet our Ergonomics Expert

Have a question on ergonomics? Ask our expert at qa@ClevelandSeniors.Com

ClevelandSeniors.com - the home of health information for seniors and boomers age 50 and over

Top of Page

Back to Ergonomics for Seniors

Ergonomics expert Dave Pfeil

Copyright 2004-2010 ClevelandSeniors.Com. All Rights Reserved.
Questions or Comments? E-Mail us at: