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Workplace lighting for a healthy office

office task lightWorking with poor office lighting doesn’t cause any damage to the eyes, but it can cause eyestrain symptoms. As 85 per cent of environmental information is gathered through your eyes, good lighting is essential in designing a healthy office.

Workplace lighting must be comfortable, with maximum light on any details that need particular attention such as reading small print or doing intricate design work.

Office light levels

However, light should be kept away from computer screens as these generate their own illumination. (Compare reading a mobile phone screen in a dark room, with viewing the same screen outside on a sunny day.)
The outdoor light level is approximately 10,000 Lux on a clear day. This obviously reduces inside a building. Light levels close to windows may be around 1,000 Lux but the further away from natural light, this drops dramatically; lightng in some central office areas may be as low as 25 or 50 Lux. In those cases, extra lighting is often needed to compensate for low levels of natural light.

Today light levels are commonly in the range of 500-100 Lux, depending on type of work. Precision work needs higher levels of light; for example, detailed drawing and mechanical work typically needs 1500-2000 Lux. And some high-visual, low-contrast work can need as much as 20,000 Lux.

Glare on display screens

Glare can also cause discomfort. Some people are particularly sensitive to glare and any form of artificial light. If this affects your employees, a light-tinted spectacle lens can help.
Glare from computer screens is less common these days as screens have improved a great deal. However, if any of your team members wear glasses and regularly use a computer, they may find that anti-reflective lenses help. These lenses minimise reflection on the front surface of the lenses. Having regular eye tests (at least every two years) can be helpful in identifying and correcting any potential problems.

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