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Light ergonomics: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Light ergonomics is the relationship between the light source and the individual.[1] Poor light can be divided into the following:

  • Individual or socio-cultural expectations
  • Insufficient light
  • Poor distribution of light
  • Improper contrast
  • Glare
  • Flicker
  • Thermal heating (over or under)
  • Acoustic noise (especially flourescents)
  • Color spectrum (amber street lighting)


Effects of poor light

The effects of poor light can include the following:

Recommended Illumination Levels[2]
Type of Activity Ranges of Illuminations (Lux)
Public spaces with dark surroundings 30
Simple orientation for short temporary visits 50
Working spaces where visual tasks are only occasionally performed 100
Performance of visual tasks of high contrast or large scale 300
Performance of visual tasks of medium contrast or small size 500
Performance of visual tasks of low contrast or very small size 1000
Performance of visual tasks near threshold of person's ability to recognize an image 3000-10000

Types of light sources

Light Bulbs[3]
Type Common Application Efficiency Colour Rendering Fog-Smog Penetration
Incandescent Homes Poor Good
Fluorescent Home&Office Good Fair to good
Mercury Factories, offices Fair Fair to moderate
Low pressure sodium Roadway Good Poor Good
High pressure sodium Factories, commercial Good Fair to good Good
Metal Halide Factories, commercial Good Good


  1. ^ "The Ergonomics of Light" by Bradford J. Powell,, October, 2002, retrieved November 3, 2007
  2. ^ Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. RIESNA Lighting Handbook. (9th ed.). Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. ISBN 0-87-995150-8.
  3. ^ "Lighting Ergonomics - General" by Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, CCOHS, January, 2003, retrieved November 3, 2007

See also



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