Tips

Learn more about good reading lighting

Seagull by QisDesign
Ingo Schaer
Written by Ingo Schaer

When it gets cold and uncomfortable outside, we have more time to get cozy with a book in our warm home. In order to make the reading experience relaxing and gentle on the eyes, you should ensure to have appropriate lighting.

bl3

BL3 floor lamp by Gubi

This lamp is equipped with an intelligent altitude system that requires no screws. The rotating diffuser can be aligned as required.

Relaxing in an armchair with a good book – this mainly happens in the evening, exactly then, when we rely on artificial light. Regardless of where you prefer to do your reading, a simple principle applies: create a bright, atmospheric zone amid a subdued ambient light. This protects the eyes and the letters will not get blurred before your eyes. If you like to read on the couch or in a comfortable chair in the living room, a flexible floor lamp with two light sources is useful. The directed light should shine in a (beam) angle of 35 to 60 degrees on the book and be adjustable in height. The second light should illuminate the ceiling and thus ensure a pleasant indirect light.

As a general rule your newspaper or book should always be shadow free. A ceiling lamp normally does not work very well, because it is most likely that your head or upper body will cast a shadow on the paper. However, a laterally positioned light fixture works very well. In addition to this, the bulbs should be installed so deep within the light fixture that they don’t create any scatter light. It should also be noted that the light fixture should be positioned in a way that no reflections caused by the lights will be created on the paper.

Many people prefer to concentrate on their newspaper at the dining table. In this case, you should install a light fixture which can be dimmed above the table, because the correct brightness for reading is significantly larger than that for dining. Another standard reading situation is work at your desk. The advantage here is, without a doubt, that you can take notes at the same time or research the internet. In addition to that, you have the right tools at your fingertips. For general lighting, a light intensity between 300 and 500 lux is recommended. You should direct actual reading light on the work area to protect your eyes. Keep in mind not to create any shadows. A light intensity of 500 to 1,000 lux would be the best, because visual performance is at its best on light surfaces.

Seagull by QisDesign

Seagull by QisDesign

Two rotary switches are integrated in the body of the light fixture: the front one adjusts the brightness and the rear one adjusts the lighting angle.

Relaxing bedtime reading

If you like to end the day with an evening reading in bed, it might be nice to be able to regulate the ambient light from bed as well. For reading in bed flexible wall lamps are especially suitable, in addition to free-standing light fixtures with adjustable reflectors and small table lamps. Installing flexible wall lamps does not only save space, but they can also not be tipped over. Choose one that is adjustable in all directions and can be dimmed, because only this ensured that the desired brightness will land exactly on your pages.

Trebola by El Torrent

Trebola by El Torrent

Elegant eye-catcher for your home office.

With a typically short distance from the lamp to the book, you can reach the required 500 lux light intensity with a 20 Watt halogen lamp. It is best if your lamp is about half a meter (less than 2 feet) above your shoulder. For good night reading neither very bright nor bluish lights are advisable, since they might otherwise signal your body day mode. The formation of the sleep hormone melatonin would be inhibited, and falling asleep might be difficult. A reddish and warm light color is recommended. You can adjust the brightness according to your daily form and the letter size. By focusing the light, your book will be lit well and evenly – and your partner will not be disturbed.

GOOD COLOR RENDERING

Illustrated books with photographs or art can only be enjoyed when the light reflects all colors. In addition to halogen lamps, which have a complete color range, high quality LED lamps are suitable. Their color rendering index now exceeds the required value of RA = 90.

About the author

Ingo Schaer

Ingo Schaer

Ingo has been in the lighting business for over 20 years. He regularly blogs about trends and tips in the industry while running one of the most complete contemporary lighting ecommerce sites on the net. Please take a moment to browse his website and feel free to contact Ingo for all your lighting needs.

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