Are you happy with your office's lightings?

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Tourist Trap
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Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby Tourist Trap » Apr 20, 2019 13:27

Hello everyone,

I wished to share around the topic of lights at office. It's not absolutly straightforward that this will be related to programming, and yet, I found out those days that it is. Simply, a good lightning helps to keep at screen and do good work happilly, while bad lightning is just eye killer, and can disgut from approaching the keyboard.

I wasn't aware of this phenomenom before, so I'm just posting this for the purpose of sharing awareness. Digging up the net, I find for instance this short sentence:
dim lighting can cause eye strain and headaches, because, when lighting is inadequate, the eyes are forced to work much harder in order to see

https://www.andrewjensen.net/how-office ... ductivity/

From what I learnt to my own expense this winter:
never work in dark condition
have a far horizon in front of you, not just a wall with glossy painting
have 2 identical screens, both in size and tunning, and also frequency
have a look at rich landscapes and visual stimulus when you leave the work

If anyone knows more, please let use know.

Thanks anyway, and please save your health at any price :)


Image
ps: I also noticed than price scanning lasers from the market places tend also to hurt. They leave a print on the retina a few second for the least! I'm pretty sure that all this powerfull lightning is not at all retina friendly, and should never meet the eyes, neither adult's ones, nor above all children tiny eyes.
Last edited by Tourist Trap on Apr 21, 2019 15:32, edited 1 time in total.
badidea
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightning?

Postby badidea » Apr 20, 2019 16:48

I luckily spend only about ~25% of working time in my own office doing computer work. ~25% computer work at other locations and the rest (~50%) work without computer need.
One of the annoying things in my office is the sunscreen that go up automatically when there is to much wind outside. Then it is nearly impossible to see anything on the computer screen when sunny, and a move somewhere else to continue. Recently I taped some big pieces of paper to the windows. The window cleaners will probably complain soon :-)

Anyway, I think there is also a personal preference/sentivity. I have one college who gets headaches when the screen is too bright. Another always works in the dark (lights out, sun screens done), has been doing this for 30 years, so probably ok :-)

Some of the computer/light/eye related rules/guidelines at our organization:
* check that your working environment is suitable (daylight and artificial light, reflections,
sunshades)
* there should be little light contrast between the monitor and the surrounding area
* no daylight or indoor lighting should reflect onto the screen
* If you suffer headaches, blurred vision or other eyesight problems during screen work,
computer glasses may help. These have a longer focal length than reading glasses (50-70
cm). Moreover, reading glasses or multifocals can strain the neck.

We also have a bunch of rules for working with (high power) lasers. The barcode scanner should be class 1 (harmless to the eyes). But we did have a laser pointer (for presentations) that seemed very bright. We measured the light power, is was definitely not a class 1 laser.
Edit: I read (e.g. here (pdf) that class2 laser scanners are also used, not not allowed in all countries.
Tourist Trap
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lighting?

Postby Tourist Trap » Apr 21, 2019 15:31

badidea wrote:Then it is nearly impossible to see anything on the computer screen when sunny, and a move somewhere else to continue. Recently I taped some big pieces of paper to the windows. The window cleaners will probably complain soon :-)

Hi badidea, thanks for those meaningful comments.
About what you say on sun, at least you have natural lightning condition in your room. Even if of course you can be annoyed by the sunlight on the screen, it's still better I think than cavern conditions.

badidea wrote:Anyway, I think there is also a personal preference/sentivity. I have one college who gets headaches when the screen is too bright. Another always works in the dark (lights out, sun screens done), has been doing this for 30 years, so probably ok :-)

Yes, of course. It's not just about darkness. There are some dark areas where you feel some freshness of sight despite the first feeling, like when it's very sunny out and a sufficient amount of light pierces to give a fresh perfect light. I agree with that anyway myself and think it is comfortable.

badidea wrote:Some of the computer/light/eye related rules/guidelines at our organization:
* check that your working environment is suitable (daylight and artificial light, reflections,
sunshades)
* there should be little light contrast between the monitor and the surrounding area
* no daylight or indoor lighting should reflect onto the screen
* If you suffer headaches, blurred vision or other eyesight problems during screen work,
computer glasses may help. These have a longer focal length than reading glasses (50-70
cm). Moreover, reading glasses or multifocals can strain the neck.

Thanks, good points.

Did you or anyone experienced dynamic lighting features? You know those stuffs that imitate natural light in intensity and changes during the day.
Boromir
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lighting?

Postby Boromir » Apr 23, 2019 13:11

Tourist Trap wrote:Did you or anyone experienced dynamic lighting features? You know those stuffs that imitate natural light in intensity and changes during the day.

Ubuntu 18 and windows 10 both come with a dynamic blue light filter and I have a very hard time using a computer or device without one now.
They make a massive difference in eye strain when it comes to using a computer in a dark room. Another thing I do is use Ubuntu's dark theme and the Firefox dark reader plugin.
Tourist Trap
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lighting?

Postby Tourist Trap » Apr 23, 2019 19:05

Boromir wrote:
Tourist Trap wrote:Did you or anyone experienced dynamic lighting features? You know those stuffs that imitate natural light in intensity and changes during the day.

Ubuntu 18 and windows 10 both come with a dynamic blue light filter and I have a very hard time using a computer or device without one now.
They make a massive difference in eye strain when it comes to using a computer in a dark room. Another thing I do is use Ubuntu's dark theme and the Firefox dark reader plugin.

Hi,

I don't know how far is advanced the system of night lighting on ubuntu, but on windows it's insufficiently progressive and smooth to my taste, even if useful however, of course.

Anyway I didn't mean exactly this here above. I was meaning dynamic external system of lightings. I heard about that without having anyone witnessing this in my friend circle around. Seems a still rare feature I guess?
badidea
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby badidea » Apr 23, 2019 20:42

I think that if the external light changes color and intensity, then you definitely want to adjust your computer screen with it as well.
Tourist Trap
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby Tourist Trap » Apr 24, 2019 18:04

badidea wrote:I think that if the external light changes color and intensity, then you definitely want to adjust your computer screen with it as well.

Hi badidea,

what actually happens to me is that I think I know how to best tune the color rendering of the screen, provided it is not a too crap model, and above all not a glossy glass model. I can even change the settings by hand if I feel the need, and if it can be done in the range needed. My issue is that I have no access to a natural light. Natural light, in all its variety provides nice properties, even when varying along the day, and even more because they vary. Best of all of natural ligth features, is contrast. It acts like a detail extruder on a scene, or may I say simply, it gives relief.

In my case I not only suffer from a lack of access to good lightning I must say, I have also a wall in front of me. So no horizon to look at in order to give a break to the 2 poor organic optical lenses of mine !

And last but not least, I have 2 different screens, both in size and color rendering capabilities.... Quite a bad cocktail!
marcov
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lighting?

Postby marcov » Apr 24, 2019 18:22

Tourist Trap wrote:
Anyway I didn't mean exactly this here above. I was meaning dynamic external system of lightings. I heard about that without having anyone witnessing this in my friend circle around. Seems a still rare feature I guess?


For monitors, yes. For TVs it is called Phillips Ambilight. See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias_lighting
angros47
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby angros47 » Apr 24, 2019 22:12

If there were a standard way to control ambient light from a program (through a specific system API, for example), from FreeBasic the best way to do it would be to use the third parameter of the COLOR instruction (in original GWBASIC, and on MSX BASIC, it was supposed to control the border color, or overscan color, that was outside the drawable screen: on modern computers all the screen is drawable, so outside of it there would be only an ambient light)
Tourist Trap
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lighting?

Postby Tourist Trap » Apr 25, 2019 17:32

marcov wrote:
Tourist Trap wrote:
For monitors, yes. For TVs it is called Phillips Ambilight. See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias_lighting

Thanks.

That's a very nice stuff, I didn't know about that.
What is still surprising to me is that professional designers may work facing a wall. It is recommended by medicine to have some far spot in sight in order to take give the eyes a break on a regular basis. So I guess that this tool that project ambient light in the rear must really be efficent and override any need for far horizon. I'm still puzzled if it is sufficent or just a better than worst?

angros47 wrote:If there were a standard way to control ambient light from a program (through a specific system API, for example), from FreeBasic the best way to do it would be to use the third parameter of the COLOR instruction (in original GWBASIC, and on MSX BASIC, it was supposed to control the border color, or overscan color, that was outside the drawable screen: on modern computers all the screen is drawable, so outside of it there would be only an ambient light)

That's a nice idea. There would be a need then, in addition to the emittor, for some surrounding light dectectors in order to compute an effective value.
Suppose you do COLOR a, b, c ; where c is the ambient. If "s" is the current surrounding light received, then it will lead to something like resulting ambient = c + s, and not simply c. Otherwise, left this aside, if someone masters the color composition, both in energy and perceived color, there is something here.
However it would serve more for gaming I think, because otherwise putting the dynamic lighting outside the computer looks to me far more effective , and simpler, in a health perspective. It seems that this kind of stuff exists, but noone knows about it. Maybe it's an expensive feature of an office?
marcov
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lighting?

Postby marcov » Apr 25, 2019 19:10

Tourist Trap wrote:
marcov wrote:
Tourist Trap wrote:
For monitors, yes. For TVs it is called Phillips Ambilight. See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias_lighting

Thanks.

That's a very nice stuff, I didn't know about that.
What is still surprising to me is that professional designers may work facing a wall. It is recommended by medicine to have some far spot in sight in order to take give the eyes a break on a regular basis. So I guess that this tool that project ambient light in the rear must really be efficent and override any need for far horizon. I'm still puzzled if it is sufficent or just a better than worst?


I'm living in Phillips city(*), and such TVs are quite common here. Personally I don't like it. The increased dynamic is IMHO more strain than that it provides rest. OTOH, I don't have one myself, so that opinion is based on short visits, not long term ownsership.

* The local soccer team is called PSV which translates as Phillips Sport Club ......
Linuxbob
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby Linuxbob » Apr 25, 2019 19:12

I've been doing lighting design professionally for over 30 years. During that time, the rules of thumb for lighting in a workspace (specifically workstation) environment has changed quite a bit.

In the 80s and 90s, the emphasis was on moderate light levels at the desk surface but serious control of light shining sideways. The reason was the old CRT displays did not play well with scattering illumination. Most offices were equipped with what we called parabolic lighting, in which there is an assembly at the bottom of the luminaire that looks like an old-fashioned ice cube tray. Daylighting was a no no. Of course, those days featured mostly character-based displays or Windows, so the nuances of graphics displays weren't common then.

When the first flat screen LCD displays appeared, the rules changed. Flat screens don't seem to be as badly affected by scattering illumination. And the quality of the displays brought us better quality imaging than what was typical in all but the highest end CRT displays.

It was also found that natural light is very important to a person's well being, so work spaces began to be designed with more windows and skylights. Luckily, the newer monitors tolerate natural light very well.

Ultimately, it all comes down to individual perception. Lighting is never an exact science, because every person reacts to lighting differently. As you can imagine, there are many factors that account for this. So, some people like to work on computers in the dark, some prefer much more ambient light, some prefer warmer light, some prefer cooler light.

In my workspace I have windows from desk height to the ceiling about 10 feet behind me. My monitors face the windows, and I have no issues with glare on my monitors. It's just my personal perception.
dodicat
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby dodicat » Apr 25, 2019 19:51

Linuxbob sounds like a person who would not tolerate windows in any shape or form.
Who works in the terminal gloom with a bare flickering light bulb hanging by a yellowish cable, and a moth circling around.
badidea
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby badidea » Apr 25, 2019 20:22

dodicat wrote:Linuxbob sounds like a person who would not tolerate windows in any shape or form.
Who works in the terminal gloom with a bare flickering light bulb hanging by a yellowish cable, and a moth circling around.

With a 500 page shell scripting book form 1980 as a monitor stand :-)

marcov wrote:I'm living in Phillips city(*), and such TVs are quite common here. Personally I don't like it. The increased dynamic is IMHO more strain than that it provides rest. OTOH, I don't have one myself, so that opinion is based on short visits, not long term ownsership.

I don't even have a TV, but I do have a Philips water boiler and and Philips 'Wake-Up Light' (which sucks for what it is meant to do, I do use it as a radio receiver). And I live in a house built for Philips employees in the thirties :-)

Tourist Trap wrote:...

What kind of computer work do you do mostly? Maybe you can do some design work on a (non-electronic) whiteboard in between computer work. We have a whiteboard in every office. And I always make drawings on whiteboards whenever I entry someone's office. I cannot think clearly without drawing stuff.
marcov
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Re: Are you happy with your office's lightings?

Postby marcov » Apr 26, 2019 8:26

badidea wrote:
dodicat wrote:Linuxbob sounds like a person who would not tolerate windows in any shape or form.
Who works in the terminal gloom with a bare flickering light bulb hanging by a yellowish cable, and a moth circling around.

With a 500 page shell scripting book form 1980 as a monitor stand :-)


I don't know why you are making fun about Linuxbob, his post is sane IMHO. Glare was an important consideration not even that long ago. My 2004 Core-duo laptop with a reflecting "photo" display was particularly annoying.

Oh, and in my case it is a 1000pg ASP.NET 2.0 book under one, and "Linux in a nutshell" in the other.

Tourist Trap wrote:...

What kind of computer work do you do mostly? Maybe you can do some design work on a (non-electronic) whiteboard in between computer work. We have a whiteboard in every office. And I always make drawings on whiteboards whenever I entry someone's office. I cannot think clearly without drawing stuff.[/quote]

I did that in previous jobs, but the current job the need is less. I do work out simple sketches with gnome DIA, but unfortunately that project seems to be doomed. Mostly they are flow schemes of some kind and architectural overviews of the setup of our (vision-) systems.

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