If you find yourself suffering from a headache, migraines or sore eyes after a day in the Office its likely caused by the lights!
Artificial light is know to cause Eye fatigue and is caused by several factors. The picture shows the most common fitting using Fluorescent tubes, a majority of Offices using suspended tiled ceilings with 60x60cm or 60x120cm fluorescent lights as in the picture.
Most Fluorescents Emit Infrared, Ultraviolet, they can also cause Glare and create Flicker.
Whilst LED panels will eliminate the harmful Infrared & Ultraviolet, they can still produce Glare and create Flicker.
All these issues can contribute to eye fatigue with Infrared and ultraviolet causing Immaculata deterioration. The Sun also emits Infrared and Ultraviolet, that’s why we use suncreams and wear sunglass on bright sunny days.
Offices changing to LED often report issues with the light being too Bright or increased Glare on the computer screens and people suffering with migraines. This is due to two factors, the colour temperature and the filtration of the lens.
Glare is the harshness of the light which can cause reflections on computer screens for example.
Bright sunlight can also cause glare, which is why it’s a good idea to wear polaroid sunglasses.
Far from suggesting that we should start wearing sunglasses in our Offices but it is important that interior lights in Offices are Low Glare. There is an industry standard for glare its UGR rating. This needs to be below UGR19.
LED panels come is several shades of white, these are measured in Kelvins. Generally these are termed as warm white, (4,000k) daylight (5,000k) and cool white (6,000k)
As LED panels are generally brighter with a wider beam than Fluorescent panels, reducing the number of fittings can be achieved without loss of light. Generally we reduce the number of fittings by up to 30%. Of cause this also reduces energy use further.
Flicker or Strobing is caused by poor smoothing of the electronics. This is when AC (alternating Current) Mains Electricity Supply is bleeding through in the visible Light. Whilst this is not obvious to the naked eye, its easily detectable if viewed through a camera lens or your mobile phone.
Flicker or Strobing is known to be a cause of headaches, migraines, and for some if is serious as it cause fits. Flicker is the invisable elephant in the room, no body knows what the long term effects are and how affects our eyes’s and brains. Certainly stree and tiredness do effect our performance.
If you suffer from headaches or migraines you should ask your health and safety officer if the company has a “Kind to the eyes” policy. It’s vitally important that companies have responsible policies for their office employees and eyesight should be a priority.
As a lighting supplier/installer we have always recommended “kind to eye’s” LED panels rather than the cheapest panel. The Bonus is that better quality LED panels last up to 5 times longer, Less are required, reduces absentee rates and improves productivity.