Lighting - common issues with lighting and ways to reduce their impact when home working

DISCLAIMER: The information contained within this section of our website is only intended as guidance on temporary measures at a time of great need as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The advice should in no way be taken as being enough to ensure that you can continue in the longer term to work from home in a suitable or safe manner.  The same legislation that protects us in an office applies if we're working from home on a permanent or regular basis - but it may be a while before this kind of adjustment can happen. 

 

DSE assessments should be undertaken on at least a yearly basis with all employees and further assessment may be required if a basic DSE assessment identifies that the DSE user is at risk.  Please contact your employer's Health & Safety representative to ensure that this takes place.

Contrast Problems

The layout of your home and the position of furniture within is will have a huge impact on what is and isn't possible when it comes to picking the right work position.  Things like garden views and bright windows seem like a nice idea, but they can lead to problems when it comes to working at a computer screen.  Differences in contrast level between the screen and the room behind the screen can result in feelings of fatigue and eye strain after only a short amount of time - think of the effect of driving down a road when the sun is reflecting off the road surface!

If you are able to, make sure you pick the right position for your workstation to reduce the risk of this.  In the image shown here, it might be tempting to opt for seat position 6.  By sitting here you might be able to look out into the garden and enjoy the view.  However, the means you've got a large area of bright light (even on a dull day) behind the computer screen and may lead to eye strain.  To avoid this, look at positions 1, 2 or even 5 as alternatives - just make sure you have adequate room to move freely!

 

The main things to keep in mind are:

  • Avoid having a source of bright light behind your computer screen
     

  • Where possible, keep windows to your side and not in front of you
     

  • If you have to work with a window in front of you, make use of curtains or blinds on bright days to reduce the impact
     

  • Try increasing the level of light inside the room to reduce the difference in light levels between the interior and exterior light source