• Deen Gabriel

Lighting for healthier eyes

Poor lighting in the home is more than just an inconvenience - it’s bad for your eye health and can lead to deterioration of eyesight and headaches. And with so many of us working from home, there couldn't be a better time to invest in lighting that not only adds elements of peace and tranquility to your home, but ensures you're not doing any long-term damage to your eyes either.

Avoiding or reducing eye strains is as simple as adjust the lighting you use when watching television. "It may be easier on your eyes if you keep the room softly lit," suggests

"When reading printed materials or doing close work, try to position the light source behind you and direct the light onto your page or task. If you're reading at a desk, use a shaded light positioned in front of you. The shade will keep light from shining directly into your eyes.

"Take breaks. When doing close work, take occasional breaks and rest your eyes by looking away from the digital screen."

It also makes sense to limit screen time. "This is especially important for children, who may not make the connection between extended viewing, eyestrain and the need to rest their eyes regularly".

Three different types of lighting establish the feel of a room, from romantic to practical - and either of these can be used to rejuvenate your home during a renovation project:

1. Ambient lighting - fills a room with bright light or a mellow glow.

2. Task lighting - focuses a beam of light on a work area.

3. Accent lighting - highlights art or an architectural feature.

But when it comes to creating a comfortable environment and protecting your eyes it goes beyond task lighting to include full-spectrum light, that is evenly distributed and avoids any unnecessary glares, according to Eurolux. They break down their top tips as follows.

Illuminate your work area

A major source of eye strain in the home is a poorly illuminated work area. For tasks such as reading, writing, and computer work, a lamp with an adjustable arm allows you to direct the beam of light where you need it most so that you can clearly see what you’re doing. In the kitchen, focused light above the kitchen island and lighting under cabinets ensure you can chop food and read recipe books without straining your eyes.

Ensure even light distribution

If you’ve ever moved from a brightly lit room into a room with a lower level of light you would have noticed a slight discomfort. That’s because going between strong and weak light requires your eyes to adjust and this tires them out. This can easily be avoided by ensuring an even distribution of light sources across the rooms in your home.

Install dimmer switches

Constant bright light causes eye strain and headaches. While bright illumination is necessary for carrying out tasks, the ability to lower the level of lighting when you’re relaxing is helpful too. Connecting your lights to a dimmer switch allows you to turn up the brightness for task-oriented activities and lower it again when you require a more calming ambience. This is especially important for areas like the bedroom and living room.

Don't forget about staircases and hallways

Stairs and long, dark hallways are a tripping hazard. Install lights up the stairway and down your hallway to prevent accidents from happening. This is especially useful for helping visitors and guests navigate your home as they may not be familiar with the layout.

Go full-spectrum

Full-spectrum lighting is lighting that covers the full spectrum of light from infrared to near-ultraviolet. This type of artificial light is healthiest for eye health because it helps you perceive colour better. Experts in the lighting field claim that because full-spectrum lighting simulates the effects of UV rays from sunlight, it can positively impact our mood and energy levels.

Avoid glare

The older we get the more sensitive we become to glare. Whether it be sunlight streaming through a window or artificial light reflected off shiny surfaces, this excessive and uncontrolled brightness is unpleasant and causes harm to your eyes. Select wall paints and furniture in matte finishes as opposed to glossy to reduce the amount of reflective surface in your home.


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