7 Tips For Reconsidering Your Home Lighting For Healthier Eyes

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
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Good indoor lighting is important when it comes to preventing tired eyes, keeping them healthy over the years, and even enhancing your mood. Here are some things to consider when designing or redesigning your home for healthier eyes.

1. Seek Out Even Light Distribution 

It takes time for your eyes to adjust when going from strong to weaker lights. So, having extremely bright lighting in your living room, while having a dimly-lit dining area can tire your eyes when moving from one room to the other. This is why it's important to ensure that there's a relatively even distribution of light sources across the various rooms in your home. LED panels that illuminate wide expanses of the ceiling is a good way to improve light distribution across an area of your home. 

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2. Incorporate Dimmer Functions 

Harsh and bright lights can cause damage to your eyes. Though strong lighting may be needed when you're performing tasks, it’s best to reduce strong light sources to prevent eyestrain while you're relaxing in the evenings. One way to do so is to incorporate dimmer functions into your living room and bedroom light sources, which can also help create a more calming mood. 

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3. Introduce Task Lighting

Desk lamps and other task lighting sources are recommended for reading, writing, and other activities that require focused vision over prolonged periods of time. Small lamps that have arms or swivels that can be lowered or raised are effective for directing light to the exact spot you want illuminated. Place task lamps near desktops, work spaces, reading areas, or food preparation surfaces. Consider under-cabinet lighting for the kitchen. 

4. Install Safety Lights

If your home has stairs or dark hallways, then installing stair and path-finding lights is a smart way to prevent accidents and help children or visitors navigate your home when it's dark. 

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5. Avoid Fluorescent Flickers 

Fluorescent lights sometimes flicker when they warm up. Though it usually stops once the electricity flow stabilizes, some people still sense the flickering afterwards, especially when the voltage flow to the bulb changes. The strobe-like effect of flickering bulbs can cause eyestrain and headaches. Avoid this by choosing high-quality, stable light bulbs and fixtures. 

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6. Watch Out For Glare 

As we age, we experience sensitivity to glare that's caused by sunlight, light reflected off shiny surfaces, or other sources of illumination. Prevent glare by choosing wall paints and furniture with matte—rather than glossy—finishings and use polarized glass, curtains, or blinds to reduce the glare from the wrong type of natural light entering the windows. 

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7. Use Full-Spectrum Lights 

Full-spectrum lighting (light that covers the full—or almost full—spectrum of light, from infrared to near-ultraviolet) is the best form of artificial light for your eyes. Full-spectrum light helps most people perceive color better, which is particularly important for artists and designers. Some experts even claim that because full-spectrum light simulates the effects of sunlight and its UV rays, it can have a positive impact on your mood and energy levels. Full-spectrum lighting also helps to create a more comfortable reading and studying environment. 

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