There is nothing worse than sitting down to get some work done on the computer and being uncomfortable. We’ve all been bothered by glare at some point in our lives – we know it when we experience it – but just what is it and how can we reduce glare in our home and work environments?
What is glare?
Glare, as defined by the Illuminating Engineering Society is “The sensation produced by luminances within the visual field that are sufficiently greater than the luminance to which the eyes are adapted to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance or visibility.” In other words, it is when a light in our field of vision is brighter than what our eyes are used to or need.
There are two types of official glare: disability glare and discomfort glare.
Disability glare is when a light is so bright or excessive it interferes with our ability to see and perceive objects. A common example of this is when a car approaches at night with its high beams illuminated. And according to Philips Lighting, “inside a building, bright sunlight entering through a window can cause disability glare.”
Discomfort glare occurs when people feel uncomfortable with their given lighting conditions, but the conditions do not actually cause a reduction in vision. Discomfort glare can result in lowered productivity, eyestrain, or fatigue in the person experiencing it.
What causes glare?
Glare can be caused by any source of light – the sun, a computer screen, a lamp, etc. And it need not be direct light. Glare can be caused by light reflecting off of other surfaces – think of the sun glinting off of the metal on a car or snow on the ground, or a glossy magazine cover reflecting back an overhead light.
Glare is influenced by several factors:
- The number and intensity of light sources in a space
- The angle of the light source – consider the angle of the sun at a given time of year or the position of a light source with respect to your computer or work area
- Certain individual characteristics like the age of a person, having light-colored eyes, and having eye disease like macular degeneration or cataracts.
Why does glare matter?
Glare matters because aside from being uncomfortable, according to the Mayo Clinic, it is a contributing factor to eyestrain. And eyestrain can lead to itchy, watery eyes, headaches, fatigue, blurred or double vision, neck or shoulder pain, and difficulty concentrating. Plus, it can significantly reduce your productivity.
How to reduce glare
With so much at stake, it’s important to reduce glare in our work and living spaces. There are some easy things you can do to set up your space to minimize glare and increase your comfort:
- Adjust your screen brightness – often this is simply a matter of reducing how bright your screen is to bring it in line with the ambient light in the room
- Relocate or reposition your monitor – keeping your monitor out of the direct line of the sun will go a long way to reducing glare. You can also reposition your monitor over the course of the day as the sun moves.
- Lower the wattage of your lightbulbs – this is helpful if you have a harsh overhead light that is too bright. Keeping the level of illumination consistent in a space reduces glare.
- Install an anti-glare screen on your laptop or monitor.
- Install blackout blinds on windows – this will block the sun for entering your space, but will also make you reliant on artificial light sources and block your view of nature
- Install window film – a better idea is to install window film on your windows. Window film reduces the amount of visible light that enters a window reducing glare while still maintaining your views of the outside world. It’s a great way to reduce glare and make you more comfortable in your space!
ComforTech™ Ceramic Series window film by Concord Window Film is professional grade film that you install yourself with our easy-to-use kits. ComforTech™ is available in five beautiful, natural shades that all reduce glare and will have you loving your space again!