Avoiding Eyestrain in Your Home and Office

Young student at home desk reading studying at night with pile of books and coffee cup in dim light.

We all know the feeling of getting lost in a good book. When you started, the sun was high in the sky and before you knew it, the light has faded and suddenly you’re straining to see. Are you causing irreparable damage to your eyesight, as your mother would have had you believe?

Does Reading in Dim Light Cause Damage to Eyes?

Optometrists say that while you will not cause long-term damage to your eyesight by reading in dim light, chances are you will cause short-term eyestrain and dryness of eyes. In addition, reading by dim light makes it harder to concentrate because you are unconsciously trying too hard to see.

That being said, continuous and excessive reading, whether by dim or bright light, causes short-sightedness. This could be due to the contraction of muscles involved in focusing the eye, which may stretch the eyeball, making it change shape and become short-sighted. When we read in dim lighting, our pupils get bigger to let in more light, and this light enters in refracted or bent from the edges of the pupils. This creates a slightly blurred vision that, while not noticeable immediately, could manifest into short-sightedness after a few years.

Best forms of lighting for reading and doing work

If you want to be able to read in comfort and with total peace of mind for the welfare of your eyes, correct lighting is absolutely necessary. The best type of lighting for reading is to incorporate local or task lighting. The most obvious choice is a lamp on the table by your bedside or next to your favourite comfy chair. Make sure the light is angled onto the page of your book so that you don’t have to change your posture or bend in any way that might strain your body for the sake of not straining your eyes. LED lamps are great for efficient and bright light, but fluorescents are also good for an even tone behind a lampshade. Halogen lamps, however, are among the best for task lighting as they are energy efficient, in comparison with incandescent bulbs, and they give off a light most similar to daylight, white and bright.

Overhead track lighting is also ideal, for example, if you’re the type who likes to stretch out on the couch for a good reading session. That way you can change position as many times as you want, but the spotlights will still shine down onto your page, illuminating the latest chapter for you.

If you’re one who enjoys a bubble bath and a read, overhead pendant lights create an ambient glow in the bathroom that will both relax you and provide sufficient concentrated light onto your book. Not to mention how stylish they look as a light fixture in your bathroom.

Avoid the harmful effects of reading in dim lighting by upgrading your lighting solutions. Call ANL Lighting today.