Connected Light explains: Why glare plays a crucial role in lighting wellbeing and design

At Connected Light, we’re determined to provide the kindest, most useful and most human-centric light available.

We’ve covered such themes extensively in our blog. And as part of our knowledge sharing, we want to look at a vital element in the workplace; glare.

Everyone knows that glare is not only unpleasant; it’s damaging. But the questions on just how damaging, and what sort of alternatives are out there remain less well explored.

The dangers of glare

‘Non-diffuse, bright indoor lights create uneven levels of brightness in the visual field,’ explains the WELL Building Standard, a leading tool for advancing health and well-being in buildings.

‘The resulting glare, defined as “excessive brightness of the light-source, excessive brightness-contrasts and excessive quantity of light.” can cause visual discomfort, fatigue, visual impairment and even injury.’

Even your desk can cause trouble: ‘Glare is commonly generated when high-intensity electric or natural light reflects off glossy surfaces that may be positioned at suboptimal angles in and around occupant spaces, in relation to windows.’

With all this in mind, its plain glare isn’t so simple to manage. Thankfully, there are a decent range of ways to help.

How to combat glare: A summary

At Connected Light, glare is an essential consideration in all of our commercial lighting projects. For those embarking on upgrading their workplace with kinder, safer lighting, here are some things to think about:

  • Intelligent dimming controls: These can automatically reduce artificial lighting levels when sunlight is shining, to avoid the double intensity of natural and electric light. This reduces glare as well as saving energy.
  • Well-diffused light: LEDs by their nature provide an intense, directional light, however this is now a mature technology and the best products have been designed to diffuse the light over a large surface area, minimising glare. Unfortunately the market is also flooded with poor quality products that do not provide the same protection, so question your supplier.
  • Glare rating: In the lighting industry, glare is measured by the ‘Universal Glare Rating’ (UGR). CIBSE Lighting Guide 11, and other standards recommend that office lighting should have a UGR of less than 19.

Taking first steps to addressing glare

Truly holistic lighting design must consider the people that inhabit a space. The far sighted companies that apply such long term solutions to glare will see profit, happiness and positivity in the workplace increase too.

This is where engaging the help of experts such as Connected Light can help. We’d be delighted to offer advice, share best practice case studies and consider the best ways to set up your workplace. Get in touch to see how we can help.