Glare in the workplace

Lighting induced glare in the workplace- what is it, what does it mean for us and what can we do to prevent it?
What is Glare?
There are two types of glare: Disability Glare and Discomfort Glare.

Disability Glare is a physiological condition where light may cause such severe impairment of vision that the person is temporarily blinded. It can for example, be brought on by driving towards a car with their high-beams on.

Discomfort Glare is a psychological condition, caused by subtle catalysts such as a flickering light, or a light source being in too high contrast with the task at hand. Other factors such as line of sight of the luminaries, and placement of desks, seats and computer screens in relation to lighting can be big contributing factors.

Discomfort glare is what you would be more likely to encounter in an office, and it’s results can usually only be felt over long periods of time. Low productivity, tired/sore eyes, headaches and exhaustion can all be symptoms of poor lighting and glare in a work space. Luckily, there are relatively hassle free ways to solve these issues.
How do we prevent Glare?
Glare in the workplace can be avoided by considering preventative measures during the building/architectural design and interior design phases, and by consulting lighting professionals during the initial stages of a project. Lighting suppliers can also assist by suggesting fittings with a low UGR (Unified Glare Rating).
UGR is a dimensionless parameter ranging from 5 to 40, which indicates the glare of a lighting installation in an indoor space. The lower the UGR, the less direct glare is experienced by the observers.
The good news is, that suppliers are developing high quality, LED fittings with low UGRs for the exact context of offices and work stations. Our supplier Planlicht has come out with two new fittings that boast low UGRs and high quality, LED light sources: Skai and Anto.