1. Use natural light to your benefit

When you’re working in the same spot all day, good lighting is important to prevent eyestrain and headaches. If you can set up your workspace near a window or other source of sunlight, that’s a natural mood booster.

However, to avoid any kind of glare, the natural source of light has to be on one side of the workplace. If the window is behind you, the following situations can occur:

  • Rays of sunlight on the monitor will disturb your view, as you will not see the monitor properly.
  • A glossy monitor will reflect the window on your monitor, which will be disturbing.

If you position your monitor in front of the window, there is too much light contrast between the monitor and the window which strains the eyes.

Keeping the window to your left and right is the best option to fully benefit from natural light.

2. Create an evenly lit space

A comfortable lighting situation is about even, balanced lighting, as large contrast between light and dark tires the eyes.

Therefore, if your monitor is against a wall, it is important to illuminate the wall behind the monitor, in this way the light contrast will be balanced and it will not strain your eyes.

Once the sun sets, it is important to maintain general and diffused lighting in the room. Create a space with a very high uniformity of light, to avoid that your eyes continue to focus on different levels of luminance.

3. Prepare for conference calls

A professional presentation for conference calls requires a thoughtful preparation of your lighting setup. A visual that is too dark or bright can distract attention from your presentation. Create a pleasing conference call appearance with these tips:

  • Face a window, rather than sitting in front of one. In front of a window, you’ll appear dark.
  • Place a lamp right above your laptop screen. That way, your face will be evenly lit, for a pleasant on-screen appearance.
  • Lift your laptop to have the camera at eye level, for example on a stack of books or a box.
  • Keep enough distance between you and the camera, to avoid distortion.
  • Opt for a simple and clean background to avoid distraction.
  • Look into the camera lens while talking, it gives your online audience the pleasant feeling of being looked into the eyes.

Lighting hack: use a lux meter on your smartphone

The ideal light intensity for the workplace is a minimum of 500 lux, as per the European Standard. But how to go about this at home? You can measure light intensity with a lux meter app on your smartphone. Be aware that your smartphone will not be 100% accurate, but it will offer you an indication.

Measure the amount of light on the left- and right-hand sides of your working surface. If both measurements are above 500 lux, your workplace is bright enough. Make sure the two measurements are not too far apart. An evenly lit workplace will offer visual comfort.