Why a simple desk lamp is not enough when working from home

  • Living
  • Monday, 24 Jan 2022

Desk lamps are important, but they are not enough when working from home the entire day. Photo: Christin Klose/dpa-tmn/dpa

Do your eyes ever hurt at the end of a long day working from home? Are they more tired than usual? This may be due to poor desk lighting, which is especially important when it's dark.

Light that is evenly distributed in a room helps with concentration, according to an industry initiative from Germany's Electro and Digital Industry Association.

It relieves strain on the eyes because they do not have to constantly adjust to the different brightness levels in the room.

You should therefore not only use a single desk lamp when working at your computer but also switch on the overhead light in the room.

The lighting level in the room where you're working should be at least 300 lux, according to experts. This is achieved by using light bulbs with about 600 lumens.

You can use a luxmeter or a light meter app on your smartphone to check the brightness level in your home or office.

Indirect light on ceilings and walls, for example from wall or floor lamps, is usually perceived as pleasant. Alternatively, the experts recommend ceiling lights with a diffuser or a track system with wide-beam lighting.

The lighting for your desk should consist of two components. Experts recommend an anti-glare pendant light with direct and indirect lighting components installed above the desk and a desk lamp with an adjustable lamp arm and head.

The latter should be positioned so that the writing hand does not cast a shadow – on the left side of the desk for right-handed people, or on the right for the left-handed.

When working at a computer screen on shiny surfaces, the lamp should be positioned in such a way to avoid reflections on your screen.

At your desk, illuminance should be at least 500 lux, which is provided by a light bulb with 1,000 lumens. As you get older, a higher lighting level may also be a good idea as the need for light increases.

According to the industry initiative, studies have shown that people in their 60s need four times as much light as 20-year-olds to perceive a room as equally bright.

But the need for more light already increases from the age of 35. Experts also recommend brighter light for strenuous visual tasks, which can be easily provided by installing dimmable lights. – dpa

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