Ergonomics done right.®
May 20th, 2009

Reducing Glare As An Irritation Factor

Glare is a type of light pollution; excessive contrast between dark and bright, or, in terms of eye – luminary interaction, exposure of a too bright surface or light source. Human field of vision extends to 50o above and 70o below the horizontal line of sight, so within this field any light emitting object with exposed light source or uncontrollable high luminance would cause an effect of glare.


Sources of glare may include approaching cars’ headlights on a night highway, in a lecture hall or office environment, or in a retail setting (like jewelry stores).  Please, check for more examples.


Glare leads to a user’s desire to avert eyes from the object, potentially adding more time to adjust and potentially resulting in decreased effectiveness and excessive fatigue.



Microprism shade. Courtesy:


Advancements in lighting technologies permit to avoid or shield the glare. Using louver, lamella or other accessories to create bigger shielding angle is the most traditional solution, where as matted reflectors and microprismatic or translucent plastics are becoming increasingly popular.  We can also avoid glare by correct light planning; working closely with an architect and ergonomic team to choose necessary type of a luminary and light distribution according to the furniture or equipment layout. This light planning is available from professional lighting consultants/designers or upon request from the manufacturers of lighting fittings.

But should the glare always be switched off from the working environment?  Feel free to comment.

Thanks to Nikita Chernovalov for being a Guest Author on this post.