[Lighting Tips and Guide] Home office lighting to reduce eye strain in your room
Having a home office can be both a blessing and a curse.
Especially if you have a small dark room then you are using artificial light all the time.
And unknowingly, you are reducing your productivity.
One of the most important aspects of any home office is lighting—the wrong lighting can cause eye strain and fatigue, making it hard to concentrate and focus on tasks.
In this home office lighting guide, we’ll discuss the best home office lighting for eyes, as well as how you can use the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain caused by office lights.
What Is the Eye Strain?
Eye fatigue is a symptom that can be caused by extended exposure to digital screens or long bouts of reading.
This can be worsened by inadequate lighting or glint, but usually disappears after taking a break from the activity.
If you suffer from any vision problems, it is important to visit your optometrist regularly and make sure your eyeglasses are up-to-date and suitable for use.
I have minus power and work on the PC for 8-13 hours a day. Eye lubricant drops are my friend for at least thrice a day.
What causes eye discomfort in home office lighting?
Eye discomfort in home office lighting can be caused by a variety of factors.
These include too much glare from overhead lighting, harsh or unflattering colors in the room, inadequate lighting for tasks, and incorrect positioning of the light source.
For me it is often the lack of natural light and the glaring screen.
The use of natural light when possible is recommended to reduce eye strain.
Additionally, choosing softer or warmer colored lights and having adjustable task lighting can help reduce eye fatigue.
What kind of lighting in your workspace you must avoid?
Blue light from tablets, televisions, and computers should be avoided as much as possible. (I am not kidding.)
Blue light can cause digital eye strain, which can lead to headaches and fatigue. Additionally, blue light has been linked to difficulty sleeping and disruption of the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
So you should talk to your family just before you sleep and not use your phone.
If possible, even during the time of your work from home, you should use your phone less. If possible. 🙁
To reduce the effects of blue light in your workspace, turn off or dim screens when not in use, adjust the display settings on your device, and keep screens away from direct sunlight.
You should also try wearing computer glasses, if you have already eye power like me then you should make prescription glasses with blue light protection.(1)
My own eyeglass has blue light filter, anti-flicker and photochromatic features.
What Are Common Signs and Symptoms of Eye Strain?
Eye strain, also known as asthenopia, is a common condition that occurs when the eyes become fatigued from prolonged use.
Common signs and symptoms of eye strain include headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, double vision, neck and shoulder pain, and eye pain.
People who suffer from eye strain may experience difficulty focusing on objects for long periods of time or having trouble seeing in low-light conditions.
And generally, if you are like me then you would find comfort in closing your eyes.
My eyes get soo tired from working on the computer!
Other symptoms can include tiredness, discomfort when looking at digital screens for extended periods of time, and excessive blinking or squinting.
Over-the-counter artificial tears may help provide relief to those with dry eyes associated with eye strain.
I use an over-the-counter artificial tear drop almost 3 times a day!
Taking frequent breaks while using the computer or other digital devices can also help reduce the severity of eye strain.
✏️ Quick tips to reduce eye strain using general lighting to help avoid eye problem!
- Install adjustable light fixtures/Louvers for windows: Installing adjustable light fixtures is one of the most effective ways to adjust the lighting in your home office.
Those Philips T light bulbs do the work but I would get at least a 30-watt LED tube light and separate task lights if needed.
Table lamps with LED are a good option and these are dimmable too.
- Use natural light: If possible, try to position your desk near a window so you can take advantage of natural lighting during the day.
In our country, in most of the places, we have plenty of sunlight available throughout the year.
At my house, only 1-2 rooms need artificial lights during the day.
But unluckily, my office set up has some led lighting.
I did not want to sit right beside the south window under the bright light.
It would hurt more than help.
Thus, for computer work, you should set up your table sideways to the window, not directly in front of it.
If you have a south-facing window directly in front of your seat, then you will need some heavy curtains.
The sunlight will get into your eyes. It would be better to set up your workstation sideways to the window.
- Utilize indirect lighting: Indirect lighting is great for creating a softer, more ambient atmosphere in your home office and can be accomplished using table lamps with low-wattage LED bulbs.
And do get those lamps with brightness adjustment.
Ambient lights do help as indirect lighting too.
Here Is how You Can Adjust the Lighting for Your Home Office!
Place your computer in a better way to avoid glare on your screen
When setting up your computer, it is important to place it in a way that avoids glare on the screen.
I once set up my large led monitor just opposite a window, and I could not even tell the words on the Google doc on the screen.
Your anti-reflective glasses will not help in this case either. Nada!
Glare can cause eye strain and fatigue, making it difficult to work long hours.
Thus, never ever do not have a window directly behind you. You should sit right beside the window. And trust me, this is the perfect place.
Apart from windows, just avoid any strong light source that is directly behind you. A tube light of 40 watts will do some glares on your screen if it is right behind you.
Natural light is the best lighting for a home office
Natural light is the best lighting for a home office, due to its ability to make a space feel brighter and more inviting.
Warm and gentle light does have some effect on your mind too.
It might help boost productivity by providing an energizing atmosphere. By allowing natural light into your home office through windows or skylights, you can create a comfortable workspace that promotes concentration and creativity.
And fewer electricity bills are good too 🙂
All in all, natural light is an ideal choice for any home office as it provides a positive, inviting atmosphere while helping to reduce energy costs and promote productivity.
Set up your workstation right beside your window. And it will be great if you got a south-facing window to let all the sunlight come in.
Choose an adjustable desk lamp/task light
An adjustable desk lamp or task light is a great way to bring extra lighting into your workspace and make sure that you can see what you are doing.
You should get that one which has an adjustable head and brightness.
A flexible arm so that you can move it around easily and position it exactly where you need it.
These two features are a must, you do not bright light all the time. You should be able to adjust the light accordingly to your needs.
And with the flexible head and arm you can spot that light on your keyboard/table or anywhere else.
A good adjustable desk lamp or task light will last for years and provide excellent lighting for your workspace.
Adjust your window shades as per the Sun
In India, I would say to have two sets of shades on your windows. One for the top part and the other for the rest of the window.
But only invest in this if you have a south facing room.
When the sun is on the top, you can use the top curtain and in you can use the middle curtain when needed as well.
This ensures that direct sunlight does not hit your room. It will make your room comfortable without heat and too much light.
Use Ambient light, for real
Ambient light is a great way to create a comfortable atmosphere in any space. It helps to soften the harsh and strong light from task lights or computer screens, protecting eyes from strain and fatigue.
It works great when you are watching movies in between work as well.
Ambient light can also be used to highlight certain features of a room such as artwork or furniture.
By using ambient lighting, you can create an atmosphere that is both inviting and calming, while still providing enough illumination for tasks such as reading or working on the computer.
Adjust the brightness on the screens you use
Adjusting the brightness of the screens you use is important for your comfort and health. Look for brightness controls in Settings on TVs, computers, and mobile devices.
Increasing the type size on computer can reduce strain from leaning over and squinting.
Keeping screens clean can also help reduce strain from dust and fingerprints. It’s also important to adjust the brightness of the display to match the brightness of your workstation.
If you want to adjust the brightness of several websites, there are browser addons like Lunar, Darkmode etc that can help you do that easily.
All these adjustments will make sure that you don’t strain your eyes while using screens for a long time and have a comfortable experience while working or watching something on them.
Accent lighting and decorative lighting
Accent lighting is a great way to add a touch of style and elegance to any workspace.
It can be used to highlight art pieces, collections, or other special items that you want to draw attention to.
Accent lighting can also be used to create a certain mood or atmosphere in the room.
Limit the amount of fluorescent lighting
The workplace should limit the amount of fluorescent lighting if possible. Fluorescent lighting can be harsh and cause eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.
Your CFL bulbs and tubes have to go away. And you should now get LED lights.
Protect the world, save the electricity—sounds good eh?
LED lights are costly, but they will save you money in the long run.
Remember the 20/20/20 rule
The 20/20/20 rule is an important one to remember when it comes to protecting your eyes from strain.
It encourages people to take a break from digital screens every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
This can be difficult, especially in today’s world where so much of our lives are spent looking at digital screens.
To help form the habit of taking regular breaks, setting a timer on your cell phone can be a great reminder.
Taking these short breaks can help reduce eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision that can come with long periods of staring at a screen.
So remember the 20/20/20 rule and take regular breaks throughout the day!
👁️ Blink More to reduce dryness, irritation, reduced vision, discomfort, and loss of concentration
Blinking is an important part of maintaining healthy eyes, especially when working at a computer. (2)
People tend to blink less frequently when staring at a screen, leading to an increased risk of dry eye problems such as dryness, irritation, reduced vision, discomfort and a loss of concentration.
Artificial tears can be used during the day to reduce dryness and irritation, but not redness-reducing drops.
To prevent these issues from developing, it is recommended that you blink more often while using the computer.
Blinking 10 times every 20 minutes can help reduce the risk of dry eyes from computer use and keep your eyes feeling comfortable and healthy.
Blink with the 20-20-20 rule, so you do not spend additional time on this.
When it comes to creating a workspace that is conducive to productivity, one of the most important elements is lighting. It should be cohesive and distraction-free, with no shadows or contours.
When it comes to lighting tips to reduce eye strain, you should consider reducing the shadows.
To achieve this, it’s best to avoid using multiple light sources of different intensities.
Instead, opt for 1-2 light sources that provide sufficient, diffuse light.
I have one LED tube right on top of me, so there are no shadows on the desk.
This will help prevent hot spots and contrasts that can create shadows and contours.
Additionally, make sure the lights are placed in such a way that they don’t cast shadows on your work surface or computer screen.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your workspace is well-lit and free from distractions caused by shadows and contours.
🥤Drink plenty of water to reduce your risk of eye strain
Drinking plenty of water is essential for eye health. It helps keep the eye tissue hydrated, which is important for maintaining good vision and preventing dry eyes.
Blinking more often is beneficial, especially for contact lens wearers.
This helps keep the eyes lubricated and prevents them from drying out.
If blinking is not frequent enough, natural tears wetting drops can be used every couple of hours to help keep the eyes lubricated and comfortable.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will help ensure that your eyes are healthy and functioning properly.
Maintain Good Posture even during your office work
Maintaining a good posture while working at a computer is essential to reduce eye strain.
The computer screen should be positioned just below your natural line of sight for a slightly downward gaze.
Sitting up straight helps prevent muscle tension in the back and shoulders that can restrict blood flow to the eyes.
It is important to take at least one 10-minute break every hour to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain.
During breaks, stand up and move around to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.
Stretching arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders during breaks can help alleviate any discomfort caused by sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
Good posture not only reduces physical discomfort but also improves mental alertness and productivity.
📏 Increase Your Font Size
Increasing your font size can be a great way to reduce strain on your eyes.
I often increase the font by 2-3 points.
Not only will it make it easier for you to read, but it will also help prevent headaches and other symptoms of eye strain.
Additionally, increasing the font size may make it easier for you to focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions. It’s important to remember that everyone’s eyes are different, so what works for one person may not work for another.
Experiment with different font sizes until you find one that works best for you.
Block Blue Light to reduce eye strain and headaches
Prolonged exposure to blue light from computer and phone screens can lead to eye strain, and headaches, and can also affect sleep.
To reduce the effects of blue light exposure, there are several options available.
Wearing blue light glasses is the best way that can help protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light.
This is a great way to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light while still being able to see clearly.
Upgrade your display to LED
Upgrading your display to LED is a great way to reduce eye strain and fatigue. If you are still using an old CRT monitor, it is recommended that you replace it with an LED screen.
It is your home office and you should invest in it for more productivity.
When selecting a new flat panel display, make sure to choose one with the highest resolution and a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.
If you can spend more, than you should get ultrawide monitors for work.
An ultrawide display is a great way to upgrade your computer setup and improve your overall viewing experience.
Let’s get back to work!
Having light in your home office is extremely important, as it can help to improve your productivity and make you feel more comfortable while working.
Light can also help to make the space appear larger, and if you have enough natural light, it can even help to increase your mood and focus.
Additionally, having good lighting in your home office can help to reduce eyestrain and headaches that may be caused by poor lighting conditions.
Good lighting can also aid in creating a better workspace for yourself, as it can help to provide an inviting atmosphere for both work and relaxation.
Finally, adequate lighting will also help you stay organized and on task when working from home by providing clarity and direction for any tasks that need completing. All of these benefits demonstrate why having light in your home office is so important.