Glare from artificial light has never been more prevalent than in 2020. Lockdowns have resulted in everyone spending more time in alternative working environments, often your home. This has highlighted imperfections in lighting that were not previously noticed.
Not only does glare from lighting affect moods and human circadian rhythms, it can also be responsible for headaches and eyestrain.
UGR (universal glare rating), which is used to measure glare, is not solely calculated by the light fitting itself as many people think. It considers the brightness of the space, where the luminaire is placed, as well as the viewers line of sight.
If you have ever suffered from any of these issues, below are a few tips for how you can help to address them with small cost effective adjustments:
1 - Angle your light fixture:
Glare often occurs with indoor lighting when the lamps are directly visible. One of the easiest and perhaps most obvious change you can make is by controlling the angle of your light source, so it is not shinning directly into your eyes. Reflecting lights off a surface is a great way to achieve softer light in space to reduce unwanted glare and eye strain.
2 - Use recessed fixtures:
If you currently have downlights installed in your home, a possible fix is to change out your fittings to deep recessed downlights. These are sometimes referred to as “low glare downlights”. This style of fixture has been designed to diffuse the light by reflecting off the housing of the downlight. This style of downlight creates a soft glow, much like the reflection affect mentioned above.
3 - Use a Diffused Lamp (Bulb)
Diffusing your light bulb or lamp can be another effective way to reduce unwanted glare. There are now lamps specifically designed with glare in mind. They have been designed with half the lamp covered to deflect the light away from the end of the lamp. This style of lamp is best used in a pendant or side tables style fixture because of their ability to redirect light up towards the ceiling.
4 - Light Fixture Lens Control
Exterior lighting can also benefit from glare control. Have you ever been momentarily blinded by lighting as you have been walking along a pathway, decking or possibly in a garden?
Asymmetrical lens fixtures are designed to direct light away from a user’s eyes. Often used in uplighter fixtures in decks and pathways. Asymmetrical lens fixtures have grooves in the lens that deflect the light in a particular direction, to improve visual comfort for those walking or sitting nearby.
Honeycomb lens fixtures are also designed in a similar fashion to the asymmetrical style. They direct light in a specific direction to reduce parallel light spill. This offers precision lighting on architectural features but does not affect people as they pass by.
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