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Lighting Tips that are Easy on the Eye

Lighting - by David Neubert - updated on 8/8/2014

Man and a young boy and girl with a dog reading a book in bed

Let’s take a moment to talk about your interior lighting. If you’re one of the many people still working or learning from home, your choice of light bulb can have a big impact on how you feel throughout the day. If you’re experiencing eye strain or constantly feeling sluggish, you might want to consider switching to a different bulb. Here are a few basic tips to help you create the right lighting scheme for your home office or virtual learning center and to help you unwind better once the work day is over.

What is the Best Task Lighting?

The color temperature of your lighting plays an enormous role in how it makes you feel. Color temperature measures how closely the light given off by a light bulb resembles actual daylight and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

When lighting a home office or virtual learning station, you’ll want to use a bulb in the brighter (cooler) white to natural daylight range. These bulbs do a good job of mimicking natural sunlight and will help keep you alert and energized throughout your day. Light bulbs in the range of 4000K to 6500K are ideal.

When staring at a computer, it's also important to consider the brightness level (measured in lumens) of the lamp versus what is being cast by the monitor. Usually a bulb that is 40W or 60W equivalent, or around 500 lumens, is ideal for this use, since this will likely not be as bright as the monitor, minimizing glares and straining eyes. To learn more about color temperature, lumens and other lighting terms, visit our Lighting Purchase Guide.

Dimmable Light Bulbs

In addition to color temperature and brightness, you can also control the ambiance of your home office by using dimmable light bulbs. Dimmability is good for adapting to different activities. For example, a hands-on project might require more light output to perform detailed operations, whereas a lower light output might be more suitable for reviewing documents.

In order to use a dimmable bulb, you’ll need to make sure that your lamp or fixture is equipped with a dimmer switch. Batteries Plus has a number of dimmable bulbs perfect for your home office space. UltraLast A19 bulbs fit most standard lamps and fixtures and are completely dimmable. They're available in convenient 8-packs in a variety of different color temperatures, including 2700K, 4000K and 5000K.

Don’t have a dimmer switch in your home? Opt for one of Batteries Plus’ smart home solutions instead. Smart light bulbs and smart switches allow you to automate your lights so that they can be controlled using your voice, home hub or phone. They also enable you to change between different color temperatures and make your lights fully dimmable.

Is White or Warm Light Better for Reading?

When selecting a bulb for your bedside reading table, you’ll want to opt for warmer light that is lower on the Kelvin scale. Warmer light is better for your eyes when reading and has a more relaxing effect. Although many people usually prefer softer, warmer tones in the 2500K – 3000K range in the bedroom, it's okay to consider something a little higher (brighter white) for a reading light, creating a greater contrast for the words on the page and making reading easier on the eyes. Regardless, for any type of reading, you'll want a bulb of 500 lumens or higher so that the light is bright enough to help you avoid eyestrain.

Other Reading Bulb Considerations

The most typical bedside reading lamp is one that sits on a nearby nightstand. For these lamps, it's preferable to use bulbs that provide omnidirectional light output that can be screwed into a typical fixture, accompanied by a lamp shade, to avoid harshness and glares. The dimmable UltraLast bulbs mentioned above are a great source of omnidirectional lighting.

A space-saving option to consider is a mounted lamp, either on the wall or on the headboard. This is a versatile option, capable of shifting the beam angle to adapt to a body's positioning in bed. Specialized bulb sizes are best for these types of lamps.

Another specifically-directed lighting option to try is using recessed fixtures in the ceiling right above the bed. This is an ideal way to precisely highlight the reading material without illuminating the rest of the room. MR16s are a good choice for light bulbs to use in this application, as they will project a narrow spot light that can be aimed at the optimal beam angle.

Batteries Plus is Your Lighting Headquarters

For more information, browse our selection of light bulbs online, or stop in at your nearest Batteries Plus location. Our light bulb experts will be happy to work with you to find the best option for any room in your home. They can even show you how different bulbs look when compared to others, so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.

Looking for Home Lighting? Want to know which color temperature is best?

View our Lighting Guide