This post was contributed by Emily Wilde of Pegasus Lighting, an online retailer specializing in unique lighting fixtures for both residential and commercial settings.
If you’re in the process of setting up an adjustable height desk, a keyboard tray, and/or an ergonomic chair for maximum comfort at your workspace, don’t leave lighting out of the planning. All too often, people plop an adjustable lamp on the desk surface and assume it’s adequate.
In fact, the harsh backlighting from your computer screen and phone throughout the day can be incredibly harmful to your eyes. The American Optometric Association reported that 70 percent of people who work in front of a computer for at least two hours a day are impacted by Computer Vision Syndrome. The symptoms include fatigue, decreased productivity, and headaches. Sound familiar?
To ensure your desk lighting is working for you instead of against you, follow these simple tips:
- Keep glare to a minimum. If possible, avoid bright lighting overhead. The best lighting for a workspace is a combination of indirect lighting and task lighting. Position yourself so any windows are to the side of your computer screen (rather than to the front or back of it).
- Position desk lamps about 15 inches above the desk’s surface. Take out a ruler if you have to! Fifteen inches will create the ideal light level for proper task lighting.
- Install under-shelf lighting in any wall-mounted shelves above your desk. A linear light fixture will ensure even light distribution to eliminate eye strain. Take advantage of existing shelves that are about 15 inches above the desk, or install a new one yourself.
- Incorporate mini-breaks throughout your day to avoid the negative effects of prolonged computer use. Also, optometrists often recommend following the “20-20-20” rule: For every 20 minutes you are staring at your computer, look away at distant object (at least 20 feet away) for 20 seconds.
Check out the Pegasus Lighting blog for more great lighting tips.