Controlling light levels for a comfortable workspace when working on screens

Technological advances mean that more and more people use a computer in their workspace and also digital equipment when mobile. Undoubtedly, this has many advantages as work processes become more streamlined, and as an individual you are probably a much more effective employee than you were before the computer age. However, the downside of changing the ways in which we work is that you are inevitably spending more and more time in front of a screen and being exposed in the process to an increasing amount of blue light.

What is blue light?

Blue wavelengths are beneficial during the daytime, not least because they boost your attention, improve your reaction times and even your mood. If you’re in the habit of working late, however, all that blue light becomes disruptive and may cause sleep disturbances and possibly contribute to the development of serious illnesses. Scientists have revealed that dim lighting may also pose a health risk because it interferes with your body’s secretion of melatonin and may disturb your circadian rhythms (which keep you attuned to a 24-hour cycle). How can you make sure you stay safe and well while using a computer or other device? Here are a few things to check out that will help you minimize the negative effects of working in the electronic age.

Consider your environment

Unsurprisingly, natural daylight is the most beneficial type of light, and window treatments that help you control the amount of daylight in your workspace are the best solution. If you feel there is too much sunlight streaming through your windows, don’t block it out completely by pulling down shades or drapes – this will increase the intensity of blue light being emitted from your screen. Instead, consider investing in window shutters with louvers that help you control precisely the amount of daylight for working comfortably and safely.

Protect your eyes

To prevent damage to your retina from blue light, you can use special orange-tinted eyeglasses that partially block it, just as you use sun cream to bock UV light from your skin. Amber eyeglasses are available with varying degrees of light-filtering power, and clip-on versions can be used if you already wear prescription spectacles. You can also buy protective screens that have a similar effect.

There’s an app for that

Inevitably, you can use software programs to help control the amount of light that your screens are emitting. Blue light filters can be downloaded to handheld devices as well as laptop and desktop computers, and most work with a variety of operating systems, including iOS, Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Apps such as these are developed in order to help lessen possible eye damage from blue light such as nearsightedness, macular degeneration, and eye strain. Increasingly, more and more people are paying attention to the impact of screen brightness in their daily life.

Once you’ve sorted out your workspace, turn your attention to home – the places where you watch TV, play electronic games or work could all benefit from light-controlling shutters, and you may want to check out the available apps for computer devices.

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