Reduce brightness to reduce glare in your home or office

In the post Increase brightness to reduce glare in your home or office only half the story of how to reduce glare was told. To reduce glare you may also reduce brightness (or do a combination of both – specific solutions to reduce glare depend on how it’s being produced). Here are a few examples of when and how you might reduce brightness to reduce glare in your home or office.

How to reduce glare

Glare is essentially a contrast in brightness.  To reduce glare one should either:

  • Reduce brightness to reduce glareincrease brightness (of the darker areas, when brighter objects contrasts with them)
  • reduce brightness (of bright area – a source of light or its reflection in the field of vision)
  • a combination of both; increase brightness and reduce brightness simultaneously

Reduce brightness to reduce glare

These are some examples of how to reduce brightness to reduce glare:

  • Reduce brightness by better use of colors and surfaces. Use surfaces that absorb more light (rough surfaces of darker tones) instead of reflecting it (avoid shiny, polished surfaces, gloss electronic device screens, etc.). Correct use of colors and surfaces is particularly important when they are behind your computer screen (walls, office cabinets) thus increasing the glare on your screen.
  • Reduce brightness of light sources in your field of vision. Use fixtures with opaque shade (this also disperses the light – see the next point). Position your computer screen so it doesn’t reflect light coming through a window. Make sure your reading lamp doesn’t reflect in the computer screen or other shiny surface. Turn down the brightness of your television or computer screen (remember, electronic display devices are sources of light).
  • Reduce glare by dispersing the light. For both targeted and general lighting cover your light sources with translucent covers (a fabric shade on a lamp, light fixtures, a frosted glass globe). Make sure the cover fully covers the light source thus eliminating all undispersed light.
  • Reduce brightness of general lighting. Reduce the number of light bulbs. Use a dimmer switch. Turn the 3-way bulb to a lower setting. Turn a light off to get rid of the bright spot. Pull down room-darkening shades to block outside light.
  • Reduce glare by changing the color temperature of the light source. Avoid cool light (blue) in favor of warm light which is less likely to be seen as glare compared.

As stated in the previous post, to reduce glare for a person with photophobia / light sensitivity requires a lot more fine tuning than in the case of those without intolerance to light.

Do you have any other examples? Tell us how you reduce brightness to reduce glare?


2 thoughts on “Reduce brightness to reduce glare in your home or office

  1. I am having a lot of trouble with the lights at home. They are too bright and cause my eyes to hurt. We have 30 watt light bulbs, incandescent light bulbs, soft white, warm. What kind of light bulbs might be better for me? Are you talking about colored lights when you said “Avoid cool light (blue) in favor of warm light which is less likely to be seen as glare compared.” HELP!!


    1. Janice, I am sorry to read about your trouble with the lights in your home. I understand – horrible.

      I don’t know the details of your light sensitivity, so this answer will be somewhat generic – it may apply to most people, but not you.

      Low-wattage, incandescent, soft, warm white bulbs might be the best you could do. Supposing your problem could be related to blue light – you might try orange or red bulbs that emit no blue light (but note that incandescent bulbs hardly emit any blue light in the first place).

      Placement and type of fixtures used also play a role. It is best if you cannot see the bulbs. Use dispersed, reflected light, as for example in the case of up-down light fixtures. Also it is best if light is as homogeneous as possible throughout the space – it is better to have a few weaker lights spread around than just one stronger one.

      Walls painted in warm tones might also help (again if blue light is an issue)?

      However, I fear that, if you feel discomfort with this type of light bulbs, you might need to look for the causes of your light sensitivity elsewhere. If you manage to identify and remove/mitigate those, your lights sensitivity threshold might increase and you’ll feel better in your home.

      If you wish you can tell me more about your condition by replying to this comment, or if you prefer to keep it off-line, you can contact me direclty.

      I hope that helps?


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