To choose an eye protection lamp, you need to ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
- What light color fits my needs?
- How much light is enough?
- Which light bulbs are best for eyesight?
In this article, I will explain each question and describe what you need to know to pick the best eye protection lamp.
We receive about 85 percent of information through our sense of sight.
So working near an improper light can be a serious problem for our eyes and can cause various eye issues like:
- dry eyes
- lack of productivity
The annual economic impact of major vision problems among the adult population 40 years and older is more than $145 billion.
That’s why it is so important to choose a good and healthy light for your various activities.
I will share with you some of my experiences with light and picking a satisfactory lamp just like I did for myself.
Let us begin!
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Question #1: What Light Color Fits My Needs? – Understanding Light And Color Temperatures
Not every light is the same.
Light is electromagnetic radiation with various frequencies also called wavelengths that determine its color. We only see a small part of the entire spectrum.
White light is not just white light but an equal mix of different colors of the visible spectrum.
Color temperature is the ability of the light to appear different in color. Its unit of measurement is Kelvin or K for short.
Higher Kelvin means the light will appear whiter.
That’s why we can see different light sources in different colors ranging from warm soft yellowish to blueish-white light.
So why is this important for choosing an eye protection lamp? Because:
1. not every light color is good for your eyes, and
2. different light impacts your mood
Then which light color is best? It depends on the situation we are handling.
What Type Of Light Is Best For You?
Different situations need different light.
Warm Soft Light
Warm soft light is best used for reading in front of a desk or in front of a computer. It’s also good for general illumination in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and similar. They provide a warm, soothing, and relaxing atmosphere.
Cool White Light
Cool white light is best used in office spaces where concentration is needed and for task-oriented jobs. Also, it is good for kitchens, bathrooms, and garages. They provide a more energized and productive mood.
Blueish White Light
Blueish-white light is best used working on projects that need to focus on small details. Can be also used in kitchens and bathrooms. Great for applying makeup too. They too provide more of a stimulated and productive mood.
Bad use of light would be for example, if you are working on drawing projects and you are using a warm soft light.
You won’t necessarily injure your eyes, but you will start to squint in other to see what are you drawing. And that can lead to several other bigger problems in the future.
Also, prolonged exposure to cool and blue-white lights can harm your eyes and your mood, especially in the evenings and late hours.
One of the negative effects is a sleep disorder.
So it is important to know when to use a specific light at a certain time of the day.
Cool and bright lights are good in the mornings when you are at work and need concentration.
While warm lights are good in the evening when you come back from work and what to relax.
Knowing color temperatures and their effects is the first step in choosing an eye protection lamp. There is no such thing as a light that fits all situations; each situation needs different light. Also, light color affects your mood differently so you need to know to use each type of light color.
Question #2: How Much Light (Lumens) Is Enough?
I covered this topic in our article How Many Lumens Do I Need For A Desk Lamp? so here I will give you a quick summary:
- for reading and writing, you need about 450 lumens of light power
- for office desks and similar task-oriented jobs, a minimum of 800 lumens is needed
- for some specific tasks and projects that require focusing and looking at small details, a minimum of 1100 lumens is needed
Sometimes having weak light is not an issue but also having too much strong light is.
Question #3: Which Light Bulbs Is Best For Eyesight?
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Fluorescent bulbs or tubes are devices that work by ionizing mercury vapor to produce light.
They are mainly installed in office buildings, schools, shopping malls, and similar commercial buildings.
Although these bulbs are more energy-efficient and last longer than their predecessor – incandescent bulbs, they are not perfect.
Older fluorescent bulbs located in various buildings emit enough ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and electromagnetic fields that can be harmful to your eyes.
Also, they flicker a lot which means they don’t emit a constant light and they go on off very quickly that you don’t notice most of the time.
A flicker appears as a result of voltage changes or a ripple in the current system which leads to unequal light output.
Quick action – simple flicker test!
With your smartphone camera, you can test your light source if it flickers. Just point the camera to the light source and see on the screen if you notice a series of dark and light bands traveling across the screen. If you see it then your light flickers but if they are not that noticeable then it’s good. For more precise measurements, you can download a flicker test tool. See the video below!
Their new counterpart, FCL bulbs (compact fluorescent lamps), emit less UV radiation and they don’t flick. But again they still emit enough UV radiation that is not healthy to your eyes if they are too close to you.
While they won’t give you cancer they may increase UV-related eye diseases.
Keep them at least a foot away from your body at all times!
Another thing to consider is the mercury liquid inside. Mercury is toxic to humans and you need to be very careful with its disposal.
LED Light Bulbs
The LED stands for “light-emitting diode” that emits light when an electric current moves through it.
They are becoming the standard form of bulbs around the world and it’s not surprising why.
Not only are they very energy-efficient they also have a huge lifespan of around 50.000 hours of use. How crazy is that!?
With various light colors that they can produce they also are dimmable and not hot to the touch.
Compared to fluorescent bulbs LEDs don’t emit UV radiation and don’t flicker which means they are healthier for your eyes.
I personally recommend everyone use LED lights in their house and in workspaces. Not just because they are super-efficient but because they are very adjustable for various situations.
Even though fluorescent tubes and CFLs are energy-efficient you should still avoid using them just because of the mercury liquid inside. They also need to be carefully disposed of since they are toxic to humans and to the environment. LEDs on the other hand, don’t have mercury inside so they are much safer. Also, they are even more efficient than CFL light bulbs and tend to last longer.
Lamp Features To Look For
So we now know some useful things about light and what kind of light bulbs are a good fit.
But what about actually picking a lamp?
What desk or table lamp features do we need to look for that are beneficial to our eyes?
As I said before LEDs are a great choice so pick a lamp that has LEDs.
Also, and more importantly, see that it has many dimmable or brightness options. This will come in handy for setting the light power that you need for various activities.
Furthermore, the lamp needs to have color temperatures or lighting modes for adjusting the light for various modes that you need.
Typically it needs 3 options for relaxing, reading, and working.
Some will need many color temperature options while some may not need them.
It really depends on what you are going to use the lamp for.
Click the link here so you can read more about how I picked my desk lamp. Also, you will find more useful tips about protecting your eyes during work time.
The lamp must adjust to your needs, not another way around. Look for lamps that have many dimmable and color temperature options. That way, you can arrange the light to fit your every need and simultaneously protect your eyes against extremes.
I hope this article helped you and that you learned what factors to include when picking and choosing an eye protection lamp.
It’s all about knowing the abilities of light and its effects on us.
The key is to know which type of light is best for individual situations and in moderation of use.
Author: Toni Segvic
Owner of the looneylumens.com website. A tech enthusiast and a marketer. Lover of lamps. Since I spend the better part of my days in front of the computer, I take my lamps very seriously. They impact my productivity and eyesight tremendously. My motto is: “Focus on the things that you can control. Leave the rest to God.”