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How well-lit is your workspace

How well-lit is your workspace? The answer is a click away…

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Philips have launched an innovative light measurement widget on Facebook to determine the amount of task light you need to work comfortably in relation to your age. Designed to challenge current commercial workplace regulations, the widget can also be used to give instant feedback on the level of light you read or work by in your home. It couldn’t be easier, all you need to get going is a digital photo of the space you would like to measure. Here’s the link:

Facebook - See what light can do?.

The starting point for designing the widget is the assumption made by regulatory bodies that all workers required the same minimum amount of light in offices irrespective of age. This flies in the face of scientific research which tells us that the older you get, the more light your eyes need to see clearly. Philips maintain that the lighting level currently recommended for workers typing and reading documents is insufficient for people over 45 years of age, and that by the age of 60 many people require up to 5 times the light level of a 20-year-old.

Philips are not advocating universally higher light level thresholds, which would waste an enormous amount of energy. Instead, similar to the way we set light levels in our own homes to suit our needs (from task to ambient), Philips recommend that workers should be able to set their own light levels according to individual needs . This could even lead to savings in broader terms. As Dr. Bianca van der Zande, principal scientist at Philips points out "Inadequate lighting can lead to visual discomfort, neck pain, headaches, fatigue, and perhaps eventually sick leave."

In the era of an ageing workforce, such observations are not to be sneezed at. Nor are they to be ignored in your home – imagine your favourite reading space bathed in light which both relaxes your eyes and improves your concentration span. The message is clear - there is no substitute for built-for-purpose task lighting.


  1. LEDs magazine:
    Philips Lighting questions proper light-level standards for office workers..
  2. Health and Safety Executive:
    Lighting at Work.


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