A well-lit environment makes us feel safe and allows us to work easier. In a well-lit environment we can focus on the things we want to do instead of being disturbed by uncomfortable lighting, glare and hazy colour rendering. Per-Arne Torstensson, Optical Engineer at TYRI, provides some tips on factors that produce good lighting.
Make sure the light has:
The eye is drawn to bright areas, and when the light is uneven it can be distracting when your gaze and focus are constantly drawn to the brightest area. We want to avoid so-called hotspots, and have uniform lighting instead.
Minimal risk of glare.
Both for the sake of safety and to reduce discomfort, the risk of glare should be minimised for those working in the area of light distribution. It doesn’t matter how effective a light is if it is directed incorrectly and produces glare. This then negates the actual purpose of lighting, which is to facilitate visibility.
A suitable colour temperature.
Find a colour temperature that is comfortable on the eyes. Different colour temperatures suit different environments. Warm light, for example, works well when an area is covered in snow which reflects a cold blue light. Colder light can work well for working on dark soil. In general, colder light results in greater glare discomfort than warm light. Cold blue light also has greater dispersion and reflects a lot more small particles compared to a warm light source. For example, in an environment around a combine harvester where many small particles fly through the air, there is a lot for the light to reflect, which means that cold light is probably not the best choice.
Good colour rendering.
A colour rendering index (CRI) can be used to measure how well light sources render colours. If a colour of the light spectrum is absent, certain colour nuances will not be rendered. Sunlight has optimal colour rendering with 100 percent on the CRI. The higher the CRI of your illumination, the more it emulates sunlight. Since our eyes are adapted for sunlight, we want to emulate sunlight to the greatest extent possible. This can be particularly important in the food industry or when harvesting, where colour rendering plays a vital role in indicating the ripeness or condition of the food.